As the global population continues to increase, sustainable building design needs to grow along with it. As the construction industry sees exciting innovations like virtual reality training and self-driven trucks, developers can focus on a new priority: sustainability.
With eco-friendly materials, places can be built to last through generations. Not only can we improve the earth’s longevity, but also the quality of our built environments. As the economy booms, building owners, architects, engineers and contractors can choose reusable materials like steel to build sustainable cities and preserve the natural environment.
STEEL AND RECYCLING
Over the last 10 years, steel use in housing and residential construction has significantly grown. It’s one of the most sustainable building materials in the world. The American Institute of Steel Construction found that U.S.-produced structural steel contains 93.3 percent of recycled steel scrap. The reusable resource is not quite consumed but borrowed from nature. More and more contractors are understanding the performance benefits of using steel to improve final quality.
When it comes to preservation, this common sense material allows for a more positive environmental impact. With the push towards green building projects, steel has become increasingly popular in construction. The eco-friendly material has a long service life and is just as easy to take apart as it is to put together. Using steel products helps the environment by preserving scarce materials, saving energy and reducing air pollution.
STEEL IN CONSTRUCTION
From residential to light commercial uses, steel comes at the top for innovative and sustainable designs. In addition to being having high flexibility, strength and durability, there are several other qualities that make steel ideal for construction projects.
- Top Recycled Material: Throughout North America, steel ranks at the top with over 58 million tons recycled. It’s followed by paper, aluminum, glass and plastic.
- Unlimited Life Cycle: According to the Steel Recycling Institute, steel has the ability to be continuously reused without losing durability or strength.
- Reduced CO2 Emissions: Using recycled steel saves 80% of CO2 emissions.
- Cheaper To Produce: Steel costs three to four times less to produce than aluminum.
SUSTAINABLE STEEL PRODUCTS
Developers are constantly recasting this sustainable material into numerous construction product roles. With its flexibility, steel works great in skeletal use in framing new buildings. Its lightness also helps reduce the load on building’s’ foundations. Qualities like low weight, dimensional stability, strength and stiffness put steel at the top of the list for infrastructure use as well.
Some additional applications for steel in construction projects include: roofing, floor decking and doors. Steel doors are widely recognized for their top-notch value in the commercial door industry. Not only are they sustainable, but also they easily outlast their wood door counterparts by at least a decade. Additionally, steel doors provide excellent insulation, resistance to vandalism and can handle fire ratings at low costs to improve safety.
To enhance the durability of your building and to show the kindness to your environment, this highly-sustainable resource can serve many roles. Whether you’re designing a new home or laying out blueprints to construct a fresh business, steel is your best sustainable material option.