Last Updated on May 3, 2022 by Admin
Environmental Benefits of Steel Buildings
There is a pressing and urgent need to wake up to the fact that the climate emergency is real, and while the cogs of industry and economic growth must continue to grind, the need to evolve is urgent. That is why everyone, no matter what industry they work in, must take the easy victories whenever they surface. One such quick win indeed lies in the iron and carbon alloy we know as steel. Read more to know about the Environmental Benefits of Steel Buildings.
Long prized for its relatively low cost and high tensile strength, steel is a cost-efficient option for expanding your building or creating new ones with a much lower carbon footprint in the construction process, during the life of the building, and even beyond, than other alternative materials.
Greener construction process
You might think that it is counter-intuitive for steel to be more environmentally friendly than, say, wood, but it is, and the construction process is one major factor.
One of the primary reasons for the construction process being more sustainable is that it is much less labor-intensive than other materials, giving it a lighter carbon footprint.
As all parts can be manufactured to precise specifications off-site, there is a smoother manufacturing process and less movement to and from the site, helping the process become more environmentally friendly. Precision is key.
There is a considerable amount of waste in the construction of steel buildings than other materials as material components are ordered and manufactured to precise specifications with minimal on-site tweaking required.
Even when the parts are all assembled, and the building is complete, if in the future it needs to be extended or the layout adjusted, it will continue to be more environmentally sound than other materials as the frame’s components can be taken apart and adjusted to suit. This means less new construction footprint. This is one of the environmental benefits of steel buildings.
A 2019 paper in Structure and Infrastructure Engineering by Petr Hradil, Michael Sansom & Viorel Ungureanu titled ‘Economic potential and environmental impacts of reused steel structures’ demonstrated “the calculation of the economic potential and environmental impact of reused steel building elements.”
The last bit of this quote is key as steel components of steel-framed buildings are recyclable. Once the lifetime of a steel building comes to an end, its components can be dug out and recycled, and new steel frames can be made, which is a substantial environmental benefit. This is one of the environmental benefits of steel buildings.
Because it is a less heavy material when compared with stone, wood, or concrete, steel does not require such deep foundations, which reduces construction time, excavation, and the use of heavy machinery, all of which not only contributes to a lighter carbon footprint but also makes the reclamation job after the buildings life cycle less labor and carbon-intensive.
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The environmentally friendly nature of using steel framed buildings
After construction, the actual habitation and use of steel buildings are also far greener than other buildings. They are hermetically sealed and, as such, far cheaper and fuel-intensive to heat in winter and keep cool in the summertime.
The building is so well sealed that little to no heat escapes from windows and doors, which is a huge energy saver, reducing gas and/or electricity consumption. This is one of the environmental benefits of steel buildings.
With steel framed buildings, you also reduce the ‘urban heat island effect,’ which happens when more traditional buildings gather heat in the roof, rising during the night and adding to global warming. This is one of the environmental benefits of steel buildings.
This is not the case with steel-framed buildings as heat radiates far quicker from the building, and this build-up does not happen. The other by-product of this is that you can have much more excellent facilities in warmer climates and seasons if they are steel-framed, reducing the highly environmentally unfriendly use of air conditioning.