Selecting structural framing is a major decision point in the optimization of the building’s design from a sustainable perspective. The choice of a structural steel framing provides significant contributions to the ultimate accomplishment of a green, sustainable structure.

Reclaiming metal for good

Fabricated structural steel is popular from its homemade, recycled properties. It is domestically produced with an average recycled content of 93 percent. They use recycled steel scrap, with the steel industry being the largest recycler of waste by mass in the United States.

Avoiding reused myths

The industry is filled with untruths about structural steel. Many still believe it is imported from overseas, for example. Here are some facts people often confuse:

  • Structural steel mill capacity exceeds current and foreseeable demand with more than 75 percent of current demand met by domestic producers.

  • Hot-rolled structural steel mills in the United States do not use iron ore, coke or limestone as primary feedstock material – no mining operation required.

  • Modern structural steel mills have highly sophisticated systems that minimize emissions that are highly automated and environmentally conscious.

  • Structural steel does not lose any of its metallurgical qualities during recycling. They have the same qualities as virgin steel.

  • Iron is a non-depletable resource, as all steel is recyclable. An increase in demand beyond the available supply of scrap comes from the earth’s abundant supply (35 percent of Earth’s mass) of iron.

  • Structural steel mills recycle all used water through a closed-loop recycling system, which consumes less than 70 gallons of water per ton of steel produced.

  • There are close to 2,000 steel fabricating firms located throughout the United States that fabricate structural steel for building projects, providing jobs and economic stimulus.