Is Copper an Eco-Friendly Building Material?


For thousands of years, humans have used copper for its many unique properties, as well as its beautiful look and feel. Amazingly, copper does not degrade when it is recycled, so it can be used and recycled over and over again. This versatility allows it to be sought after and keeps it circulating instead of ending up in our landfills or oceans.

For these reasons and more, copper is much more eco-friendly than previously thought. This article will go over why copper is classified as eco-friendly, as well as its history and its future use in our society. 

Copper: An Introduction

Copper is a recognizable and useful metallic element that is found throughout both commercial buildings and homes in both pure and chemical forms. Copper is the 29th element on the periodic table and comes from the Latin word “cuprum”. Copper means “of Cyprus,” an island in the Mediterranean that was known for its copper mines. 

Copper is quite malleable and can be formed into different shapes with ease. Compared to traditional building materials, copper has environmental advantages that make it a superior choice for home construction over other metals and fabrications.

Copper is popular in construction and architecture for its sustainability, quality, and look. Here are some of the main uses of copper:

  • Roofs
  • Spires
  • Domes
  • Wall Cladding
  • Gutters
  • Downspouts
  • Expansion Joints

Benefits of Using Copper

Sustainability and eco-friendliness are becoming more and more important in design and construction nowadays, so a lot of the focus of projects turns to the building materials themselves. Being environmentally conscious is not only good for the environment, it can also be good for business as clients want to see that you care about the world you are building in. Here are some of the benefits of copper regarding its eco-friendly nature.

Sustainable and Long Lasting

Copper is a premium metal that is long-lasting and does not easily degrade. While it can be expensive to use, the sustainability of the metal makes it worthwhile to use.

Copper maintains its durability by being self-passivating. This means it creates an oxidized layer over itself so it cannot rust and is immune to many weather elements and hazards, whereas other, less durable metals can get damaged and oxidize/rust.  Copper roofs can last for hundreds of years with maintenance, and you can see examples of this in European gothic architecture. 


As stated earlier, the ability for copper to be recycled over and over again is an incredibly sustainable trait. This is because copper maintains its structure and integrity no matter how many times it is recycled, and it is used over and over for many different reasons. This makes copper quite profitable when recycled as well. 

Naturally Made

Though copper needs to be mined, it is not manufactured. Copper mills use up to 95% recycled materials when they produce sheeting, pipes, and fittings as well.

Energy Efficient

Copper is quite an energy-efficient metal as well. Its high conductivity ensures efficient, reliable, and safe generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity.

Copper’s electric and thermal properties help to decrease load loss and keep the power grid working at full capacity. Therefore, it ensures a long-lasting, energy-efficient performance of equipment and systems. Copper is the best non-precious conductor of heat and electricity, which is essential to the quality generation and efficient delivery of electricity to homes and businesses.

Essential in HVAC Installation and Use

Copper plays a key role in HVAC installations as it reduces the size and weight of the HVAC installations due to smaller pipe diameters. Copper also allows for using eco-friendly and safe refrigerants and increases the efficiency of heat exchangers and heat pumps. When it comes to the construction and energy industries, copper is cost-effective as it reduces both financial and environmental costs.

Sustainable Metals for Any Project, Big or Small

MetalTech Global is the nation’s premier distributor and fabricator of coil, sheet, and finished architectural metals products. Working with our affiliates, we are promoting the use of sustainable metal products in the building. 

We envision that home and commercial construction will be committed to using only durable and reusable products. MetalTech Global can help your commitment be successful as durability, reusability, and sustainability is our area of expertise. We work with companies like elZinc America, VMZinc, Lorin Industries, and Hussey Copper to provide the highest quality architectural products in natural metals. 

Contact us today for information on architectural metals, coils, panels, metal fabrication and cutting, folding, and more. We look forward to being a part of your next successful project!