Recycling Construction Materials

Steel: The Backbone of Modern Society

Steel Construction

Steel is one of the most sustainable building materials in the world.  The industry has embraced the common sense approach that reducing its impact on the environment is not only the right thing to do, but it makes economic sense.

  • Since the early 1990s, the steel industry has reduced its energy use to produce a ton of steel by approximately 1/3.
  • More than 95% of the water used in the steel making process is recycled and returned - often cleaner than when it was taken from the source.
  • Every piece of steel used in construction contains recycled content.  Further, all steel can be recovered and recycled again and again into new high quality products.

Light Steel Framing
Cold-formed steel is a popular material for green building projects ranging from residential to light commercial construction. Cold-formed steel provides the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any building material providing material efficiency. Steel does not rot, warp, split, crack or creep, offering durability and dependability during its long service life and is 100 percent recyclable at the end of its long life. Click the title to learn about the contributions of light steel framing in sustainable design. 

Structural Steel
Steel is a superior construction material for non-residential and residential construction. With its design flexibility, high strength and durability, and aesthetic appeal, structural steel provides the best material for innovative, sustainable designs. Designers, builders and architects choose steel due to its high strength-to-weight ratio, design innovation and its sustainable characteristics. Click the title to learn more about the sustainability of structural steel. 

Steel Roofing
Light, strong and durable, steel roofing comprises about 80 percent of the metal roofing market, and demand for this long-lasting, sustainable roofing material continues to rise. The steel itself boasts a minimum of 25 percent recycled content. In addition to being much lighter and stronger than traditional roofing materials, steel roofing systems offer a wide variety of shapes and colors, allowing them to resemble different styles and materials. 

At A Glance

A steel frame for a 2,000 square foot, two story house is equivalent to the steel from about six recycled cars; a comparable wooden-frame would take over 40 trees--nearly an acre--to produce