ZINC - when it comes to sustainable building

Do you value ecology, durability, and an attractive appearance in your house? No matter what you are planning: Plan with zinc. The choice of building materials depends on various factors such as cost, purpose, appearance, value retention, maintenance options, health and environmental friendliness, or technical properties. If you choose zinc as a building material, you enjoy many advantages!



Zinc offers a very long lifespan and requires no extraordinary maintenance and cleaning, making it very cost-effective over the entire usage period.


Zinc sheets offer their own natural aesthetic appearance, which many people are enthusiastic about. An aesthetic advantage of zinc is the attractive color with a pronounced, lively metallic character. Weather conditions create a patina on the zinc sheet, forming a protective layer and giving it a noble, matte medium gray shade. Those who do not want to wait can resort to pre-weathered zinc sheet. Zinc sheets are now also available in colorful variants. Especially for facades or interiors, exciting effects can be achieved through perforated sheets or embossed surfaces. Zinc thus creates visual highlights and can emphasize individual architectural elements (e.g., roof edges or dormers).

SUSTAINABILITY BENEFIT – repair, reuse, recycle

Zinc is very valuable and sustainable from an ecological point of view – especially when it comes to conserving resources: Building elements made of zinc and galvanized steel have a very long lifespan of over 100 years. Zinc used in buildings can be completely recycled and reused. Over 95% of the zinc materials used today are returned to the cycle through 'Urban Mining' in Europe. For the recycling of zinc from zinc scrap, only 5% of the primary energy requirement is needed compared to the production of zinc from ore. (Fact Sheet 'Zinc Recycling – Closing the Loop', International Zinc Association, 2022 (Recycling); Life Cycle Assessment of Zinc, Krüger 2001)


Zinc sheets are extremely durable and at the same time maintenance-free. The patina that forms on the zinc sheet due to the influence of oxygen and carbon dioxide is adherent. This oxide-forming layer permanently protects the underlying zinc from corrosion. Zinc coatings can also protect steel and other building elements (such as steel plates and supports, bridges, wind turbines, balcony railings, and sea towers) from rust and thereby significantly increase their lifespan. Common methods for galvanizing steel as corrosion protection in construction are hot-dip galvanizing and thermal spray galvanizing. (F. Porter, Zinc Handbook, Marcel Dekker, 1991)


Zinc has been used in architecture since the mid-19th century. Consequently, knowledge and experience in the field are extensive. (Dissertation Knut König, 'The Emergence of the Zinc Roof in the 19th Century', TU Berlin, 2009)


Zinc sheets can be easily shaped as needed, yet are simultaneously very robust. They can be used for the design of roofs and facades and adapt to both geometric shapes and organically curved lines. Traditionally, techniques such as folding, beading, or soft soldering are used for reshaping and connecting. These techniques are safe and proven, as they have been used in the craft for a long time. (F. Porter, Zinc Handbook, Marcel Dekker, 1991, RHEINZINK-Application in Architecture, 1992 / 2002, Stephan Christensen, Frank Neumann)


Zinc is a natural element found everywhere in various amounts in nature. In the Earth's crust, there are 10 to 300 milligrams of zinc per kilogram, a total of 198,000,000 Mt. In rivers, the content varies between less than 10 to over 200 micrograms per liter of water – depending on how zinc-rich the surrounding rock and soil are. In many living beings – including humans – zinc is essential for many metabolic processes and defense against disease-causing agents. Since the body cannot produce zinc itself, it must be ingested as an indispensable trace element with food. (IZA, 'Behavior of Zinc in the Environment - Essential and Bioavailability of Zinc', 2014). In agriculture, zinc is used in the form of fertilizer (Example: Fertilization recommendation Landwirtschaftskammer NRW, 2023) Zinc Nutrition Initiative


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