Steel Buildings – Green Applications
Gone are the outdated corrugated metal buildings of the past. The new generation of pre engineered steel buildings are finding use in an ever growing variety of Green building projects. Steel buildings are leading the way in the Green building revolution, meeting Green building design goals with innovative building design, engineering and use of materials.
Green building design, also known as “sustainable building” is coming of age as we recognize that global resources are limited and that climate change is inevitable – unless we take positive action now.
Green building recognizes the environmental impact of buildings, their construction, life-cycle and ultimate demolition, and works to lessen this impact through
- Energy efficiency
- Environmentally sound building materials
- Innovative building design
- Healthy indoor environment
Environmentally Friendly Pre-engineered Steel Buildings
Pre-engineered steel buildings also known as prefabricated buildings or prefab metal buildings are an innovative building solution featuring solid steel I-beam building construction.
- Pre-engineered buildings are designed and engineered by trained and certified structural metal building engineers to meet all local building codes for snow and wind load and seismic conditions.
- Building components are engineered and fabricated to precise specifications using the highest grade commercial steel available.
- Modern steel manufacturers employ energy efficient methods in steel production that help to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- When a steel building is demolished to make way for new construction the metal building materials don’t end up in a landfill like asphalt shingles, concrete, brick and wood. The steel is recycled instead.
- Steel can be recycled over and over again without loss of the quality of the steel.
- More steel is recycled than all other recyclable materials combined.
Cool Coatings Get Cool Energy Credit
“Cool” coatings are special siliconized polyester paints with superior reflective qualities. “Cool” coatings applied to metal buildings act as a thermal barrier to keep the insides of metal buildings cool in summer. This means that buildings coated with “cool” coatings use less energy, making steel buildings more energy efficient. The use of “cool” coatings saves money and the environment through reduced energy costs over the life of the building and can even qualify for Federal tax credits.
Urban Heat Islands: Cool Roofs Bring Relief
Savvy builders are taking advantage of the fact that metal building roofs reflect light and heat keeping buildings cooler in hot weather. Plus, metal building roofs don’t store heat and radiate it back at night like other types of roofs. This saves energy in cooling costs and helps save the environment by lessening the urban “heat island” effect. An “urban heat island” happens when urban concrete and asphalt construction absorbs heat during the day then radiates it back at night so that temperatures don’t fall at night as they normally would, and is a powerful contributor to climate change and global warming.
In places like California, Texas and Florida, commercial building construction is taking advantage of the “cool” properties of metal roofs for commercial buildings such as warehouses, industrial manufacturing plants, aircraft hangars, storage buildings, retail outlet stores, auto dealerships, strip malls and more.
Metal building roofs also work to save energy and the environment in cooler climates. A painted metal roof not only reflects heat in summer, but also retains heat inside the building on cool days, saving on heating costs and keeping the indoor environment healthy and comfortable in both summer and winter. New metal building roofs qualify for Federal tax credits.
Steel Buildings: Cost Effective, Energy Efficient and Green
- Don’t require cutting down valuable forests.
- Are manufactured with a high proportion of recycled content.
- Employ sustainable building design and construction and erect in less time than conventional building construction.
- Fire and rust resistant and steel buildings are virtually maintenance free.
- By their very nature steel buildings are durable, cost-effective, energy efficient and Green.
Is there a Green Mortgage?
Yes! Unfortunately, only 3 lenders currently offer this new kind of loan, with less than 25% of mortgage brokers aware that green mortgages even exist. The borrower won’t have to pay for this new incentive, as the lenders are starting to offer more competitive rates. Title companies are starting to offer a donation on settlement statements to environmentally friendly organizations. Green mortgages are becoming a new trend as our world becomes more aware of its changing environment.
Finding a Green Home
Where can you find a brand new Green Home? Simply take a look around Western North Carolina. It has everything from green built real estate developments to energy efficient condos in downtown Asheville. There are also eco-friendly real estate developments outside of Asheville in small towns like Black Mountain, Marshall and Leicester, NC.
Or, if trying to stay locally in your area, ask your real estate agent for information on green builders.
Green homes incorporate intelligent design, the latest green technology, construction and maintenance elements to help drastically reduce the negative impact on the environment and improve the living conditions on the inside of the home. Less allergies, asthma and mold problems. The options are limitless!
Reaping the Rewards
Owning a Green Home can certainly be rewarding in the long run.
Check out Energy Star for more information about keeping your home green. Their many tips point out which energy is being wasted and where and how to avoid it. The on line site offers great advice on how to live green and how to continue to build green.
Also, The government offers great incentives and rebates for green homeowners. Did we mention Tax Breaks? Even utility companies now offer Wind Power to make an even smaller environmental footprint.
Consumer interest in green building exploded in 2007, and it’s still growing. Thanks to extensive media coverage, an increasing number of consumers are becoming familiar with sustainability and green building. Newspapers warn about climate change and soaring gas prices. Retail giants like Wal-Mart have adopted sustainable practices and opened green stores. Hollywood has jumped on the green bandwagon, incorporating green practices in its 2008 Oscars. Home and garden television shows offer a steady stream
of shows promoting green living.
As the media pushes green building into the mainstream, consumers are becoming more attuned to the benefits of green homes. Homebuilders have an opportunity to meet consumer demand by adopting practices that improve the energy efficiency, durability, and indoor air quality of homes. It’s important to know the variety of consumer attitudes about green building in order to respond to the changing market.
Consumer uncertainty: Is green building more hype than reality?
Some consumers are skeptics and wonder about the hype surrounding green building. They may acknowledge that green is an effective marketing strategy, but they question companies’ motives for advertising a product or home as green. Many of these consumers are cautious of greenwashing, a tactic that companies use to mislead consumers into thinking their products or practices are green when they’re actually not. Homebuilders must be able to prove to these consumers that they’re homes are legitimately green.
Consumer profile: Who buys green homes?
People who buy green homes can’t easily be lumped into one category. They buy for different reasons. A family may find a green home appealing because they want their kids to grow up in a healthy home without allergens and toxins. Empty-nesters may be attracted to the cheaper utility bills.
For a growing number of consumers, green building is not a hard sell. These consumers have done their research; they’re concerned about reducing their ecological footprint or impact on the environment. They understand that energy-efficient homes can alleviate global warming and soaring gas prices even more than hybrid cars can. In some cases, they’re more knowledgeable than the homebuilder and can shop around for green features. Many others recognize the benefits of a green home, but their understanding is
Consumer values: What are the benefits of green building?
The key to selling green homes is to understand the values that consumers hold and what motivates them to buy green products. In other words, the best way to market green building is to educate homebuyers on its benefits. Realize that sustainability and environmental benefits won’t resonate with everyone. However, if you frame the benefits of green homes in terms of indoor air quality, comfort, and economy, you’re more likely to convince buyers that green homes have a direct impact on their health, happiness, and quality of life. Avoid using the vocabulary of the builder-”energy recovery ventilators” means little to most buyers, but lower utility bills and fresher indoor air make a whole lot of sense. The more relevant you make green building to consumers, the more they’ll recognize its value.