RHINO Steel Buildings: Building Green with Red-Iron

Font Size
October 24, 2012

When choosing steel buildings for agricultural, commercial, industrial, rural, or suburban use, the price is a primary concern.  However, the environmental impact of the construction material should also be measured.  After studying all the framing material options and their ecological qualities, many people ultimately decide a prefabricated metal building like a RHINO steel building is the “greenest” way to build.

Make no mistake; American consumers really do care deeply about environmental issues.  According to a recent Gallup poll, 73% of Americans admit they worry about the “quality of the environment.”

Steel is the most recycled material in the world today.

Did you know that steel is actually the most recycled material on the planet?  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says steel contains an average of 77% recycled material.  The World Coal Association reports show total steel product production increased 69% in recent years.

One reason for the high recycling rate of steel is the ease with which it can be removed from the solid waste stream with giant electromagnets.  All other recycled materials have to be sorted by hand, a slow and expensive process.

While wood, plastic, and paper all lose strength when recycled, steel can be recycled indefinitely without any loss of its inherent properties or strength.

Prefabricated RHINO metal buildings are manufactured with commercial-grade steel containing an average of 89.5% recycled steel.  Think about it.  The building package you buy could be made from retired ships, crushed automobiles, railroad cars, and few old refrigerators, and a washing machine.

Steel is abundant and economical to produce. 

It takes only two man-hours or less to produce a ton of steel.  Nature needs 80-125 years to grow a Douglas Fir to only 18” in diameter.  A 2,000 sq. ft. building can be framed with the steel produced from recycling a few junked cars.  For a wood-framed building the same size 50-60 trees would have to be sacrificed to produce the framing.

Prefabricated steel buildings reduce waste.

The EPA estimates 136 million tons of construction and demolition materials are dumped into American landfills every year.  As much as 40-50% of the C&D material is concrete and mixed rubble.  Lumber comprises another 20-30% of landfill waste.

However, constructing with prefabricated RHINO metal buildings substantially reduces such waste.  All primary steel framing members are cut, welded, drilled, and marked at the factory for simple bolt-together erection.  Secondary metal framing components are then applied with self-drilling screws.  What little waste accumulates at a steel framing jobsite can be sold at as scrap metal.

RHINO metal buildings can be very energy efficient.

Equally critical in determining the “green” quality of a building material is examining its long-term energy usage.

Metal is a better conductor of heat and cold than wood.  However a steel building system— combined with a high-performance insulation package— easily overcomes any transference problems.   Because the wall cavity is much deeper in a rigid-frame steel structure than that of a typical 2×4 wood or galvanized steel frame, thicker, more energy-efficient insulation can be used.

RHINO’s Pro-Value upgrade insulation package provides up to R-30 wall insulation and R-40 ceiling insulation— plus a second layer of insulation between purlins to create a thermal break. Environmental concerns aside, who wouldn’t like lower heating and cooling bills?  Many of our customers have reported saving as much as half on their energy bills.

Over the years, wood framing loosens and shifts, creating air leaks and drafts around windows and doors.  However, RHINO steel buildings remain tight over decades, drastically reducing air leaks as the structure ages, saving even more energy in the long-term.

RHINO’s metal buildings are virtually ageless.

Steel buildings will maintain their structural integrity, beauty, and value for decades to come.  A RHINO structure won’t require periodic expensive repairs to combat that “tired” look so often associated with aging traditionally-constructed buildings.  Our metal building kits are designed to be virtually trouble free. The framing of every building we produce is guaranteed to meet or exceed all required local building codes for the lifetime of the structure.  All plans are stamped by an engineer licensed in that state.

Let’s get serious about saving our environment.

Are you really serious about doing your part to protect the planet?  If so, why would you build with anything else but a prefab steel building system?  Whether the project is a storage building, barn, garage, riding arena, shop, retail store, manufacturing facility, an industrial plant, an office building, or a mega warehouse, the green building choice is clear: build it with steel.

Check out our photo gallery and current Steel Building Specials.

Visit with a trained Steel Building Specialist today to receive a free estimate on one of our red iron buildings or to place an order.

Toll free: 888.320.7466.

- by Bruce Brown,
Steel Building Systems, Inc