Breathe Easier with Metal Buildings- Part 5

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June 6, 2014

Improving Air Quality by Building with Steel instead of Wood

Choosing metal buildings over lumber-framed buildings obviously saves trees. The more trees there are, the better we all breathe.

Trees are not only lovely to look at, but also necessary for human life to continue.

We have a symbiotic relationship with trees. We need clean air; trees clean the air. We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide; trees breathe in carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the atmosphere.

Never Underestimate the Importance Trees

Every tree matters.

By denuding the landscape of trees, we not only leave the land bare to soil erosion, but change the very air we breathe. Deforestation changes local biodiversity— and contributes globally to poor air quality and harmful climate changes.

Trees process carbon dioxide in the air and through photosynthesis, creating food for themselves and clean air for us.

The leaves on trees absorb pollution’s particulates. Tree leaves trap ash, dust, pollen, and smoke particles on their surfaces, reducing the amount of these harmful substances in our air.

Check the facts:

  • It requires about 5 acres of trees to produce the lumber for a 10,000 square foot commercial building. Those same trees produce enough oxygen every day to support about 45 people.
  • In one year, that same 5 acres of trees absorb the carbon dioxide equal to 65,000 miles of automobile pollution.
  • Harvesting 5 acres of forest leaves the 1-1.5 tons of air pollutants— which would have been processed by those trees each year— in the air we breathe.
  • If left to flourish, those same 5 acres of mature forest would have replenished our air with 52,000-65,000 pounds of life-giving oxygen every year.
  • That same 10,000 square foot structure could be framed with the recycled steel produced by 30-35 old junked cars.

Trees also reduce other harmful pollutants from our atmosphere, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, peroxyacetylnitrate, and ozone.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), worldwide over two million people die each year form respiratory diseases caused by poor air quality.

Trees Reduce the Urban Island Effect

The clear-cutting of trees does not happen only in remote forests. Man sacrifices trees to urban sprawl.

Paved roadways and parking lots absorb and reflect the sun’s heat, increasing the surrounding temperature. Known as the “urban island effect,” this phenomena creates outdoor temperatures 8-10 degree Fahrenheit higher than nearby tree covered rural areas. Warmer temperatures mean increased energy consumption for cooling homes and commercial buildings in cities.

Trees in the city not only help decontaminate the air, but also diminish the overheating caused by the urban island effect. Through their leaves, trees also create an evaporative effect, cooling surrounding air.

Strategically placed trees shade buildings and air conditioners from the sun’s merciless heat. A mature tree can drop cooling costs by 2%-10% annually. The less our energy consumption, the lower the greenhouse gases emitted from power plants.

In addition, trees and other vegetation help to block noise from a structure, decreasing noise pollution as well.

Cool Roof Panels Cut Urban Heating

“Metal Building News” states cool roofs save 7%-15% on energy consumption in hot climates. Not only are energy bills cheaper, but decreasing energy usage reduces emissions from power plants into our air.

Metal Buildings: The Smart Choice

Plant some trees. Build with steel. We will all breathe easier.

Call RHINO now for more information and free quotes for our affordable prefabricated steel buildings. Be sure to ask about RHINO’s energy saving Pro-Value insulation and cool steel panel options, too.

Toll free: 1.888.320.7466.

 

Related blogs:

Build Easier with Metal Buildings- Part 1 on outgassing
Build Easier with Metal Buildings- Part 2 on mold
Build Easier with Metal Buildings- Part 3 on termites
Build Easier with Metal Buildings- Part 4 on noise

 

- by Bruce Brown,
CEO of RHINO
Steel Building Systems, Inc

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