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Steel Barns: Making a Red Barn Green

Why Farmers and Ranchers Choose Eco-friendly Metal Buildings

Strong, durable and recyclable pre-engineered steel barns and agricultural buildings make it easy to be “green.” The environmental benefits of metal buildings make them with favorite for rural dwellers and city dwellers alike.

This Land is Your Land

Farmers and ranchers respect the land. Their very existence depends on the earth’s bounty. Being “green” comes naturally to them.

Smiling farmer stands before a red metal barn and a green one, since steel is the most recycled  material on earthThat is just one of the many reasons so many ranchers and farmers make pre-engineered steel buildings their number one choice for barns and other ag buildings. They are confident metal buildings make the best environmental choice.

Steel: Endlessly Recyclable

Steel is by far the most recycled substance in the world.


Steel is the only building material on the planet that can be recycled countless time without losing any strength. RHINO’s metal barns and buildings contain up to 90.7% recycled steel.

Steel: Economical to Recycle

Other materials must be hand sorted for recycling. The magnetic qualities of steel make separating it simple. Using giant electromagnets, steel leaps from the solid waste stream, leaving glass, plastic, wood, and paper behind.

There is an abundance of steel to reclaim. Junked cars and ships, old railroad cars and tracks, dismantled old bridges, and discarded appliances abound. Decades from now, when your steel barn has outlived its usefulness, it too can be recycled into another generation of steel.

The steel industry is no Johnny-come-lately to the environmental bandwagon. North American steelmakers have been recycling steel for over 150 years.

Steel: Less Waste

Steel’s strength means fewer framing pieces are needed to construct a sturdy, durable structure.

Modern steel engineering software capitalizes on the inherent characteristics of steel to design the strongest possible structure— with the least amount of steel. Where wood structures typically build with studs placed 16 inches apart, pre-engineered steel buildings generally space steel columns 20-25 feet apart. Fewer pieces mean faster assembly, too.

Steel framing recycles again at the end of a structure’s lifecycle. Wood framing winds up in a landfill, adding more debris to our already overcrowded landfills.

At the end of a project, wood builders must pay to have huge amounts of leftover lumber and building materials hauled away. Efficiently designed pre-engineered steel barns and ag buildings leave little steel scrap when construction ends. Any remaining steel is sold to a metal scrap dealer for recycling.

Steel: Healthier for People and Animals

Building with untreated wood invites termites. Treating wood and surroundings with harsh chemicals discourages termites, but invites disaster. Treated wood outgasses into surrounding air to be breathed by people and their animals. Chemicals seep into the environment and water table.

Livestock often gnaws on treated wood-framed barns, ingesting chemicals and destroying the wood framing.

Mold grows rapidly in a humid environment like a wood structure full of animals. Mold and fungus create unhealthy air quality, increasing respiratory illnesses for both livestock and workers.

Often, wood framing is the initial site of ignition in a structural fire. Regardless of where a building fire begins, wood framing certainly adds fuel to the fire. Wooden pole barns and other buildings are more likely to experience fire ignited by lightning, too. In rural buildings containing hay or fertilizer, a fire can quickly become an inferno, spreading to nearby structures and endangering animals and people.

Metal barns and farm buildings resist termites, outgassing, mold growth, animal chewing, lightning damage, and fire.

Steel: Saves Trees

Every metal barn and steel building constructed means more living trees left to clean our air, removing contaminants and producing life-giving oxygen. That fact alone should be incentive enough to build with strong, durable, recycled steel.

Steel: Energy Efficiency

In areas where extreme weather requires climate-controlled farm buildings, a well-insulated metal barn saves a lot of money. The deeper walls of a pre-engineered steel barn allow room for extra-thick insulation, keeping everything snug and cozy. Utilities bills can be as 50% less in a RHINO metal building with a high R-value insulation package.

In extremely hot climates, choosing light-colored steel roofing reduces heating and cooling costs. Save an additional 7-15% with high-tech cool-coated steel roofing.

Steel: Greener Barns and Ag Buildings

Contact RHINO for more information on metal barns, steel stables, riding arenas, and other farm, ranch, and rural structures. RHINO’s experienced steel building specialists will answer any questions— and provide a fast, accurate quote.

Call the RHINO right now at 940.383.9566.