Aluminium in quality buildings: strong, beautiful, light and much more

by Mario Conserva

About fifteen years ago Strong, Beautiful and Light was the motto used in communicating aluminium’s qualities in architecture, in our lives and in our cities, a project promoted by the national associations, Aital, Centroal, Qualital and Uncsaal (now known as Unicmi). The campaign, centred on the recovery of buildings, obtained excellent results in reporting and showing the success factors of light alloys in building and architecture: the material’s intrinsic qualities, designers’ innovative creativity, continuous development of transformation, machining, finishing and assembly technologies to make its use convenient. In those years the construction industry was the main end user of aluminium in Italy: more or less half of the extrusions manufactured was destined to buildings. The market was there, and there was also the enthusiasm and know-how needed to develop new competitive solutions, with a growth trend which seemed unstoppable. The global crisis of the following years took its toll, with a heavy drop in the domestic construction market and a new positioning of the role of light alloys in the industry. Difficulties are still present, but for constructions aluminium is still a perfect mix of quality, beauty and performances, this is an objective datum: Unicmi keeps on underlining this fact with perseverance, by means of an information campaign dedicated to aluminium doors and windows, “In Fissa Per”, a synthetic description to suggest that aluminium doors and windows are suitable for all uses.
Beautiful, strong and light, furthermore it allows to save energy and resources, it may be recycled, it is environmentally compatible, competitive and a symbol of circular economy: it confirms its role as a quality material for architectural use and for buildings, because it guarantees unrivalled performances in terms of resistance, aesthetics, safety durability. The substance is there, we must recreate the trust and enthusiasm of some years ago to promote and use light metal in constructions in the way it deserves, and to do this we should also go back to the principles of creativity and the innovative solutions which in the past helped Italian aluminium to play a great role in the building industry, along with the determination of joining forces in research and development to find original technologies and applications, always a cut above others.