According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, the use of steel as a sustainable building material is growing. Steel is one of the most recyclable materials on the planet. The AISI states that structural steel can be recycled entirely with a 98 percent recovery rate. Construction steel has a slightly lower rate of return but can still be recycled at a rate of 76 percent. Plus, when iron is recycled it retains its inherent properties of steel, which means you can trust its structural integrity. Farmers and small business owners who are choosing sustainable materials are choosing steel buildings over other materials.
Environmental Benefits of Metal Buildings
A primary advantage of recycling steel is not having to create new material as often as you would with less sustainable or long-lasting products, such as wood. It is considered a cradle to cradle material that is multi-cycled rather than just recycled a finite number of times. Its longevity reduces the amount of energy required to generate or process new materials.
It also cuts down on the use of natural resources for creating new building materials. By not producing as many new resources, the AISI reports the steel industry has seen a significant reduction in overall emissions in the last 30 years. Fewer greenhouse gas and diesel emissions related to the production of steel provides a direct benefit to the environment.
Going Green With LEED Building Standards
For construction customers who are interested in achieving the strict standards of the LEED Green Building Rating System, the use of steel is instrumental. The Steel Framing Alliance states that the LEED 2009 V4 criteria from the US Green Building Council have approved steel for a sustainable steel building material.
Their Sustainability Statement reads, “Recycled Content intends to increase demand for building products that incorporate recycled content materials, thereby reducing impacts resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials. As discussed and demonstrated below, North American steel building products contribute positively toward both available points.”
Cost Savings for Business Owners
As a small business owner in the farming, automotive, or heavy equipment industry, saving money on sustainable building investments is paramount to success. The innovation and options available in the metal buildings marketplace gives those seeking outdoor metal structures a variety of affordable steel building options. The right choice provides business owners with a maximum return on investment, allowing them to construct or add on to existing buildings for business without the hassles or cost of traditional construction.
As a building material, wood has a limited lifespan and is more likely to be damaged over time. The Steel Recycling Institute points out that steel does not twist, corrode, warp, or rot like wood. Business owners can also paint steel materials to match the color of their brand, making the buildings easily recognizable and memorable.