Aluminium’s long and useful life makes it one of the most durable and thus one of the most sustainable building materials.
Excellent examples of this durability are the Aluminium windows installed in the ‘New University Library’ at Oxford University nearly 70 years ago (pictured right). The building, designed by Giles Gilbert Scott and, built between 1937 and 1939, was a much needed addition to the Bodleian Library whose collections are used by scholars from around the world.
Toby Kirtley, who is the Estates Projects Officer for the Oxford University Library Services, has been amazed at the quality of the windows which have been in the building for almost 70 years. These windows were installed with no anodising or powder coating, leaving the surface to naturally oxidise to form a protective finish. The Estates Department undertake cleaning twice a year and only service any of the windows should a piece of glass be broken and need replacing. The hardware is all original and has been designed with brass bushes for a good life expectancy. The aluminium casement windows and window furniture were supplied by James Gibbons Limited of Wolverhampton.