When you think of green building methods, steel buildings are likely not the first thing that comes to mind. Its main material, steel, originally needs to be mined and then forged and turned into various shapes before it is used in construction.
Did you know that much of the steel used is recycled and that even the building itself can be recycled after its lifespan?
Believe it or not, it’s a surprisingly green building option. Thanks to new construction methods, metal is becoming a more eco-friendly method of building.
Less Wasteful Building Method
When you have a timber-framed building or another method of construction built on site, there’s a surprising amount of construction waste. This can come in all forms from unused concrete to end-cut pieces of wood. Steel buildings, on the other hand, have almost zero waste from production. Unlike wood or brick, steel is an easily recycled product. Since any cut pieces and shavings happen in a controlled factory environment, it’s easier to collect any leftover metal for recycling. Much of this recycled material ends up going back into other buildings so not only is your building’s leftover waste recycled, but the building itself is often made with a significant amount of recycled material.
Transportation and Site Development
Metal building components are part of the revolution in the way we construct buildings. When you have components that are built in a factory or assembled off the site in a construction yard, they can be shipped quickly to a site and then installed. This means that there is less interference with the environment.
Less Heating and Cooling Energy Usage
Efficient insulation of your building can prevent unnecessary energy loss, making for a greener building method. For metal buildings, fiberglass is a popular and cost-effective material. It’s easy to manage and build with and helps prevent air from escaping. You can also have energy-efficient windows and doors which further enhance how much money and energy you save. You can also customize the windows in the doors of a steel frame to prevent any leakage of air. Steel fabrication saves time when it comes to clean-up and construction and this practice is a contributor to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED which is an official standard for sustainable buildings.
When you go green, you save resources and metal buildings can help. For example, metal rooftops have higher solar reflectivity ratings. This helps disperse sunlight before the sunlight can heat up the inside of a structure. You will save money on monthly bills in the hotter climates. There are new paint coatings and insulations that can disperse or reflect Heat. this is helpful in urban areas when the air cannot properly circulate during the hotter summer months.
When you build with steel, you’re is protected from both cooling and heat loss. You don’t have to pay as much for expensive air conditioning or heat. A steel frame of a building will usually be around 30% recycled steel and this is also recyclable. When you build with it you are preserving natural resources.
Many individuals think of plastic or paper when it comes to recycling but when you use metal in construction it is perfect for recycling projects. The steel industry in the United States has more focus now on recycling steel materials. They reuse more than 80 million tons of steel on an annual basis. There are new forging technologies so it is easier to reclaim steel products and recycle them. There are also many local communities that have recycling programs so it is easier to recycle steel.
You can take scrap metals and melt these down and then reclaim them to be used in different construction materials. Most metal building components aren’t made entirely of recycled scrap material because the quality is difficult to guarantee. Recycled metal will usually use about 20% of a recycled material although some may use as much as 60%. If you’re looking for sustainable building materials for your project, steel, and other metals can be used for this purpose.