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Sustainable Steel

Date:July 14, 2020
Contact:Tony Bouquot, General Manager

Steel makes up the bulk of material used in metal buildings. Primary and secondary framing members, metal walls and roofs are all made of steel. This makes a metal building more sustainable because steel is 100% recyclable and can be recycled into the same material of the same quality again and again.

According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), through recycling, the steel industry saves enough energy to supply the annual electricity needs of more than 18 million homes. A single ton of steel recycled conserves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone. Thanks in part due to the use of recycled steel, producing a ton of steel in North America today requires less than half the energy required to produce a ton of steel 40 years ago, for a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

In terms of the steel used in construction, AISI notes that “Structural steel produced in North America typically contains 90 percent or more recycled steel. Steel framing itself contains a minimum of 25 percent recycled steel and is continually and completely recyclable.” Additionally, steel used as a building material can help a project meet sustainability requirements in the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) and ratings programs such as the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC's) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program.

Learn more about metal buildings and sustainability here.

Read AISI’s Sustainability in Steel fact sheets below:

Sustainability in Steel Recycling

Steel Sustainability in the Construction Market

Sustainability in Steelmaking

Steel Sustainability in the Auto Market