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August 26, 2022

Five Reasons To Use Recycled Steel in Your Next Home

by Jim Henderson

Sustainability is one the most used key words for consumers looking to help our environment when buying products or services. Most homes will use an average of 25 trees for the wood that is used in the construction. Not many people have thought about using steel in their home construction, but most steel in America is recycled and homes which are built from steel help our environment more than any other form of construction. Here are five reasons to use recycled steel in your next home.

  1. CO2 - Recycled steel can save an average of 25 trees for an average American home. Trees use CO2 to create photosynthesis which is how they grow. Basically, CO2 is food for anything green. By using recycled steel instead of wood, homeowners will allow more than 1500 pounds of CO2 to be consumed by the trees that did not get cut down. Since there are 1.67 million new homes built this year in the US, representing over 2.5 billion pounds of CO2 per year that could be used for photosynthesis. Over a 30-year period, this would amount to more than 60 billion pounds of CO2!
  2. STRENGTH - Homes made from recycled steel can be engineered to exceed all building codes. It does not take much imagination to picture how much stronger steel is then other conventional building products.
  3. MAINTENANCE - Recycled steel is warranted for 25 years and requires no maintenance. Most any conventional home requires re-roofing, repainting and replacement of HVAC systems at least once or twice in 25 years, resulting in costs of over $2 per square foot per year. A 2500 square foot conventionally built home can cost an additional $75,000 to maintain versus a recycled steel house.
  4. FLEXIBILITY – Most homeowners would not think of recycled steel as being “flexible,” but it has more flexibility than any other form of construction. It is flexible in that all the load bearing is in the steel columns, the entire inner and outer walls can be configured any way the homeowner wants. All conventionally built homes have restrictions as to where windows, doors and inside walls can be put. This alone makes recycled steel homes very “flexible.”
  5. EFFICIENCY - Recycled steel homes, when built with IMP (insulated metal panels) technology, are 400% more expensive than conventionally built homes. However, with this construction type, the cost for energy will be significantly less than what is needed for conventionally built homes. For a typical 1800 square foot home this can mean a savings of more than $50,000 over a 25-year period.

JLH Sustainable Housing has engineered house plans which include recycled steel, solar, and battery backup systems which make significant impacts on sustaining our environment. From saving trees to being 100% carbon negative for energy, a JLH Sustainable structure can save an average of more than ½ million pounds of CO2 from our environment, over a 25-year period…versus a conventionally built home.

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