- Engineering & Materials
- Civil engineering and architecture
- Sustainable development in steel construction
Sustainable development in steel construction
Bjorhovde, Reidar The Bjorhovde Group, Tucson, Arizona.
- Structural steel supply chain
- Some current industry initiatives and results
- Steel construction and green building
- Additional Readings
Construction as a whole accounts for approximately 13% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States. Recognizing the recyclability and other characteristics of steel, this paper will focus on the leading role of the steel industry in a large number of sustainability efforts in the United States. The efficiency of steel as a primary construction material especially recognizes the changes that have taken place in steelmaking processes over the past 15–20 years. Thus, the industry has now formulated an aggressive program for energy-efficient and economical construction. Most of the mills use electric-arc furnaces, which are fed steel scrap in lieu of iron ore and coke, and continuous casting of shapes, plates, and sheet is used instead of the processing of large ingots into blooms and shapes and other products. This has led to significantly increased production efficiency and economies, with approximately 0.5 worker-hours now being used to produce 1 ton of steel. At the same time, the consumption of energy has been reduced by more than 60%, and the level of environmental pollutants and waste materials has been cut by nearly 70%.
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