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.
“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.
Historically, many of the innovations in construction 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
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.
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.
“Our partners in the construction industry, architects, contractors and builders are excited about fossil-free steel. They are already asking when it will be available,” says Anke Meyer.
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.
SSAB’s fossil-free steel and the bio-based coatings will support us to live in a more sustainable world.
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GreenCoat® offers a wide range of innovative, sustainable color coated steel solutions for roofs, façades and rainwater systems.