Construction is one of the most important steel-using industries, accounting for more than 50% of world steel demand. Buildings – from houses to car parks to commercial centres and skyscrapers – rely on steel for their strength. Steel is also used on roofs and as cladding for exterior walls.
The world’s population is expected to grow from 7 to 9 billion people in the next 30 years, according to a United Nations report released in 2019. As the need for buildings and infrastructure continues to increase worldwide due to population growth and rapid urbanisation, reducing consumption of natural resources and associated emissions is crucial for future sustainability. Whilst the operation of buildings accounts for 28% of global CO2 emissions, they also present many opportunities for reducing emissions and mitigating climate change.
Steelmakers around the world are increasingly providing construction solutions which enable energy-efficient and low-carbon buildings. Steel is affordable, readily available and safe to use. Additionally, its intrinsic properties of strength, versatility, durability and 100% recyclability allow for improved environmental performance across the entire life cycle of buildings.
Benefits of using steel in construction:
• Reusable and endlessly recyclable.
• Strong, requiring fewer beams and therefore providing more open spaces.
• Lightweight, requiring less material for foundations.
• Enables energy efficiency in buildings and other projects.
• Material efficiency relative to strength means less impact on the environment.
• Fast on-site assembly for prefabricated buildings.
• Durable – 30 years or more in a benign environment.
• Steel is non-combustible and doesn’t promote flame spread (SANS 10177); it has a Fire Resistance Rating (FRR) of more than 30 minutes.
Safal Steel is deeply committed to sustainability, with our production processes being amongst the greenest in Africa:
• Our production facilities have effluent treatment facilities.
• All the water we use in our processes is purified and reused on site.
• Our production activities produce less than 10 000 tons of CO2 equivalents per annum.
Our products Zincal®, Colorplus® and Optima® are also developed with sustainability top of mind, emitting no greenhouse gases and our materials are designed to naturally reduce build-up of most contaminants on external surfaces provided that they are exposed to natural rainfall. Furthermore, the thermal properties of our innovative modified polyester paint system Colorplus® make for cooler buildings in summer, reducing the need for power generated cooling. Our products are also 100% recyclable, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of our business.
Safal Steel is a proud founding member of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) – one of approximately 75 members of the World Green Building Council. The GBCSA are passionate, collaborative planet shapers which operate across the commercial, residential and public sectors to ensure that buildings and homes are designed, built and operated in an environmentally sustainable way. The GBCSA works with its membership community to inspire a built environment in which both people and the planet can thrive.