Steel is durable, long-lasting, entirely recyclable, and makes for great insulation. It can also be modified easily, paving the way for even greener infrastructure.
Not only is the structure itself energy efficient, but metal buildings also require minimal maintenance intervention, meaning a reduced carbon footprint due to construction. Want to know more? Read on as we break down why metal buildings (both commercial and retail) are so energy efficient.
Are Steel Buildings Energy-Efficient?
In short: yes, they are. If you look at any skyscraper or building over three stories, you can feel fairly confident steel is involved. This isn’t just because of its longevity. It’s also because of its widely-recognized energy-saving properties. Listed below are just some of the top reasons why this is the case.
Minimal Energy Lost
Gaps in materials are notorious for letting heat out and cold air in. Even if there are no visible holes or gaps, it is still possible for drafts and air leaks to occur. This is especially true for wooden structures, where the lumber can settle and twist over time. With these structures, you are effectively losing money every time you put the heat on.
Steel buildings do not struggle with this. Steel does not ‘settle’ or twist. There should be no gaps or draftiness with a steel building, meaning that the energy you use for heating your space will be well spent. Your waste will be minimized, and your energy efficiency will be greatly improved.
Improved Temperature Regulation
Though it may sound counterintuitive, steel roofing is actually highly appropriate for the summer months. There is no denying that metal heats up fast due to how quickly it absorbs heat. However, the versatility of steel means it can be easily adapted for greater insulation and ventilation.
Even something as simple as insulated sealant can make a massive difference. From a structural perspective, steel buildings tend to have thicker walls, meaning greater space for insulation. You could also add vents to the roofing without compromising the building’s integrity. Simply put: steel provides you with options that other materials may not.
Less Electric Consumption
Like how you may decide to add vents to your steel roofing, skylights are also highly popular. With the introduction of skylights, you only need to use electric lighting when absolutely necessary.
Additionally, steel buildings are often fitted with more windows than buildings made from other materials. You can see this in many of the tallest skyscrapers. For example, look at the windows on the Empire State Building. By letting the light in throughout the day, your building immediately becomes more energy efficient as the need for electricity lessens.
Outside of how you manage your own energy, steel buildings are more energy-efficient on the whole as they are 100% recyclable. In fact, steel is the most recycled material on the planet, as it maintains its original integrity even once the process is complete. The process of turning steel scrap into new steel is massively energy efficient.
Cheaper to Manufacture
The manufacture of any material requires energy, but the manufacture of steel has evolved greatly over the years. The energy required to produce steel has decreased as much as 60% since the 1960s and continues to fall to this day. By investing in steel buildings, you are helping to reduce global energy consumption in construction.
Are Metal Homes Energy-Efficient?
Sure, skyscrapers and industrial steel buildings are energy efficient, but what about residential homes? Do they possess the same energy efficiency? In many ways, yes. The same rules apply regarding how recyclable steel is and how much energy is required for its manufacturing. Of course, there are some distinct differences to consider.
The predominant benefit of steel-built homes is their durability and longevity. These benefits don’t even need to come at the cost of aesthetic appeal anymore, as steel can be shaped into (almost) any style you desire.
What does this have to do with energy efficiency? Well, it all relates to the structure of your property. The framing is often straight, which prevents sagging or warping. This greatly increases a home’s energy efficiency score. Similarly, cool metal roofing can be installed with metal homes to provide a reflective effect, keeping your home cool through even the hottest seasons.
Everything we mentioned for steel commercial buildings applies to residential housing too. Steel is easier to modify with improved insulation and ventilation, and your home can also easily benefit from skylights. From an energy perspective, there are few cons to metal.
If you are interested in learning more about metal buildings, whether it is for your home or business, contact Package Steel Systems today. We can answer any questions you may have about installation or performance, and our experts are eager to help!