Being 100% renewable, steel remains an environmentally-friendly material for roofing construction.


Steel as a roofing material is 100% renewable and globally one of the most recycled materials by volume. The amazing metallurgical properties of steel allow it to be recycled continually with no degradation in performance, and from one product to another.

Steel can be produced using one of two different complementary processes: basic oxygen furnaces (BOF) and electric arc furnace (EAF). In both processes scrap steel is used to produce new steel products. Once steel has completed its useful life in a certain form, it can easily be recycled instead of being land-filled.

Honouring its commitment to the continual improvement of the environmental performance and the efficient use of natural resources, BlueScope’s range of steel roofing products is produced using the BOF method.

Recycled content material
Recycled content denotes the proportion of a product that is generated from post-consumer or pre-consumer material, and has become an important benchmark in green building rating tools.

According to the LEED-NC certification guide for environmentally-friendly construction, there is a default post-consumer recycle content value for steel of 25%, which can be used regardless of documentation since steel is usually made from at least 25% post-consumer recycled steel. However, in cases where the steel recycled content is greater than 25%, documentation should be provided.

Definition of post-consumer material
Post-consumer material is defined as waste material generated by households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities in their role as end-users of products, which can no longer be used for their intended purposes, for example scrap from demolished buildings or old car bodies. It also includes the return of material from distribution chains.

Definition of pre-consumer material
Pre-consumer material is sometimes also referred to as post-industrial material. It is recovered during or after the product manufacturing process before being sold to end-users, for example off-cuts from car manufacturers that are sold back to the steel industry.

Reutilisation of materials such as rework, regrind or scrapping within the processes that generated them is not considered as pre-consumer material recycling in terms of recycled content. However, the recovery of these materials remains a form of recycling because materials that would have otherwise become waste are reprocessed and incorporated into new products.

According to the Steel Recycling Institute, the post-consumer recycled content and pre-consumer recycled content from BOF production during 2009 was 24,3% and 9,4% respectively. In comparison, over a similar period of time, post-consumer recycled content from EAF production was 74,3% and the pre-consumer recycled content 17,8%.

For more information on BlueScope’s range of versatile steel building products and steel solutions, now also including a new range of architectural colours with a Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) of 80 and above, contact them today.


Environmental performance of steel roofing

Tel: 021 442 5420
Fax: 021 448 9132