Hydro CIRCAL 75R

The aluminium building system company WICONA is once again demonstrating its focus on sustainability by using Hydro’s aluminium alloy CIRCAL with the highest recycled content on the market for its system solutions. Now, the first building contracts are using WICONA solutions with this alloy, with projects in Kuwait, Germany, France, Sweden, UK, Netherlands, and Norway.

In 2018, the Norwegian group Hydro, who own WICONA, launched its new Hydro CIRCAL 75R aluminium alloy. The alloy consists of minimum 75% post-consumer scrap from façades and windows that have been dismounted from buildings and fully recycled. It is the prime quality alloy with one of the highest amounts of recycled post-consumer content which is currently available on the market.

“In contrast to the aluminium solutions generally available on the market, which are promoted with recycled content, our approach of the Hydro CIRCAL 75R does not focus on process scrap but on the end-of-life material," explains Dr-Ing Werner Jager, Technical Marketing Director at Hydro Building Systems Germany GmbH in Ulm.

Thanks to WICONA system solutions using Hydro CIRCAL, aluminium scrap is recycled back into the production cycle (urban mining). Remelting aluminium for new uses requires only 5 % of the energy needed to produce primary aluminium. The higher recycled content of post-consumer scrap, the lower the carbon footprint. Hydro CIRCAL 75R has the smallest CO2 footprint worldwide: around 2.0 kg CO2 (1.5–2.3 kg CO2) per kilo of aluminium – 6 times or 84% less than the worldwide average for primary extraction.

The first orders for WICONA systems using this alloy are now being carried out, with one of the first being for the office building of the DIN Institute in Berlin. "The idea of using old aluminium from buildings for new profiles has convinced me. We proposed this to the DIN Institute in Berlin, for which we will build the façade for new office building in the next few months. Our customer was thrilled that we wanted to use innovative, environmentally friendly material," says Marcus Medicke, Managing Partner of the Medicke Group.

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One of the aluminium industry’s most sustainable companies

Hydro is the first aluminium producer supplying prime quality end-of-life recycled aluminium with a certified content of more than 75% recycled post-consumer scrap. Scrap shredding and sorting takes place at a dedicated facility in Dormagen, Germany. The plant then sends the metal to the remelting plant in Clervaux, Luxembourg where Hydro CIRCAL 75R billets are produced. The production process is fully traceable, and the product is certified by an independent third party (DNV-GL).

Ambitious European emissions targets

In the European Commission’s sustainability targets, all new buildings are to operate at net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and by 2050 all buildings must operate at net zero carbon. With the looming climate crisis and stricter regulations, the industry needs to adapt. With Hydro CIRCAL 75R, WICONA enables building owners and architects to meet tomorrow’s highest sustainability targets already today – including green building certifications such as LEED, BREEAM or DGNB.