Is Steel a Sustainable Construction Material?

Until not too long ago, the sustainability of a construction material was not a consideration for architects, designers and buildings. For years the only considerations were whether a material looked good and it was cheap. The society we live in today is very different. Governments, companies and the general public are now more aware of their role as planetary stewards. This means people are searching for ways to lessen any damage to the environment and the planet. Construction is a huge industry, and is accountable for many of the things we use and require on a daily basis. Buildings and transport are a product of the construction industry, for example. 

Construction companies and workers, in recent years, have aligned themselves with this shift. They now are looking to ensure the primary construction materials (such as steel) are sustainable. But is steel, which is used so widely in construction projects, actually a sustainable material? Continue below where we unpack this in greater detail. 

What Is Steel Used For in Construction?

Steel is widely used in construction, and has been for many years. Up until fairly recently, a material’s sustainability was not a pressing concern. With our impact on the planet becoming increasingly damaging however, companies from all sectors are looking at the sustainability of their practices. Broadly, this means companies are looking at maximising output whilst minimising the depletion of natural resources. 

Before we take a closer look at steel and determine if it is sustainable, we are going to look at its uses. Steel is one of the primary materials used in the construction industry, and is a highly durable and extremely strong alloy. Its strength and versatility makes it useful in a number of areas in construction including: 

  • Transportation network 
  • Frames for buildings 
  • Sheeting for exterior walls 
  • Transportation of water, gas, oil 

These are but a few of the areas in which steel is utilised. There are numerous more examples. In one form or another, steel is used in all areas of constructions and helps to create much of the foundation of our society. Next we are going to look at the sustainability of steel. 

Is Steel a Sustainable Material? 

The construction industry now works in conjunction with agencies, governments and councils to ensure projects are aligned with environmental standards. Gone are the days of simply erecting a building or structure without planning or thorough proposals. It is important for modern construction companies to have sustainable practices, and to ensure the materials used are both sustainable and sustainably sourced. So, does steel fall into the former categories? In short, yes it does. 

As discussed previously, steel is extremely strong and is able to withstand extreme conditions, pressures and temperatures. This means unlike other materials, it has an exceptionally long lifespan. Not only this, but it can be recycled indefinitely without losing its quality or properties. What this means is when steel is produced, it lasts a very long time and the production process is not relied on consistently every few years. In addition to this, steel manufacturers have worked hard over recent years to reduce the amount of emissions created during the production of steel. This makes steel, overall, highly sustainable and attractive to construction specialists. 

To recap then, steel is a highly sustainable material that helps modern construction companies to keep themselves in line with modern environmental standards and agencies. It is a sustainable material for the following reasons: 

  • It can be recycled repeatedly without losing its quality: negating the need for repeating the production process 
  • Here in the UK, high quality steel is available in abundance. Thus for UK based construction companies, there is no need to transport steel from other countries producing emissions
  • It is incredibly strong, durable, highly resistant to chemicals, temperatures and is virtually impossible to break. This gives it a lengthy lifespan which, again, negates the need for repeating the production process constantly. 

Sustainability In Construction 

Sustainability in construction is fast becoming not just a preference, but a requirement. Steel is a highly versatile material that can be used for a number of purposes and is environmentally friendlier than a lot of other construction materials. 
If you are searching for a company that offers affordable and high quality steel framed buildings, look no further than Kit Buildings Direct. The team offer steel frame structures for the commercial and private sectors and are backed by excellent reviews. For more information on their services, contact them today.

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