Building Green with Steel

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In Building Green with Steel

Recycling Construction and Demolition Debris- Part 2

Out of the Rubble: Coping with Disaster Debris As we said in Part 1 of this series, construction and demolition debris includes waste generated by natural disasters. Earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and fires create massive amounts of rubble. Devastated cities and towns, already overcome by the human crisis, face the insurmountable task of clean up in the aftermath of destruction. How Much Construction and Demolition Debris is Generated in Disasters? Every natural catastrophe produces its own signature of construction and… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

Recycling Construction and Demolition Debris- Part 1

Introduction to Construction and Demolition Waste in the U.S. Disposing of construction and demolition (C&D) rubble creates an enormous problem in the U.S. Finding room for all that waste is a monumental task. How Much C&D Debris is Produced? In an earlier post, we discussed the 251 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) generated annually in the U.S. However, that appalling figure does not include construction and demolition waste. Approximations vary wildly on the total amount of construction and… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

Is Steel a Sustainable Building Material?

Steel Buildings Help Preserve Our Resources for Future Generations To meet the criteria for green building, a product needs to be “sustainable.” But what does sustainable mean? Sustainable building materials minimize environmental impacts while maximizing efficient use. Sustainability meets present needs without sacrificing future needs. Most natural resources are finite. If we squander those resources today, we compromise the lives and options of future generations. Sustainable Characteristics of Steel Steel’s two main ingredients are iron and recycled steel. Iron is… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

Confessions of a Reluctant Tree Hugger

How a Steel Building Man Became a Tree Lover After spending my entire career in the steel building business, I never expected to become a “tree hugger.” After all, wood framing is the natural nemesis of metal buildings. Yet the truth can no longer be ignored. I have become a closet tree lover. Trees Are Air-Scrubbing Wonders Trees are living, growing, breathing things. That is the whole point. As long as they remain alive and growing, they continue to benefit… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

Recycling Saves Energy

Double the Benefits: Stretch Resources and Conserve Energy Recycling reuses materials wisely. It is resource efficient. By recycling, we get more use from a material, avoiding dumping the material in a landfill— and conserve precious energy while we are doing it. How Does Recycling Save Energy? Every raw material requires energy to be turned into a product. Producing consumer goods from virgin raw materials uses a lot of energy resources. Processing goods from recycled materials requires far less energy. Recycled… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

Trash Talk: America’s Municipal Solid Waste

3 Easy Ways to Improve Our Planet— and Your Pocketbook Americans generate a shocking amount of trash— municipal solid waste (MSW) — 4.4 pounds per person every day! According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we create 251 million tons of MSW every year— most of which ends up in landfills. What Is Included in Municipal Solid Waste Estimates? Basically, MSW is our everyday garbage. It consists mostly of: • Batteries • Bottles • Broken appliances • Cast-off furniture •… Read More

In Building Green with Steel, Health and Steel Buildings

Indoor Air Quality and Productivity

Healthy Workers Are Productive Workers The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believes as many as 30% of new or renovated structures have serious building indoor air quality issues. That is an alarming statistic, since Americans spend 90% of their lives indoors. Indoor air quality can actually be many times worse than outdoor air on a smoggy day. Literally thousands of pollutants found in poor building air quality are known to impact health. Indoor pollution may negatively affect vision, hearing, growth, intelligence,… Read More

In Building Green with Steel, Health and Steel Buildings

How Indoor Air Quality Affects Your Health

Reducing Pollutants in Homes and Businesses Improves Well-being Green building products should impact the environment around us— and indoor air quality— as little as possible. The goal must be to reduce pollutants outdoors and indoors. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers indoor air quality (IAQ) even more critical to overall health than pollution in the atmosphere. An EPA study found harmful indoor pollutants could be up to 100 times greater than those outdoors. Why Indoor Air Quality Matters Americans spend… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

How to Construct Energy-Efficient Buildings- Part 2

Energy-Saving Choices for Pre-engineered Steel Buildings In part one of this series, we discovered energy-efficient buildings must start with a tight building envelope. To further reduce energy consumption— and reduce energy costs—choose energy-saving building products that diminish air infiltration. Sealing the Envelope with Energy-Saving Products A square, tightly formed building envelope begins with the frame, like a rigid-frame pre-engineered steel building. However, high-performance energy-efficient buildings also require sufficient insulation, insulated windows and doors, proper ventilation, and eco-friendly exteriors to help… Read More

In Building Green with Steel

How to Construct Energy-Efficient Buildings- Part 1

Tight, Energy-Conserving Building Envelopes Start with Steel In existing buildings, employing energy reducing strategies save resources— but it is even better to construct energy-efficient buildings in the first place. Pre-engineered steel buildings create tight, rigid, leak-resistant building envelopes. The Envelope, Please… The building “envelope” is the part of the structure separating indoors from outdoors. The envelope includes the roof, outside walls, and foundation. The goal is to build a close-fitting envelope, free of air leaks and drafts. It should reduce… Read More

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