IS STEEL A SUSTAINABLE MATERIAL?
Updated: Apr 13
Steel plays a huge part in the construction industries journey to become more sustainable as it can be 100% recycled and re-used.
Making efforts to ‘go green’ shows a huge environmental responsibility and is something that cannot be overlooked. Within the construction industry, using the best materials is one of the most important steps to becoming more sustainable, and steel has sustainable benefits throughout its life cycle.
Since 1960, the energy used to produce a tonne of steel has reduced by over 60%, making it much more energy efficient than it once was. There is also a process to filter the water used in steel production, making 98% of it reusable. It is treated and returned to the source, often cleaner than it started. 100% of scrap from production is returned back to the system so it can be added to the next production run.
Being able to pre-fabricate steel buildings means that the overall construction process is more sustainable. There is less waste onsite, less machinery required for onsite fabrication, smaller jobsite footprints, reduced labour costs, and less noise pollution, to highlight a few benefits.
Pre-fabricated steel is not only erected quickly but can be easily deconstructed and reused if/when necessary.
Steel is an extremely durable material. If treated and finished properly, it can last years without any maintenance, meaning it outperforms alternative materials such as timber. With the correct coating, steel can avoid rusting or corroding despite extreme environmental conditions. The strong material will stand the test of time meaning additional work and upkeep can be avoided.
RECYCLING AND REUSING
Steel is 100% recyclable; it is the most recycled construction material. Thanks to its magnetic properties, it can be easily separated from pre and post-consumer waste and melted down for reuse.
Steel can last forever; it retains its strength throughout each use. No matter how many times the material is reshaped, it won’t weaken. Because steel is constantly recycled and reused, the demand for raw materials is much lower, which decreases the environmental impact.
Additionally, lots of steels by-products are also recycled. They can be used in concrete, fertilizer, plastics, paints and as energy resources.
For temporary buildings and other structures, steel is a great option as the material won’t go to waste once finished with.
In an ongoing journey to make the construction industry more sustainable, using steel as a structural component is an environmentally conscious choice.
At Any Weld we specialise in structural steel. Take a look at our work and contact us with any enquiries. We are also working at reducing offsetting our carbon use by planting a tree every time someone signs up to receive our monthly newsletter.