Choosing Eco-Friendly Materials for Medical Buildings
There are two compelling reasons to build green healthcare facilities: saving our planet and saving money.
Choosing sustainable, recycled structural materials for any new construction project conserves resources and promotes cleaner air quality. Building green is the responsible choice.
Altruistic conservation ideals aside, building green healthcare facilities is also the practical choice. Green buildings last longer, consume less energy, and cost less to operate.
Saving RESOURCES by Building Green with Steel
The U.S. Green Building Council calls steel “the logical and responsible choice for green building.” Steel is the only building material in the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) program rating an automatic minimum default for its high-recycled content.
Eco-friendly pre-engineered steel buildings earn a green building badge several ways:
- No other building material matches the recycling rate of steel. More steel is recycled than another material on Earth.
- Steel is a continuously recyclable substance. Steel can be recycled endless times without losing any strength. No other material can make that boast.
- The magnetic qualities of steel make it simple and economical to handle. Gigantic magnets separate steel and iron products from other recyclables and maneuver steel scrap easily.
- Recycling is not a new concept to the steel industry. Used steel had been recycled into new steel for over 150 years in North America.
- With the highest strength-to-weight ratio of all building materials, pre-engineered steel buildings create strong, durable structures with far fewer components than other materials. Prefabricated steel framing erects quickly, simply, and logically.
- Which makes more sense, building a 10,000 sq. ft. healthcare facility with the lumber harvested from five acres of forest— or constructing the same building with the steel framing recycled from 30 or 40 old scrapped cars? It takes 125 years for a Douglas fir to reach maturity. It now takes less than one man-hour to produce a ton of steel.
- Every ton of steel produced with recycled steel instead of virgin materials reduces mining waste by 97 and air pollution by 86%.
Saving MONEY by Building Green with Steel
Everyone enjoys the prestige and accolades of building green to save the environment. However, the long-term benefits of constructing green medical buildings are even more impressive.
Commercial buildings, including medical facilities, slurp up huge amount of energy— especially for heating and cooling. The deep walls created by pre-engineered steel columns provide the perfect space for extra-thick insulation. When correctly insulated, steel buildings slash heating and cooling bills in half. Choosing highly-reflective cool steel roofing in warmer climates saves another 7% or more on utilities— and reduces the urban heat island effect.
Wood framing warps, rots, sags, and creeps as the building ages. Air drafts increase around doors and windows, wasting energy. Steel buildings remain straight, rigid, and airtight over time, eliminating costly drafts and air leaks.
Air quality is important in any structure, but never more so than in healthcare facilities.
As an organic material, wood feeds mold and mildew. The spores spread into the air, worsening asthma and breathing problems.
Inorganic steel does not support the growth mold or fungus.
Wood ants and termites also feast on lumber, promoting the need for expensive and invasive treatments with unhealthy chemicals.
No ant or termite can make a meal of steel. Expensive and invasive chemicals termicides are unnecessary in a metal building.
Pre-engineered steel buildings provide other money-saving advantages, too:
- Lower maintenance
- Insurance discounts
- Longer life span
- Retention of value
- Ability to recycle framing at the end of the buildings usefulness
RHINO Steel Building Systems ships high quality, low-rise, prefabricated steel buildings all across North America. Each structure is designed, engineered, and manufactured to meet or exceed current local building requirements. Multiple shipping points across America keep freight costs to a minimum.
Call the RHINO number at 940.383.9566 for more information about steel buildings for green healthcare facilities, medical offices, pharmacies, or other medical structures. Free quotes are available.