With steel becoming an increasingly popular material to be used in the construction of modern homes it begs the question, is steel eco-friendly? As far as building materials go, steel is one of the most sustainable in the construction industry. Once the steel is produced, its lifecycle is potentially endless. As long it’s recovered, steel can be constantly reused and becomes a permanent resource in society. It is not only environmentally conscious but economically strategic in its inherent longevity and durability. Steel is one of the most recycled materials in the world. There is more steel recycled every year than aluminum, paper, glass, and plastic combined.
Recycling and Waste Reduction
When building a steel home, every piece is prefabricated, created, and delivered with a plan and intent. It’s custom designed to fit the project’s structure, so this means that there is no steel that goes to waste! Depending if the builders have access to a roller machine, the steel will be fabricated on-site or in a warehouse similar to what INNO has to ensure each steel frame is the perfect measurements and cuts for the project. However, wood, the traditional method that is used for framing structures, arrives in bundles on site and has to be cut to the dimensions needed, leaving an excessive amount of scrap wood pieces in the trash.
Reduced Energy Costs for Home Residents
Still is one of the strongest materials that can be used for a home, it can support thicker layers of insulation without compromising structural integrity. With thicker insulation, homes don’t lose as much heat or coolest (bye-bye high ac bills in the summer!) So this will cut your costs on your energy bill. The average savings in an insulated steel home can save you at least 30% off your energy bill.
Meets Green Building Codes and Standards
Someone who buys a steel-framed home has the benefit of having the peace of mind that the durability of their home is guaranteed. It has unparalleled strength, reduced maintenance fees, environmental resistance, and recyclability indicating that the steel structure has a guaranteed retired investment. Traditional homes that use wood framing are not in the same environmental direction that the construction industry needs to be heading.
Cold-formed steel (CFS) is positioned to meet the highest sustainability standards as it is recognized in all major green building and rating programs, including the national green building standard for residential buildings and US green building council’s lead (leadership in energy and environmental design) program. Steel has always been easily recycled into new studs, joists, and other components used in the construction of new buildings. Notably, steel is the only building material with an automatic default value for recycled content in the LEED program (Steel framing alliance, 2016), making it more sustainable than wood.
Steel-framed homes are incomparable and they are a leader in the environmentally conscious age in which the construction industry is starting to grow towards.