Sustainability is structural steel's middle name. Steel is the most recycled material on our planet - today's structural steel is made of 88% recycled product, is fully recyclable in the future and can be reused without further processing. The carbon footprint of the steel structural has been reduced by 47% since 1990. Energy used in the production of steel has been reduced by 9% in the past 10 years and over 30% in the past three decades.
The production of steel conserves our most valuable resource: water. The only water used in the production of structural steel is make-up water added to a closed loop recycling process. Structural steel mills discharge no water to the environment. Water is not used in the fabrication process and no water is used or discharged at the project site.
The recycling rate of steel and automobiles at the end of their life is greater than 100%. Rather than utilizing land for quarrying operations to provide aggregates or as landfills for construction material waste, steel is emptying salvage yards allowing that land to be used for other purposes.
Today demolitions are often paying for the opportunity to demolish and scrap a steel structure building because of the value of the steel. By contrast buildings using other materials cost between $3 and $10 per square foot to demolish, scrap and landfill.