According to the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI) and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), there are numerous advantages of specifying steel construction for a LEED project.
In fact, the LEED system rewards the building industry for higher recycled steel content in their building materials. Steel is a natural fit for green building initiatives and can make the greatest contribution to the Materials and Resources LEED category that encourages using sustainable building materials and reducing waste.As the worldwide demand for steel increases, the available scrap will be stretched among more and more steel products, meaning that more steel from virgin materials will enter the production stream to meet the demand. However, because of steel’s high recovery rate, more scrap will also be available for future recycling, thus minimizing the long-term amount of virgin material required.Steel is dimensionally stable and, when properly designed, can provide an exceptionally tight building envelope for less air loss and better HVAC performance over time.Steel is made to exact specifications, so on-site waste is minimized.Material from demolition or construction can be easily recycled, with the magnetic properties of steel greatly facilitating its separation from other materials.
Do you have experience with a LEED-registered project? Tell us about your experience with steel's LEED benefits in the comments section below.