Structural Steel is Sustainable and Durable
The construction of a 2,000-square foot home requires between 50 and 60 trees, equal to about an acre of wooded area. When you compare that impact on the environment, versus the use of structural steel, it’s easy to see the benefits of steel. The same home can be built with the equivalent of six scrapped cars.
While this is an easy way to visualize the benefits that structural steel can offer, it’s really just the beginning. The push for sustainable, durable construction materials means that in residential and commercial building projects, it often makes sense to choose steel. Take a look at some of the reasons why:
Commercial: Steel has great durability and, among all building materials, has the best strength-to-weight ratio. Steel can also be great for saving on utilities, with reflective roofing materials that can cut heating and cooling costs by up to 40 percent.
Residential: A home made from structural steel can be constructed with completely recycled material. Residential roofs made from steel are also a good choice in warmer climates, where the steel can be painted to reflect solar energy.
Infrastructure projects: Constructing a bridge from structural steel offers savings in weight, which can lower the overall cost of the project. Likewise, utility poles offer strength at a lower weight than wood, making it less costly to transport and install. For highways, structural steel is a good choice for continuously reinforced concrete pavement, because it offers reduced resistance for cars and trucks and improves fuel economy.
The interest in recycled and sustainable materials is largely being promoted by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) of the US Green Building Council. The LEED rating system offers a way to measure the recycled content of each construction material, providing a quantitative way to determine the environmental benefits of a particular building choice.
One of the significant ways that structural steel offers an advantage over other materials is its durability over time. This allows a building to have multiple functions over its lifetime, with the outer façade changed to adapt to the design preferences of the new owner or the functions of a new business. When a building is constructed with steel, it can be repurposed over and over without having to demolish the building and start with all new materials.
Choosing structural steel to benefit the environment is one of many good reasons that steel makes sense for your project. To learn more about additional benefits of using steel, talk with Midland Steel Company. We would welcome a chance to hear about your building plans and talk with you about the ways we can assist with your project.