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Net Zero Building Materials: Why Perforated Metal?

What you choose to build with and specify is more important than ever as the building industry shifts to net zero. According to the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), one of the key strategies is better material selection – such as specifying products with lower upfront carbon1. Here’s why using perforated metal can help meet net zero building materials targets:

Net Zero Building Materials: 3 Key Benefits of Perforated Metal 

  • 1. Infinitely reusable

One of the greatest advantages of specifying perforated metal for net zero building materials is the fact that it is so sustainable. The metals we perforate – such as aluminium and steel – can be recycled and reused repeatedly with no loss of quality, strength, or performance, reducing waste and emissions.

Recycling aluminium, for example, uses 95% less energy2 than it takes to make new metal and it is estimated that around 75% of the aluminium ever produced is still in use today.

  • 2. Circular building friendly

The ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’ benefits of perforated metal not only support net zero targets but align with a circular economy, one of the ‘megatrends’ shaping the global building industry.

Defined by the World Economic Forum as a ‘system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design’, for the building industry a circular economy puts greater emphasis on the use of circular materials3 – pre-used, low or zero-carbon, recyclable, or recycled – which also help to reduce emissions as the industry transitions to net zero.

  • 3. Zero-electricity cooling and heating

Perforated metal is a natural ventilator thanks to its holes, which makes it a top net zero building materials choice for reducing building energy use. Electricity continues to make up the most emissions of a typical Australian building says the GBCA. But perforated metal can help to reduce this, thanks to its ability to passively control and manage light, airflow, heat, and solar radiation through careful choice of metal material, hole size, open area percentage, and pitch.

Studies have shown that a perforated metal facade can bring in 45% energy savings from heating, ventilation, and air conditioning whilst also reducing solar irradiation by almost 78% depending on the location of the building.

Net Zero Building Materials Tips: Specifying the Perforated Metal Profile 

Which Metal to Perforate? 

When it comes to selecting the base metal to perforate, all the metals that we punch are recyclable: Aluminium, different types of steel (stainless steel, mild steel, galvanneal), and brass. So the next considerations after sustainability are function – which dictates the metal strength you need – and the building’s location if the panels will be used for the exterior as some metals are not suited to certain environments, such as marine conditions.

It is essential to choose the right base metal as this influences the appearance, service life, performance, and durability of the finished perforated panels. You can learn more in our guide here which has a handy metal comparison table – or get in touch with our team for expert advice.

Which Perforated Metal Finish? 

Are the metal finishes that we can apply to perforated panels environmentally friendly? Powder coating – the technique used to apply colour to perforated panels – is VOC-free. It is better for the environment as paint powder is applied electrostatically and cured using heat, without the use of harsh hazardous chemicals.

Anodising – which protects and preserves aluminium – is also environmentally friendly and VOC-free. Anodising uses an electrolyte solution and an electric current to thicken the natural oxide layer on the surface of the metal. This makes it very durable and resistant to corrosion, it also provides a better surface for paint application. 

Click on photos to enlarge

Our Environmentally Friendly Manufacturing Processes 

Environmental targets may apply to every part of the project supply chain – so it is good to know that you can order from Arrow Metal with confidence. We follow ISO (International Organization for Standardization) guidance governing environmental management and compliance.

We take all Pollution Prevention Methods (PPMs) necessary to care for the environment that is both related directly and indirectly to Arrow Metal manufacturing and product enviro-impact. Learn more about our environmental policy.

Specify net zero building materials with Arrow Metal

Explore metal options, patterns, and finishes for your sustainable, net zero target projects. Download our brochure and browse our case studies for completed project inspiration.

For product enquiries, advice, or to request product samples, call us on (02) 9748 2200 or email


1: Green Building Council Australia Climate Positive Buildings & Our Net Zero Ambitions

2: International Aluminium Institute (IAI) Aluminium Recycling Factsheet

3: World Economic Forum Here’s How to Create a Circular System for the Built Environment 

Browse or download our Perforated Metal Catalogue , Brass Woven Wire Mesh Catalogue  or  Project Look Book for more perforated metal inspiration.

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You can also browse our Project gallery

Perforated metal panels - Oatley station

Posted: March 31, 2023

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