The best strategy for sustainability of balcony glazing is to employ good design practices to ensure the durability (maximum service life) of the installation and to use systems that have a good thermal break and high R-value (values as high as R-7 are possible with triple-glazed systems). Also, the use of low-e and spectrally selective glass coatings can significantly reduce energy loads and improve comfort close to the wall.
Aluminum and steel frames are typically recycled at the end of their service life. Salvage and demolition contractors generally require a minimum of 1,000 sq ft or more of window/curtain wall to make material recycling economical (smaller amounts are generally disposed as general trash). Recycling is less economical if the aluminum is contaminated with sealants, fractured glazing, etc. as salvage companies pay considerably less for the material.