Preserving the planet should be everybody’s top priority, which is why it’s important to make every sphere of our lives as green as possible. One of the industries that have been embracing the principles of eco-friendliness is construction. Not only is the number of green buildings on the rise in every corner of the world, but the building companies are also paying more attention to the building process itself, which includes the building materials they use. Therefore, it’s no wonder that steel is one of the materials that’s utilized most frequently in construction. It’s one of the most efficient building-material solutions and a highly sustainable one. Here are some of the ways using steel in construction can benefit the environment.
One of the main advantages of steel as a construction material is its durability. It’s a stable material that can withstand moisture without expanding or contracting. Plus, it won’t crack or warp, and it is mold-resistant. It offers stability and its performance is exceptionally consistent. However, it’s essential that steel components in construction are protected from corrosion. This is why the most esteemed steel-supply specialists, such as the reputable Cedar Steel, offer more than just structural-steel fabrication. Such companies also provide a variety of surface-treatment options for structural steel, so that its durability and longevity are enhanced. These coatings isolate steel from water and oxygen so that it can’t corrode. Another thing that makes the steel more durable is that it’s resistant to both mold and termites, which can cause serious issues in other types of building materials. Finally, steel isn’t easily influenced by harsh weather conditions and it is likely to last through any snowstorm or flood that may come your way in the future.
Lowering waste is one of the most efficient ways to stay eco-friendly, which is one more reason to use steel in construction. Namely, the scrap that remains after processing steel can and normally is collected and recycled, so that new steel is produced from it. Plus, ordering fabricated steel gives you precisely what you need and how you need it. This kind of pre-engineered steel comes cut and formed, so that you can assemble the frames you receive, sometimes without any leftover parts whatsoever. When you use such materials as wood or brick, you’ll end up with much more waste than you will with steel, and if you take into consideration the fact that any steel waste can eventually be reused, you arrive at the conclusion that it’s probably the best construction material for the environmentally conscious people.
Being that steel is a nonrenewable resource, it’s fortunate that it’s as recyclable as it is. Since it can’t be replaced naturally, its sustainability is based on the fact that it can be recyclable in full and that the modern-day steel processing makes it possible to recycle a remarkably high content of it, without any loss when it comes to its strength or qualities. Aside from that, steel can be recycled numerous times, over and over again, making it a permanent resource for further production of new steel. Over 60% of all steel gets recycled, which is actually a simple and cost-effective process. Even so, this isn’t the only reason steel is a green building material, as it can have over 90% of recycled content, while a product needs to have 25% or more of recycled content to fall under the green category.
Conserving energy is one of the key solutions to making living spaces and business premises eco-friendly. When used in construction, steel contributes to lower energy usage, since it can be properly insulated, meaning that it can contain the indoor temperatures more effectively. This means that less energy will be required for heating and cooling once the building is finished, and the energy bills won’t be as high as they otherwise would be. Plus, steel framing can support larger window surfaces, which means more natural light and not as much need for artificial lights, which can also save energy and money down the road.
Supports Solar Panels
A steel structure can carry a tremendous weight, which makes steel an ideal material for buildings to which you’ll later add solar panels. Through the use of solar panels, you get renewable energy, which cuts down on fossil fuel usage, but also carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, not only will you notice the positive change in your electricity bills, but you won’t have to spend too much on maintaining your solar panels. You only have to replace your solar-panel inverter after ten or fifteen years, whereas solar panels themselves can last up to three times as long. When your roof is reinforced with or made of metal, it makes it uncomplicated for you to implement various environmentally friendly elements, such as wind turbines, geothermal heat pumps and, of course, solar panels. This way, steel doesn’t make the construction process and buildings eco-friendlier, but it also encourages people to be more environmentally conscious and make better and greener decisions when it comes to their homes and offices.
If you weren’t convinced you should make steel your construction material of choice, now you know you definitely should. That way you’ll get a safer living or working space and you’ll do your part in keeping the planet a healthier place.