Zinc is a ‘living’ material, it protects itself by naturally developing a patina during the early stages of its life that guards against corrosion, and gives it self-healing properties making it extremely durable. Its life span can exceed 100 years (depending on the surrounding atmosphere), indeed in wall cladding applications some experts estimate an expected life span of some 200 years. In order to guarantee the longevity of this versatile metal, correct execution of the zinc cladding is a must.
The production process is less energy intensive than other metals used in construction. Indeed, it is significantly less than in aluminium or copper production :
|Aluminium 255 MJ/kg
||482 MJ/m2 (0.7 mm thick aluminium)
|Copper 70 MJ/kg
||375 MJ/m2 (0.6 mm thick copper)
|Zinc 51 MJ/kg
||238 MJ/m2 (0.65 mm thick zinc)
Source: ‘Sustainable Construction: Green Building Design and Delivery’.
When used as the building envelope, it contributes to preserving natural resources through efficient use of energy, reducing greenhouse gases and minimising the use of existing zinc ore reserves.