Stainless Steel has become an increasingly popular construction material. It is used in architecture, maritime projects, landscapes, and interior design. Steel is likely the most common building material used throughout the industrialized world since the Iron Age.
It has enormous strength, is durable, can be shaped and molded into interesting forms, and it is 100% recyclable. That makes steel a desirable material in our current age of going green and reducing the carbon footprint.
Stainless steel, in particular, has the quality of corrosion resistance. With the pristine finishes, it requires practically no maintenance. While steel is an ideal material for a variety of construction projects, its environmentally friendly nature makes it even more appealing to architects, engineers, and artists.Let us take a closer look at some of the advantages of working with steel, specifically stainless steel, as it relates to its sustainability.
As already mentioned, stainless steel is a recyclable material that can be repurposed. All of the steel taken from a demolished building can be remanufactured and used in new construction. There is less waste and less to be dumped into landfills. According to the Steel Recycling Institute, steel is the world’s most recycled material.
This quality has a very positive impact on the environment. There is significant savings in energy costs and emissions when repurposing steel into new components. Our natural iron ore reserves are limited. Harvesting the ore requires expensive extraction methods and environmentally detrimental mining practices. Recycled steel uses less energy to refine, purify, and reshape. It should be noted that the strength of the steel is not compromised when it is recycled.
Strength and Longevity
With stainless steel’s impressive longevity, it is a more sustainable material than wood and other metals for construction. This includes structural components, façade coverings, roofs, and installations exposed to water. Stainless steel is strong and durable enough to withstand high winds, snow, rain, and even seismic forces when engineered properly. Stainless steel has anti-corrosive properties and does not easily succumb to rust or exposure to air pollutants. Stainless steel is also a more fire-resistant material than some other metal building components.
Energy Efficiency & Air Quality
The latest trend in building exteriors is what are called rain screens. Simply put, these are energy efficient building enclosures that incorporate an insulation system, an air or moisture gap, and a protective cladding. These protective outer layers are often constructed of stainless steel panels. The thermal break channels, or fasteners, between the cladding and insulation are also commonly made from steel. This type of building enclosure allows for the expeditious removal of moisture. Building interiors result in being moisture free in high humidity climates, warmer in cold weather, and cooler in hot weather. The end result is a reduction heating and cooling costs and less mold issues.
Stainless Structurals stocks most standard structural sizes at our Conroe facility and we can produce custom shapes quickly to meet your requirements. Our customization and lead times make it easier to schedule a project and to erect quickly. This is especially true for the laser fused, custom profiles. Laser fused profiles are precise and are efficiently assembled once they arrive on the job site, either with field welds or mechanical fasteners. The result is less field labor and less carbon emissions. There is little to no cutting or waste. Energy usage and construction times are reduced.
More from Stainless Structurals
To learn more about the sustainability and other benefits of designing and building with stainless steel, please contact us today.We would be happy to discuss our production methods and to explain how we minimize any waste in the manufacturing process. We are here to help you have a sustainable solution for your next design.