Earth Day was just last week and what better way to celebrate than talking about environmentally-friendly building.
Steel is nearly 100% recyclable and according to AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction), steel has the highest recycling rate of any building framing material. For that reason, among others, architects, engineers and contractors turn to steel for LEED projects. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is one of the most commonly used third-party verifications and has set the industry standard for green building. In order to receive a LEED certification, architects, engineers or general contractors are often required to source domestic steel for their projects. Further, they are typically required to have the material produced and curved within a certain distance of the project site.
Beyond functionality, steel can also serve as a design element for LEED building. The Maryland Heights Community Center, currently being constructed, is aiming for a silver level LEED certification. The design itself is very unique – the finished building will have an open appearance featuring a curved area of the building with all windows.
This curved area of the building is being constructed using pieces of curved steel. To achieve this, the architecture firm called for curving 63 tons of square and rectangular tubes.
The new community center, anticipated to open later this year, is intended to last the next 40 to 50 years partly in thanks to the sustainable design and construction.