Environmental benefits of steel
Using steel is various projects has a lot of benefits. As well as being a key aesthetic elements in modern architecture and design, and its strength and versatility in the construction industry, working with steel has environmental advantages too. Easily sustainable and recyclable, steel is an important element of the cyclic economy that humanity needs – one that reuses rather than always producing from scratch. In this guide, we’ll be looking at the environmental benefits of steel and why steel fabrication is useful.
Steel is recyclable
One of the main reasons why steel is thought to be environmentally friendly is how easy it is to recycle. Steel is reported to be the most recycled material in the world and its metallurgic properties ensure that when it is recycled, its quality doesn’t deteriorate in any way. This means that it can be melted down and reused over and over without being negatively impacted at all.
The recyclable nature of steel significantly reduces the environmental effect of making it new from raw materials. For example, producing steel cans from recycled steel uses 75% less energy than manufacturing them from raw materials. Recycling 1kg of steel prevents 2kg of greenhouse gases from getting into the atmosphere and stops products from being dumped in landfills. This allows the material to be reprocessed which in turn conserves precious and costly raw materials.
A big factor that makes working with wood and other similar materials so damaging to the environment is the amount of waste that comes from unusable offcuts. Bespoke steel fabrications are custom-made by professional engineers like us, which means every project is made to order all the way down to the smallest of details. This ensures wastage is pretty much non-existent, while the waste that builds up with wood also needs removing in some capacity, (e.g., removing offcuts in a truck or using water) putting more strain on the environment.
Constructing a steel framed house, for example, is beneficial to your energy usage and bills all year round. Steel’s natural strength means it can hold thicker and more efficient insulation. Therefore, when winter comes around you will use a lot less energy trying to keep your home warm with heating and boilers. Equally during the summer, steel framed buildings offer better air quality and minimise humidity, so you won’t be relying on dehumidifiers and air purifiers, further lowering both your energy costs and your carbon footprint. Saving energy and reducing each building’s carbon footprint is an essential step in becoming more environmentally friendly and helping with the fight against climate change.
The highly efficient nature of building with structural steel means the construction process as a whole is simplified. A quicker construction rate and less manpower minimises overall resource consumption on each project. Pre-engineered steel buildings are lighter in weight compared to concrete or wood, so the product is easier to handle. Also, steel structures don’t need as much space as ones comprised of masonry, concrete, or wood. It might not seem like it will make a big difference but when it comes to conserving the environment, every little bit helps.
Durable and long-lasting
Once you build with steel, you won’t have to worry about damage or having to build the structure again after a few years. Steel is designed to last and can withstand whatever the weather throws at it. It won’t crack, warp, twist, split, or rot, and it will resist rust and corrosion too. It’s ability to last a long time reduces the impact of raw material consumption and the widespread felling on trees which is extremely damaging to the environment.
Why should steel be used in fabrication?
The environmental benefits alone are enough of a reason as to why steel should be used in fabrication, but there are also a lot of other advantages too like low cost, flexibility in customisation, visual aesthetic and more.
If you need steel fabrication in Sheffield, FEM can help. Contact our team of experienced engineers to discuss your project needs today and experiences our cutting-edge steel fabrication services first hand.