Eco-friendly construction is building a structure that is  beneficial or not harmful to the environment and is also resource efficient. “Green building” is efficient in its use of local and renewable materials, the energy required to build it as well as the energy generated whilst within it. Factors such as transporting materials hundreds of kilometers away which require energy to transport them, and emissions of hazardous chemicals from poorly designed buildings have a negative impact on our environment and our natural resources.

The increasing concerns over population growth, depletion of natural resources and global warming lead modern builders to envisage sustainability as a crucial goal. The need to promote a sustainable building market is high priority and controlling and reducing the environmental impact of new construction is fundamental.

Lightweight Steel Construction has developed in response to these concerns.

Steel is one of the few materials with a truly closed recycling loop. It is used again and again without any loss of quality or strength. It can be “up cycled” meaning that it’s quality and strength can be enhanced through recycling. This is the reason why steel is a truly sustainable material, and through responsible processes and procedures produce products which contribute to the global effort to reduce resource use, recycle and re use materials.

The sustainable qualities that Lightweight Steel Construction possess is highlighted below:

Waste reduction

Manufacturers have taken steps to make the process more efficient by reducing the amount of scrap metal. Scrap metal can be reincorporated into a building or removed for recycling elsewhere.

Pollution prevention
Manufacturers reduce air, water and soil pollution associated with the manufacturing process by taking measures that exceed the legislative minimums required. Reductions can be achieved through on-site waste processing, reduced emissions, recycling of water and environmentally sound packaging which is the way the product is packaged and shipped.

Recycled content
The incorporation of waste materials from industrial processes or households into usable building products reduces the waste stream and the demand on natural resources.

Embodied energy reduction
This is the total energy that is needed to produce a material.

Use of natural materials
Steel is lower in embodied energy and toxicity compared to man made materials.
It requires less processing and is less damaging to the environment.

Energy efficiency
Steel plays an important role in making buildings environmentally sustainable. Energy efficiency can be measured with factors such as shading coefficient, luminous efficiency or fuel efficiency. The goal is to reduce the amount of artificially generated power that must be brought to a building site.

Use of non-toxic or less toxic materials
Steel is less hazardous to construction workers and building occupants. It does not affect indoor air quality or expose occupants to health hazards.

Longer life
Lightweight Steel has a longer life relative to other materials designed for the same purpose as it does not need to be replaced, this reduces the natural resources required. It is durable and requires less maintenance and produces less landfill waste over the buildings lifetime.

Reusability
This refers to the age and durability of Lightweight Steel. Steel is very durable and will outcast a building itself, and can be reused at a new site.

Recyclability
This is the measure of the materials capacity to be used as a resource in the creation of new products. Steel is the most commonly recycled building material. Many options are available for those who want to build an eco-friendly home. Construction techniques have been developed in response to local environmental concerns and the physical resources available and are coupled with technological requirements. Choosing to build green saves energy and can further reduce energy consumption by minimizing energy inputs for heating, cooling and light, and incorporating energy efficient appliances.

There are many good reasons why eco-friendly construction methods and materials are important :

  • It can improve the health of our planet
  • Can improve the health of our own lives
  • Supports local businesses
  • Strengthens the local economy
  • Builds communities into vibrant, prosperous and desirable places to live

It is quite evident that there is an urgent need to address the great challenges of our time. These issues are accelerating rapidly and have strong links with the building industry.