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Steel Buildings Are Greener Than Wood

By Edited Nov 10, 2016 0 0

Steel Buildings may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think "green," but the truth is that they are one of the most environmentally sound options available, and always have been. Steel has been recycled in the United States for over 150 years, and is the most recycled material in the world. The Steel Recycling Institute reported over 70 million tons of steel was either recycled or exported for recycling in 2002 alone, mostly through scrap processors and auto dismantlers. Most of this steel came from recycled cans, appliances, automobiles, and discarded construction material. Over 50% of the steel in use today is over 90% recycled – that is more than glass, paper, plastic, and aluminum combined! Steel Buildings are even more environmentally sound than wooden structures.

Unlike its wooden counterparts, steel rarely has to be replaced or repaired – in fact, almost all steel products retain over 95% of their structural integrity for the entirety of their lives. This is why steel cannot only be recycled, but be recycled time and time again; in green terms, steel is a "cradle to cradle" material. Further, larger constructions are possible with steel, as wood lacks the structural integrity of steel, making it unfeasible for structures of great size. This is why even the United States Navy uses steel for many of its structures, including its largest aircraft hangar.

Steel Buildings also last longer than structures made of other materials, especially wood.

Commercial Steel Buildings (24767)
While wood cracks and ages even when varnished, steel is practically indestructible – at least where nature and exposure is concerned. If a wooden building has to be replaced even once in your lifetime, the amount of processed timber used outweighs the energy used to process the same amount of steel. In fact, the amount of energy needed to process steel has dropped dramatically since the turn of the century, thanks to technological advancements in the field – most notably, electric arc furnaces. Though it does take a lot of energy to process, steel recycling saves enough energy to provide electrical power to over 15 million homes for a year and emissions are well below the prescribed standards.


Steel structures also save energy at the on-site level. You will save money, and use less energy, cooling and heating your steel building thanks to its air tightness. This is another environmental advantage, but this also means more money in your pocket. Yes, steel can be expensive, but with the money you will save on energy bills, varnish, and repairs alone, your steel structure will pay for itself long before it needs replacing. This is especially true when you consider the long structure life of steel. This long life also reduces the need for future building resources: It is cheaper to use recycled steel than mine iron and process it into steel.

Steel Buildings come in many shapes and sizes, both large and small, and are ideal for both residential

Steel Buildings (24769)
and commercial use. Farms, in particular, can make great use of steel in barns, garages, riding arenas, and workshops. Steel is naturally maintenance-free and fireproof, and arch buildings provide more strength against earthquakes, tornadoes, and straightwinds. For these, and other, reasons, insurance rates are usually cheaper, too. Construction is quicker than with other materials and on-site construction waste is about 2%, compared to 20% with wood. Steel is excellent for a wide range of other structures, including warehouses, factories, storage facilities, retail outlets, fire stations, community-based centers, RV or boat garages, and more. Whether you hire someone to install your building or purchase a "kit" and handle the construction yourself, steel will save you time and money in a number of ways.


Buildings Guide also saves you time and money by providing multiple quotes from steel suppliers in your area, as well as the best planning information. It is a free service that is not motivated by sales. There are no strings attached and you are under absolutely no obligation to buy. All you have to do is complete the simple quote request form to receive up to four competing quotes from local suppliers and manufacturers. Again, you are under no obligation to purchase anything. More than anything, Buildings Guide provides you with the information you need to help make an informed purchasing decision.
Steel Buildings are probably the most economically and environmentally sound structures in the world. In addition to its longevity and strength, steel is the most recycled material on the planet, and structures built with it reduce the energy needed for heating and cooling, as well as maintenance. Steel is also naturally fireproof and arch buildings provide extra strength against tornadic winds and earthquakes, reducing insurance costs. Before you build, be sure to visit Buildings Guide to learn more about the benefits of Steel Buildings.

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