By Phil Slinger – CAB CEO
It has been a busy year for CAB in support of its membership and the wider industry and whilst there are challenges in the supply chain and looking forward into 2024, CAB membership continues to offer an excellent value proposition.
Members have enjoyed two members meetings this year, the first in March where the meeting was held under the wings of the iconic Concorde in Bristol and the second at Manchester’s Museum of Football. These events mix both networking time and conference with keynote speakers to inform members and their guests about the current state of the industry. Located at ‘must visit’ venues means that members can invite their clients to the events at a cost-effective rate compared to other corporate events.
In the summer there was a record turnout to CAB’s 29th AGM, Annual Dinner and Golf Tournament which took place at Staverton Park Hotel & Golf Club, in Northamptonshire in June. The evening entertainment was provided by the fantastic Ian Stone, British stand-up comedian, broadcaster and writer notable for appearing as a guest on shows such as the comedy panel show Mock the Week. Ian was ably accompanied by Tim Clarke known for his TV hosting of the classic Game Show Give Us A Clue on BBC1, the sporting chat show Under The Moon on Channel 4, as well as scores of other appearances on various TV and panel shows.
Whilst CAB have an envious reputation for holding first class events on behalf of members and their guests, it has not all been networking and entertainment, the Association team has been hard at work to provide key services to members and the industry to support the use of aluminium in construction.
Most recently, CAB have developed an ʻAverage productʼ EPD, this has been achieved by CAB collating a sensitive ‘bill of materials’ data from its ‘systems house’ members to produce average LCAs for aluminium-framed windows, from which the ‘average productʼ EPDs has been produced. The production of the ‘average productʼ EPDs was undertaken by EAA (European Aluminium Association), acting as the EPD Programme Operator. ʻAverage productʼ EPDs are known to be valuable to specifiers at the concept design stage of a building before a supplier is specified, as they take data from a cross-section of the industry. CAB’s EPD’s will be further evaluated in the future to ensure that they remain accurate for specifiers of aluminium fenestration. The ‘average productʼ EPDs will be used by CAB members to offer contractors, developers and clients environmental impact information to assist in the specification process, as well as feed into the BREEAM or LEED ratings for a new or refurbished building.
Earlier this year the Association launched its ‘Path to Net Zero’ consultation process where guidance is provided to help in the journey to Net Zero. CAB are aware that Members are already embracing renewable technologies by installing solar panels and moving to electric vehicle fleets, but there is much more that can be done, such as in waste management, packaging and recycling. Each small step, however small, takes a company closer to net zero. Ultimately, these credentials will be highly valued by Members customers who will also be on the same route looking to their supply chain companies keeping carbon emissions as low as possible.
The Association understands the link between ‘carbon’ and ‘costs’ and, at this time of high inflation, CAB’s advice is aimed at cost reduction opportunities as well as carbon accounting. The goal for the progress towards net zero should be at least cost neutral for Members, however, there is a tangible marketing benefit for companies who can demonstrate reductions in CO2 emissions. The consultation process is designed for systems houses, fabricators and installers to capture their organisational carbon footprinting of today, then guide each Member with a strategy to reduce their CO2 emissions and provide the evidence through an annual ‘Greenhouse Gas Inventory’.
Set up a few years ago by CAB, the ‘Closed Loop Recycling’ initiative is coming of age. Whilst members can now recycle their fenestration aluminium within a closed-loop, that is to retain the exact grade of alloy, extrusion grade back into extrusion, this year there have been some notable large projects that have embraced the initiative.
The Chalcots project in London consists of four tower blocks containing approximately 3,500 windows which are being replaced due to defective cladding and, once processed, the chipped aluminium is being recast into low-carbon billet for further architectural aluminium Extrusion. With more recycling companies now joining the CAB scheme, dismantling fenestration systems and separating them into various materials for recycling, the specification of aluminium in various construction projects, commercial and residential will continue to grow. CAB is aware that a specification of aluminium today, offers a good residual value in the future when the facade is to be replaced. Our cities now become viewed as material resources or ‘urban mines’ where we are able to recycle much of the material that already exists.
Into 2024 CAB will continue with its popular webinar series of events for training and education which are free for members to attend. Whilst challenges lay ahead the Association aims to support the needs of its members by initiating support and leading the way ahead
Should you wish to learn more about the use of aluminium used in construction, please contact CAB directly, or why not consider joining the Association and be recognised as being involved in supporting your Industry and helping to shape its future. More information on our website at c-a-b.org.uk