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Celebrating Steel Buildings on Earth Day 2014

Steeling into a Greener Future with Pre-engineered Metal Buildings

Today, April 22, 2014, marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day.

Since the first Earth Day held in the U.S., the movement has spread to global proportions. This year over a BILLION people in 190 countries actively participate in Earth Day.

A bright green tree frog sits on a steel building beam. The heading reads: I's so easy being green with Steel buildings.Green Cities built with Red-Iron Steel

The theme of this year’s Earth Day is “Green Cities.”

“With smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public, we can transform our cities and forge a sustainable future,” say Earth Day organizers.

One of the best ways to forge a green future is by choosing to build with steel.

What makes pre-engineered steel buildings the “green” choice?

Steel: The Most Recycled Material on Earth

Green building means using sustainable building materials. No other building product matches the sustainability of steel.

Steel is the most recycled material on Earth. Over 80 million tons of old cars, trains, boats, appliances, cans, bridges, buildings and other steel products are recovered each year.

Steel is 100% recyclable. Recycled steel is just as strong as virgin steel. In fact, steel can be recycled endlessly without losing any of its strength. What other building material can make that claim?

However, recycling is not a new concept in the steel industry. Steel makers have been using old steel to make new steel for over 170 years.

RHINO’s steel framing contains up to 90.7% recycled steel.

The Energy Efficiency of RHINO Steel Buildings

According to Earth Day organizers, most buildings do not use energy efficiently. Commercial buildings slurp up 17% of all energy in the U.S.

Using RHINO’s Pro-Value Insulation Package cuts heating and cooling usage by a remarkable 50%. In warm climate regions, adding reflective cool steel panel roofing will decrease energy usage as much as 15% more.

Wood structures warp, creep, and loosen over time, increasing air leaks. Drafts around windows and doors decrease energy efficiency.

RHINO metal buildings stay straight and tight over the years, eliminating annoying and wasteful drafts.

Steel Buildings and Life Cycle Assessment

To make truly green building choices, you must not only look at building today, but at the entire life cycle of the structure. What will happen to the material at the end of the building’s usefulness?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)— formed as a result of the first Earth Day in 1970— says that almost 140 million tons of construction and demolition (C & D) materials are dumped into landfills in the U.S. each year. About half of C & D waste is concrete. Lumber makes up another third of the waste.

When a steel building is torn down, the metal framing is sold as scrap. It returns to the mill to be recycled into new steel. Steel roofing also regenerates into new steel.

Wood and concrete wind up in a landfill. Asphalt shingles cannot be recycled, so they are also dumped into landfills.

Using RHINO’s prefabricated building system also reduces construction waste. The factory shapes, measures, cuts, welds, punches, and labels every piece of the framing system. Each piece arrives ready to assemble— no confusion, no problems, and no waste.

Steel buildings also last decades longer than other structures, so they need to be replaced far less often. A longer life cycle also means even less waste.

The New Steel

The American Steel Industry collectively spent over 10 billion dollars in developing new greener steel. Today steel production uses less raw materials, while creating a stronger steel than ever before.

Every ton of steel recycled saves over 4,000 pounds of iron ore, coal and limestone. Today, 95% of the water used in steel production is recycled, too.

According to the EPA, new steel made with recycled material uses as little as 26% of the energy needed to produce steel from all raw materials. Using recycled steel to make new steel saves enough energy annually to supply a large city like Los Angeles with electricity for 10 years!

Help Build a Greener Future with RHINO Metal Buildings

Do your part to create a healthier future for our children and grandchildren. Build with RHINO Steel Building Systems.

Call 940.383.9566 today for a greener tomorrow.