Saturday, May 6, 2017

Can Steel Buildings Help Reduce Pressure on the Planet's Resources?


Tree in Limpopo Province, South Africa, from our trip in January 2016
I spend a lot of time thinking about my carbon footprint these days, especially in this science denying atmosphere, but that's a topic for another day. This week I got my shipment of Bee's Wax, which replaces saran wrap in my kitchen, and I was more excited about that than the new pair of athleisure shoes that also arrived that same day. So you could say this is a hot topic for me. I was glad to have this article sent my way to share.

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The real estate industry is one of the biggest reasons for deforestation. This is true not only because of the huge chunks of the forest that manmade structures continue to take up but also because of the tremendous amount of wood that is necessary to build houses and other structures. There are also plenty of other ways in which real estate negatively affects the planet. The good news is that there is a way to lessen at least some of those harmful impacts of construction by opting for steel buildings when possible. They have multiple eco-friendly advantages over traditional construction and we will take a look at those benefits now.

Save the Trees
If we run out of trees, the earth’s oxygen levels would dip by roughly half of what it is today and air pollution would rise to lethal levels in all parts of the world. This would basically kill off the majority of the human and animal population on the planet. Everyone who is taking the decision to buy steel buildings is contributing towards delaying such an environmental catastrophe. The construction of a 2,000 square foot house basically means that roughly an acre of trees has to be cut down to provide the necessary wood. A steel construction of similar proportions, on the other hand, doesn’t make it necessary to cut down even a single tree. Just a few thousand pounds of scrap metal from the junkyard and that’s about it. Consider the number of trees it would save if steel replaced wood as the more popular building material.

Save Energy
Pre-painted and granular-coated roofing solutions in steel buildings can either deflect the sun to keep things cool inside during the hot summer months, or it can absorb the solar heat and raise the temperature inside when it’s freezing outside. As you can imagine, this helps to save energy in terms of heating and cooling solutions. Environmental control inside a building is a major reason for high energy consumption, so by curbing that, steel buildings automatically reduce the pressure on our limited energy resources.

The Green Certification
The National Green Building Program, the US Green Building Council’s LEED program, and most other agencies that are responsible for certifying environmentally friendly construction methods in the USA have certified steel as one of the greenest construction material available today. The process is already in motion, and as time passes on, the measures and requirements put in place to protect the environment against reckless industrial and residential constructions will become stricter. Steel buildings could possibly even become the norm in many places in the coming years.

Concepts like global warming, plastic accumulation in the ocean, and ozone depletion have slowly started to leave the realms of speculation and affect us directly. It is absolutely essential for each of us to do what we can to protect the environment so that the future generations can have a healthy life. Steel constructions could very well be a responsible step in that direction, as far as the impact of real estate on the environment is concerned.

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Thoughts? What else can we do to save the trees? 


2 comments:

  1. I am all about this. people who don't think taking down forestland has any effects are fricken high. Our planet, the plants, and the animals that live here need to be a higher priority. and if people don't care about any of that, then they need to look at the fact that without those things the human race will suffer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Explain how you use the bees' wax!

    ReplyDelete

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