One of the most important subjects to address in building or construction projects, is the use of sustainable and renewable resources. Not only do builders and consumers alike need to be aware of cost and durability, but also about how the products or materials they choose affect the environment. So naturally, when you find out that a product is made of steel, you are probably wondering if that’s the cleanest and most eco-friendly option.
Steel is 100% recyclable. In fact, it is one of the most recyclable resources available. The unique magnetic properties of steel make it an easy material to recover from the waste stream. Also, the properties of steel remain unchanged no matter how many times the steel is recycled, so it can be used over and over again, for countless different uses. Steel recycling programs reduce the solid waste stream, resulting in saved landfill space and the conservation of natural resources.
When it comes to using steel for building purposes, it possesses the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any building material (including timber and block) meaning less wastage placed into landfills. In fact, it takes approximately a quarter acre of mature trees to produce the wood framing for a typical house. The same house can be steel framed from three or four old cars. Not only that, but steel frames in homes have been proven to reduce asthma, as steel helps create an allergen-free and dust-free interior.
The durability of steel is unquestionable. Steel won’t ignite, burn or rust, or get eaten by pests. It is 100% recyclable, is one of the strongest building materials available. It won’t decompose and will last longer than almost any other material.
The steel industry has made immense efforts to limit environmental pollution in the last decades. Energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions have decreased to half of what they were in the 1960s. Dust emissions have been reduced by even more. Currently, almost half the world’s steel production now takes place in electric plants that operate exclusively with recycled scrap and generate no CO2 emissions. Plus, the by-products arising from steel production are all re-used. For example, slag is employed as a high-value mineral material for highway construction; as ballast; and for the manufacture of cement.
When it comes to a choosing materials for your next building project, consider steel as one of your best eco-friendly options.