We often think that “environmentally friendly” means, “more expensive.” Building material definitely falls into this category. What’s known as “green building material” tends to cost more.
Here’s the thing: it’s not necessarily because the material itself is more expensive. Often the additional cost is associated with manufacturing the building material. There’s also a higher cost associated with any building material known for its strength. This is why steel is such a curious subject for anyone who is uninitiated with the fact that it is one of the greenest building materials to be found.
A Leading Reputation, Thanks to the Industry
They haven’t seen any need to toot their own horns about it, but the steel industry has long been an advocate of environmental protection. Over the years, they’ve done heroic things to transform the industry itself to become extremely eco-friendly.
Most steel production now uses electric arc furnaces, which greatly reduces carbon emissions. This steel-making process mostly uses recycled steel and electricity—as opposed to traditional blast furnaces, which used raw natural resources such as coal, limestone, and iron ore.
More, for Less
Manufacturing steel with a blast furnace required the equivalent of 50 times the amount of coal it would take to produce the same amount of electricity in the arc furnace. At the same time, this eco-friendly process uses more than 12 times less limestone.
This isn’t something the steel industry recently started doing, either. The transformation began back in the 1960s. Since that time steel manufacturers around the world have reduced the amount of energy required to make one ton of steel by as much as 60%. Material waste and carbon emissions continue to decrease as technology advances.
A Clear Winner
As you can see, steel truly is a green building material. Where it stands above the rest, though, is sustainability—or its ability to be recycled. Did you know that steel is the most recycled material in the world? This year, more than 650 million metric tons of steel will be recycled. That’s more than all other recyclable materials combined.
Now you might have a better idea why we focus on pre-fabricated metal buildings that feature steel for strength, and wood for flexibility. The Miracle Truss® unique steel web truss design withstands harsh weather far better than traditional construction. We also feature closer truss spacing, as well as secondary members. This adds to the overall strength and durability of the building. There are no wood poles in the ground to tempt termites or invite rot.
You’re choosing a building made of an amazing green material, but there are no sacrifices. It’s even more affordable. We’ll get into more of steel’s benefits in the second part of this article. Meanwhile, contact us if you’d like information about our DIY building kits.