What’s trending in construction?
Sustainability. Sustainability is the leading concept in construction innovation. The theory behind it is perfectly understandable. It is more cost-effective to integrate sustainable features into a building design at the onset, than to risk losing money later on.
Steel meets the criteria. Building materials are often chosen for ‘green factor’ potential, and green building certifications like LEED are investigated when builders make their choices. Products like steel and metal components for roofs and structural components are increasing in desirability. Steel is considered ‘earth friendly’ and well within budgetary considerations for builders.
Steel shapes the future for our building endeavours. Steel is 100 percent recyclable, allowing for the reuse of just about any steel product, from auto engines to paper clips. Re-manufacturing a steel product produces a brand-new product in brand-new condition. Steel scrap is highly valued for this quality, and creates an incentive to collect and process it. In fact, steel is the most recycled material in the world.
Why is steel such as unique and valued building material for stables, aircraft hangars, barns, houses and a parade of other buildings?
Cost is a primary consideration. Since the steel is cut precisely when manufactured, there is not the waste inherent in wood framing. Using steel can also save you money if it’s used for building construction as its strong and lightweight components can be erected quickly and are easier to transport.
Easy to Install
Because steel frames for buildings are already engineered to fit together, there is no guesswork or waste on a work site. Fewer employees need to be hired for such an endeavour, as there is no lifting of heavy planks, scrap removal, or cutting involved.
Quality of Construction
Aging and weakening is inherent in wooden buildings over time. This is the reason so much time and maintenance is spent in preserving them. Steel is resistant to corrosion, and there are no potential weak spots. Steel is frame-steady, and it continues to be so, with no distortions through climate changes over time.
Steel is a powerful product. It will not chink, rotate, rot or buckle. Steel has one of the highest strengths to heaviness ratios known to building material. At the same time, it is lighter than timber, making it easier to construct and lift roofs and partitions. Steel can last for hundreds of years intact.
Fire is the most feared disaster for stable owners. Steel buildings are much more fire-resistant than wood framed construction. It does not have to be treated with building preservatives like wood construction, and this is a concern when animals are housed in a building.
Steel is not damaged by insects, termites or rodents. Steel buildings are grounded well, and less susceptible to lightening damage.
Steel manufacturing constantly evaluates and improves its energy uses to produce a valuable product. To date they have achieved a 32 percent reduction in energy intensity and a 37 percent reduction in greenhouse emission intensity.
Using greener fuels is a strong component of future steel-making plans.
Recycled Steel Building Materials
Steel recyclability is just about endless, and that is only one positive for environmental concerns. Seeking to conserve energy is a high national priority for green building application. Recycled steel is not only cost effective, but helps improve energy efficiency in homes and commercial buildings.
An environmentally innovative use of recycled steel is the use of ‘cool’ metal roofing which lowers the power use for cooling the building. The roofing materials are coated with infrared pigmented paints, which greatly increase reflection of solar heat. Instead of absorbing the heat into the building, the pigmented paints on steel reflect it back into the sky. As a counter measure, the steel roof keeps heat generated for warmth inside the building where it belongs.
This is a fairly new innovation, and its demand is skyrocketing. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, reflective metal roofing may save 40 percent of a building’s cooling energy price.
Most of the metal roofing can be installed directly over a standard asphalt roof or membrane covering.
Rooftop solar generation is extremely popular within the green community, and metal roofing is the preferred foundation, due to durability. In fact, the roofs are expected to outlast the solar panels.
Soon to join the solar parade are nanocrystal solar cells with very this layers which can simply be painted on metal substrates. Here indeed, is the unlimited future of recycled steel products.
Green is great, but the real green is the pocketbook saving of steel. All the way around, steel is sound.