Umicore Publishes “VMZinc and Sustainable Building” Report

Detailing architectural zinc’s environmental impact.

August 29, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) — Umicore, the global materials technology group that produces

Guy Dolmaire high school in Mirecourt, France, features a dramatic rolled VMZINC® roof.

VMZINC®, has published a 20-page Sustainable Building report on the environmental characteristics of architectural zinc, along with a sample of award-winning buildings around the world that utilize VMZINC.

“In a context of increasing collective awareness of the major climate change issues and the potential contribution of the building industry to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, VMZINC is firmly committed to environmental excellence,” writes Christophe Bissery, director of research and development and environmental applications, in the introduction.

The Sustainable Building report details the three main environmentally sustainable qualities of architectural zinc: its durability, its recyclability, and the moderate amount of energy required to manufacture it.

Durability: Because zinc protects itself by producing an adhesive and rain-resistant substance on its surface as it comes in contact with atmospheric elements, the estimated life span of rolled zinc is over 100 years, according to the report. That lifespan will continue to increase as nations continue to strengthen anti-pollution legislation.

Recyclability: Construction waste and old rolled zinc is 100 percent recyclable, according to the report, which adds: “In Europe 95 percent is recovered during demolition and renovation work [and] reused in different areas of applications.”

Energy use: The VMZINC® sustainable building report compares the amount of energy used by the average French citizen annually to the amount of energy used to manufacture rolled zinc. The average citizen uses 37,514MJ (megajoule, a metric unit of energy) compared to zinc manufacturing’s 14.7MJ. To illustrate VMZINC’s very low impact on the environment and climate change, it also points out that the average citizen emits 1,443 kilograms (kg) of carbon dioxide each year while architectural zinc emits only 0.65kg annually, or 0.2 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by an average French citizen each year.

Award-winning architectural projects featured in the report, which utilize VMZINC wall cladding and/or roofing, are: The Guy Dolmaire high school in Mirecourt, France, designed by AS Architecture-Studio; the Center for Academic Research at the University of Cincinnati, designed by Harley Ellis Devereaux and Studios Architecture; Nordheim Court student residences at the University of Washington, designed by Mithun Partners; Abergwynfi primary school near Neath in the United Kingdom, designed by Neath Port Talbot Council; and the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Center in Melbourne, Australia, designed by NH Architecture and Woods Bagot. The latter is the first exhibition center in the world to receive “6 Stars” in Australia’s Green Star system of certification for sustainability.

“These worldwide award-winning projects point out the obvious: that ‘green’ can be, and is, beautiful,” said Dan Nicely, director of market development for Umicore Building Products USA, headquartered in Raleigh, NC.

For more information on VMZINC and the Sustainable Building report, visit and click on “Environment,” or call 919-874-7173.

About Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.

Umicore is a world-leading producer of architectural zinc. For over 160 years, Umicore has been providing innovative solutions for building owners, architects and contractors. Umicore has offices and representatives all over the world. In the United States, Umicore Building Products USA, Inc., is based in Raleigh, NC. For additional information, visit

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