Safal Steel gives a rundown of the green benefits of building with steel.


Steel has revolutionised the way in which architects and designers are able to build. This construction material has many advantages with sustainability and green benefits being one of the foremost reasons why it continues to be specified for leading products. Here are some of the other attributes that contribute to the greenness of steel:

From an architectural, environmental and economic standpoint, steel is an obvious choice. Not only is it durable and hardy, but it has the ability to retain its original dimensions without warping, cracking, leaking, losing density, contracting and expanding, and so on, due to age, extreme weather or other stress factors.

Steel buildings require little maintenance and they also do not affect or compromise fittings such as windows, insulation and temperature control systems. Additionally, steel has lasting appeal.

Steel’s longevity and adaptability mean it can be recycled not just once, but over and over again. Steel is one of the few construction materials that can be deconstructed, reused or broken into reusable segments.

Steel has a reclaimed rate of about 98% (AISC, 2010), which is one of the biggest reasons why so many people in the building industry consider steel to be a green building material. By building with steel one doesn’t need to make use of fresh raw materials, which can be an environmental and also an economic burden. Moreover all steel is made from roughly 90% recycled material.

Lightweight and less waste
A project’s carbon footprint can be reduced by choosing steel, seeing as this product is lightweight, thereby making it cheaper and easier to transport than heavier alternatives. It also leads to very little site waste as on-site construction can be very exact.


Health benefits to building occupants
The use of steel in buildings carries no health hazards. Steel creates an allergen- and dust-free environment, with no harmful chemicals leading to respiratory or other health complications.

Advances in steel technology
Many thought leaders, manufacturers and architects spend a lot of time researching and developing new sustainable steel products. Over the past three decades the industry has reduced its production energy consumption by roughly a third. Researchers in the United States are also investigating ways of replacing carbon with hydrogen in blast furnaces. The steel industry aims to make steel the most innovative and sustainable product of its type available to the world. Its focus on both environmental and economic sustainability is sure to keep it current, valuable and dominant.

SAFAL STEEL is the only producer of aluminium-zinc coated steel manufactured in South Africa. The company’s production processes use premium input products such as low-carbon steel, aluminium silicon, zinc and locally supplied paint systems in order to produce their premium coil products, ZincAL® and COLORPLUS®. Mainly used in the built environment, both ZincAL® and COLORPLUS® are thermally efficient and can assist in achieving the R-values which buildings need to achieve.

Safal Steel
Tel: 031 782 5500
Fax: 031 782 1400