Our Commitment to Sustainability - Green Building Practices for Recycling Steel

At Stone Bridge Iron & Steel, we take pride in making our living with one of the most recycled products on earth: Steel!

Steel is the most recycled material in North America, according to the Steel Recycling Institute. More than 68 million tons are recycled each year. In fact, all new steel made in North America contains recycled steel, making steel the preferred material in “Green Building” initiatives.

There are two production methods for steel, EAF (electric-arc-furnace) and BOF (basic oxygen furnace), each using differing amounts of recycled materials.

Structural steel beams in the US are produced by EAF and contain at least 90% total recycled content, saving energy that would have been used to extract the raw material from the ground, and saving our landfills by encouraging the recycling of your old clunker, that washer or dryer, and old farming implements. While the BOF production method uses at least 25% recycled materials and relies much more heavily on raw materials – this steel is primarily plate, angles, tubes and flat bars, the material that connects the steel beams together in the field.

There are two primary measures in Green Building. The first is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and the second, an emerging method called LCI (Life-cycle inventory). Differing approaches are used to accomplish the same end result, and more can be learned about each method’s strengths at the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’s Web site (www.usgbc.org) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Web site (www.nrel.gov).