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Elements of Sustainable Development

Changes the industry needs to make for faster achievement of sustainable development goals.


Aestech News

Today, the development industry is under pressure. Stakeholders, greatly impacted by the environment, expect decisive actions to reduce its footprint. Companies declare their desire for sustainable development, yet implementing these goals, even with strong intentions, isn't that easy.

How can the industry reduce its impact on the planet and contribute to a more sustainable future?



We didn’t start with concrete by chance – it's the world's second most consumed material after water. In modern cities, concrete surrounds us: in buildings, roads, sidewalks, and park sculptures – the average production of concrete amounts to around 4.1 billion metric tons per year. An astounding figure.

Its popularity is owed to its versatility, relatively low cost, and long life cycle. However, there's a downside – its production is highly harmful and energy-intensive. Approximately 30% of extracted materials worldwide are used solely for concrete production. This contributes to 8% of global CO₂ emissions, a consequence of burning fossil fuels. Additionally, the process of obtaining cement clinker, a crucial component of concrete, plays a significant role in environmental pollution.

Is there an alternative to concrete? Yes. But can it meet even a fraction of the demand? Unfortunately, no. And although more companies are joining the search for solutions, this path is still lengthy.

So far, the most promising companies seem to be those offering alternative concrete compositions. Producers of "more ecological versions" of this material experiment with Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCM): fly ash, granulated blast furnace slag, silicon dioxide, and other compounds. Introducing even 5% of ecological concrete into the market will have a colossal impact on the environment.

This requires involvement from manufacturers, developers, scientists, policymakers, and appropriate legislation. Only then can the industry make the second most popular material more planet-friendly and make significant progress toward achieving sustainable development goals.



The negative impact of metal on the environment begins from the inception of its life cycle. Extraction, primary production, and processing – each of these stages is associated with emissions, environmental pollution, and extensive energy usage.

However, credit should be given to manufacturers: over the past 50 years, they have made significant strides in reducing their environmental impact. Mining methods have changed, old blast furnaces have been replaced with more energy-efficient electric arc furnaces, and there's been an increase in metal recycling, which requires significantly fewer resources for manufacturing.

Nevertheless, metal production has a considerable environmental footprint. On average, for every ton of steel produced, 1.83 tons of CO₂ are emitted, while for aluminum, this figure is almost three times higher. The situation with metal is similar to concrete: achieving sustainable development goals requires the consolidation of many players, making the task significantly complex.

Aestech offers the simplest yet most effective solution for metal in glass architecture. The technological feature of insulated glass units with higher stiffness (IGUHS), which forms the basis of frameless glazing technology, allows for nearly removing the use of metal. Aestech's glass unit is self-supporting, thus eliminating the need for metal supports or bars. This glass unit is fastened through a composite frame of GRP profile, both among themselves and also with structural elements of the building, almost free from metal structural components.


The presence of this point might surprise many, as most of us know from school that glass is made from organic materials. Architectural glass is often “modernized” by adding various types of coatings or sputterings. This way, manufacturers enhance its thermal characteristics and control transparency, reflection, or light transmission.

This seemingly simple and inexpensive way to improve glass characteristics has a significant drawback. Cleaning such glass for reuse becomes too expensive, ultimately leading to situations where instead of recycling, glass ends up in landfills.

Frameless glazing
Frameless glazing
Frameless glazing

Overall, the glass industry can serve as an example for others. Unlike metal, the level of recycling and reusing this material worldwide is significantly higher. According to Arup's report, under an ideal scenario, just the EU countries alone could save at least 900,000 tons of glass from ending up in landfills.

Insulated glass units with higher stiffness are an example of an eco-friendly and energy-efficient glass solution. The increased rigidity achieved through the strong bonding of glass layers and the absence of metal elements allow Aestech's glass unit to withstand significantly higher wind loads and provide better sound and thermal insulation. Additionally, the High-Strength Glass Unit, like regular glass units, is recyclable.

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