Aluminium: a bioclimatic house ally
The term "bioclimatic" is becoming increasingly used when talking about construction or renovation of houses. However, a bioclimatic house is not just a trendy architectural concept. It is a result of decades of regulatory and technical improvements as well as a collective determination to reduce our negative environmental impact.
By adopting a bioclimatic approach, you help to reduce energy costs, protect the environment and ensure a high level of comfort over the long term. When it comes to the design of bioclimatic facilities for new buildings, house extensions and renovations, one material stands out clearly: aluminium.
Determining the bioclimatic challenges
What is a bioclimatic house?
A bioclimatic house is a home that fully adapts to its environment in order to make the best use of the energy resources while also being protected from the harsh climate. For this to be possible, there is a need for special design and construction techniques that take advantage of the sunlight to heat the house in winter, while at the same time providing natural ventilation to cool the house in summer.
The aim of a bioclimatic house is to minimise its external energy consumption. In some cases, a bioclimatic house can even produce more energy than is consumed. These types of designs help to meet the energy and ecological challenges of the years to come. Given the current climate change and the destruction of biodiversity, the cleanest energy is the energy that is not consumed!
The way bioclimatic houses work
In order to respond to the bioclimatic challenges, it is necessary to design houses or related facilities by taking into account a large number of factors, some of which are quite distinct.
The design of the house must be tailored to the region and the local climate. Attention should be paid, among other things, to:
- Direction towards the sun,
- The shape of the house,
- Protection against the wind,
- The type, size and distance from the surrounding trees.
Installation of facilities having an active role in energy capture and distribution must also be considered right from the design phase:
- Solar panels,
- Surrounding vegetation,
- Pergola with adjustable blades,
- Bioclimatic veranda,
- Sliding bay window.
It is important to maximise glass surfaces and openings, the main heat regulators in the house, in order to optimise the circulation of air and light. The choice of efficient materials is generally of prime importance. Aluminium is ideal for casement doors and windows, conservatories and many other structures. In order to properly harness and conserve solar energy, complex glazing must be carefully selected, room by room. Special bricks and coatings must be used for the filling of the walls.
How is aluminium a good ally in bioclimatic initiatives?
Aluminium is particularly suited for use in bioclimatic facilities because of its unique features:
- Incredibly resistant: it does not deform, even in very hot weather. Moreover, it does not catch fire or corrode.
- Very light: at equivalent resistance, aluminium can be easily fabricated into structures that are much thinner and lighter than wrought iron, wood or PVC.
- Profiles made of aluminium alloys with thermal-break bridges are excellent heat insulators.
- They also adapt very well to the integration of all types of technical systems such as hermetic closures, lighting systems, ventilation systems, blinds, etc.
- Aluminium hardly requires any maintenance and retains its brand-new look and feel for decades.
- The icing on the cake: aluminium is 100% recyclable. As part of a bioclimatic initiative, this helps to further reduce the environmental footprint in construction activities.
Moreover, the aesthetic qualities of aluminium should not be neglected, even with its remarkable malleability. Available in an infinite variety of colours, shapes and textures, aluminium is ideal for new construction and home renovations of all architectural styles.
An ideal companion for lighting solutions
All the intrinsic qualities of aluminium blend together to create particularly bright products. The combination of strength and lightness makes it an ideal structural material for supporting large glass surfaces, which are highly desirable in bioclimatic designs. As a result, the structure is more discreet, the glazed surface is optimised, and the bioclimatic impact is also maximised. For outdoor use, its robustness and resistance to extreme weather conditions make it ideal for designing large pergolas that have a minimal footprint and offer a very open space appearance.
Aluminium can be used in all bioclimatic projects
With its exceptional properties, aluminium can be incorporated into new construction as well as in bioclimatic renovation projects. In the latter case, aluminium is often the only material that can truly reduce the energy consumption of an existing house.
Verandas and house extensions
Verandas are often designed with an aluminium structure in order to achieve a bioclimatic approach. This enables glazed facades and roofs to accommodate large areas of glass consisting of double or triple glazing, or heated glazing as required. The flat-roofed verandas can then become a real extension of the house with an open link between the existing house and this new room. The heat and acoustic efficiency of this new room has a direct impact on the whole house.
Pergolas with adjustable blades
Pergolas with adjustable blades can be fitted to provide shade on façades or bay windows to cool off the house during summer. On the other hand, when the blades are open, they optimise the amount of light in winter to naturally light and heat the house. It is only with aluminium that pergolas of all sizes can be constructed. They can be fitted with motorised blades that are resistant to all weather conditions and can be used all year round.
Pergolas are an excellent way of discovering the benefits of the bioclimatic process for renovation projects involving a minimum amount of work. However, for new houses, pergolas are generally designed to complement the bioclimatic verandas and sliding bay windows of the house. On the whole, aluminium is perfectly suited to the construction of casement and sliding doors and windows that are used within the framework of a bioclimatic approach.
Bioclimatic approaches cannot be implemented in all cases. Such projects can only be carried out by specialist aluminium casement doors and windows manufacturers, such as those using profiles designed by Installux.