What does sustainability mean when it comes to metal and steel construction? This question has grown increasingly important to companies seeking ways to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification or build eco-friendly buildings that will last long and operate efficiently. The sustainability benefits of metal buildings remain particularly noticeable compared to other materials like wood or stone.
The advantages relate directly to the properties of metal components. First, well-crafted metal lasts a long time. Life spans differ, but metal components typically last several decades and, barring any unforeseen flaws in construction, can outlast most other materials.
While many people assume metal buildings are extremely hot in summer and cold in winter, many new buildings are designed to reflect the sun’s rays and keep the inside cool; proper insulation helps regulate the temperatures year-round. Metal is also frequently recyclable.
Steel components can almost always be recycled for other projects and it is typical for framing and metal beams to be composed of anywhere from 20 to 70 percent recycled materials.
Compare Building Prices
Different Parts, Different Advantages
The sustainability benefits of metal buildings differ based on the type of metal construction. Metal roofing, for example, tends to have the least amount of recycled material but the most reflective capacity, and offers a life span of up to 70 years. Metal framing and metal walls can often be manufactured in modular sections that make them easy to ship and quickly assembled. This reduces waste and expenses on the construction site. Even the use of metal panels alone yields advantages like easy cleaning and fire-retardant properties.
Other environmental advantages to metal construction include LEED certification, which offers businesses several benefits when it comes to government regulations, branding efforts, and industry leadership. LEED achievements are based on winning “points” throughout projects. Metal components yield significant points that help firms reach their goals.
The combined thermal insulation and reflective capabilities of modern metal panels lead to lower monthly operating costs, especially when it comes to climate controls. Additionally, metal components can be made from previously recycled materials and byproducts at the construction site — at a lower cost to you. When you are finished with the building, its components can also be recycled. This places your construction in the center of an eco-friendly recycling system that will continue to offer future benefits.
From custom-engineered metal buildings to prefabricated steel components, metal offers plenty of sustainable features to help companies reach both internal and external goals. Experimentation with metal components has yielded a variety of building structures and panel coatings that can imitate many different materials, so look into your options to find the best fit.