I wonder why more people don’t know about it, I bet if they did then the home building landscape might change a little bit. You hear people talking about being green and sustainability all the time, but are they putting their money where their mouths are? I know you’ve got all these people driving Prius’ and other hybrids around with a “peace”, “diversity”, or “tolerance” bumper sticker on the back of them, but what are they really doing in their lives to actually support these kinds of causes? We can start with investigating the homes they own, do they use energy efficient appliances and lighting? Is their home properly insulated? Does is have updated, energy-efficient windows? Do they use solar power? Do they recycle? Did they build or buy an existing house? If they built it, what kind of materials did they use to build it with? Those were a lot of questions I know, but the answers to those questions can tell you a whole lot about how serious someone really is about making this a better world. Because doing something to make this a better place requires more than a Prius and a bumper sticker, I can assure you of that. Let’s talk about building materials first of all, if we all live in a brave, new world then is it possible that we should build differently as well? Wood is the traditional choice, especially in the residential market and although it doesn’t always make a lot of sense, it’s used commercially very often as well. Why it is that people only think about steel buildings in a commercial sense? I don’t know because there’s no good reason that it shouldn’t be used more in the residential building sector.
A steel or metal building is a much greener way to build than by using wood for many reasons. First of all, over 60% of the existing steel buildings that stand in this country are made from recycled materials. Half a dozen old cars can produce enough steel to construct a 2,000 square foot building, ever think how many trees it takes to build a structure that big? Probably not, maybe you should ask yourself why. There’s all kinds of industries across the board that are used to making money the way they’ve always made money, regardless of their environmental impact. The lumber companies are one such industry. Now, I’m not saying that lumber companies are evil, I’m just saying that they’re going to peddle their product like anyone else. You can replant and grow another tree after you cut it down, sure, but steel never has to be “regrown”, it only needs to be reforged. Plus, any wooded building or home could go up in flames with one flick of a match, how many metal buildings do you think have caught on fire? Buildings built using steel are more energy efficient than wooden buildings in most case by design too, by merit of having less adjoining pieces leaving gaps vulnerable to air exchange and energy loss.