Our future cities need to be built in a more sustainable way

The key to achieving sustainably built cities is using better construction materials, such as fossil-free steel and bio-based coatings.

Only few industries are as closely intertwined as steel and construction. For over a century, the two sectors have developed together. Now, the future of that relationship is sustainability.

Steel is a great construction material. It has an impressive strength-to-weight ratio, is 100 percent recyclable, durable, formable and can be used in combination with other materials. Steel is also versatile and easy to use, such as for a fast on-site build for prefabricated buildings. The high sustainability of SSAB’s fossil-free steel and bio-based coatings makes its key role in construction even greater.

 

Sustainability is a requirement.

“The world is urbanizing. By 2050, about 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities,” says Anke Meyer, Senior Marketing Manager, Building Segment at SSAB. “We need to construct new infrastructure, renovate old buildings and to build a large number of new ones, and this has to be done responsibly.”

Historically, many construction innovations were directly related to innovations in steel, such as building frames which led to the invention of the skyscraper. Today, one of the main driving forces in construction is sustainability.

 

Architects and builders need to minimize and prove the carbon footprint of their buildings by facts and figures.

Anke Meyer, Senior Marketing Manager

Anke Meyer

 

Client demand is the biggest driver

Local laws and international treaties have already given us many building regulations in regards to sustainability and we will soon have even more.

Lawmakers are not the only people requiring more sustainable construction. The US Green Building Council says client demand is one of the biggest drivers of environmentally friendly construction. Much of this demand comes from organizations who increasingly require sustainability in their procurement.

More sustainable construction can also positively impact reputation and profits. Green buildings can be more efficient to operate, have a higher value and are in greater demand from progressive tenants and investors.

 

Fossil-free steel is the future

Greener construction requires greener building materials. Modern buildings would not exist without steel. For example, steel is commonly used in building frames, piles, roofs, wall claddings and guttering. In fact, using fossil-free steel would be a major step forward in sustainable construction, both for new builds and for renovations.

The construction industry is responsible for more than a third of global CO2 emissions.

That’s why fossil-free steel matters.

 

HYBRIT is an initiative of SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall which replaces the coking coal traditionally needed for steelmaking with hydrogen made from renewable energy. As a result, the by-product from steel making would be water, not carbon dioxide. SSAB aims to be the first, in 2026, to offer fossil-free steel to the market and largely eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from operations by around 2030.

Fossil-free steel and bio-based coatings – for greener living

GreenCoat® is the brand name for SSAB’s innovative, sustainable color coated steels. It comes in a range of more than 400 colors and is widely used on roofs, faҫades and in roof drainage. GreenCoat® products feature a bio-based coating, which uses a substantial amount of Swedish rapeseed oil instead of fossil oils in the paint. This unique, patented solution from SSAB reduces the environmental footprint of steel significantly.

From 2026, GreenCoat® color coated steels will be available in fossil-free steel.

 

House in the mountains

SSAB’s fossil-free steel and the bio-based coatings will support us to live in a more sustainable world.

Collaborations are key for change

Fossil-free steel will have a big impact on the development of future buildings as well as the whole construction value chain. SSAB has until today teamed up with several companies in the construction industry to develop carbon dioxide-neutral value chains. Peab, Ruukki Construction, Lindab are already closely working with SSAB HYBRIT technology for the construction industry.

Did you know?

More than half of global steel demand today comes from the construction industry.

eiffel tower

How many tonnes of CO2 to build the Eiffel Tower?

The Eiffel Tower is made from 7 300 tonnes of steel. Using standard steel production methods, can you guess what its carbon footprint would be?

11 000 tonnes
Close

Almost. The actual carbon footprint if they would have used today’s standard production methods would be 13500 tons. Using SSAB fossil-free steel it would be zero.

Explore more what it means to you

13500 tonnes
Close

That’s right. If they used today’s standard production methods the carbon footprint would be 13500 tons. Using SSAB fossil-free steel it would be zero.

Explore more and what it means for you

16 000 tonnes
Close

Almost. The actual carbon footprint if they would have used today’s standard production methods would be 13500 tons. Using SSAB fossil-free steel it would be zero.

Explore more what it means to you

Read more

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