The use of metal in construction

Metal, industrial and utilitarian in appearance, is frequently used as a material in modern construction, either as a structural element or as a finish for interior coverings. Steel is synonymous with immense skyscrapers, but nowadays it is used more and more in interior furniture coverings: tables, chairs, countertops, etc. The metal and its cold aesthetic, is a resistant material, durable and invulnerable to insects.

However, from the environmental point of view, the use of metal in construction is very problematic. It is the construction material with the highest energy consumption, approximately 300 times more than wood.On the other hand, with the exception of zinc and tin that are becoming scarce, metals are very abundant in nature, which does not prevent their extraction from implying the destruction of natural habitats, and that their processing is significantly contaminating.

What is metal?

Metal is a material with high thermal conductivity, that is to say, very conductive of heat, which can suppose, in certain situations, problems of thermal bridges that can compromise the energetic efficiency of the building and favor condensations and apparitions of mold. Therefore, the use of Metal Building in Phoenix must be the product of a detailed technical study, especially when it comes to elements that are going to be subjected to inclement weather.

Advantage of using metal in Construction

Faced with these drawbacks, it is important to point out that the use of metal in construction can bring great advantages, although it is a relatively expensive material, its recycling is much more profitable than that of other materials. For example, a third of the existing aluminum is recycled, half of the iron needed to make steel is used, and the steel industry, in general, has a recycling rate of 68%.

There are in the construction structural beams and nails that have a content of recycled steel that can reach up to 90%, even some architects employ beams or structural elements reused from previous constructions.

In the case of using metal in recycled construction, the energy impact is considerably reduced. For example, the recycling of aluminum consumes only 5% of the energy that would be used to extract it and obtain the virgin aluminum.

There are detractors of the use of metal in construction for the aforementioned environmental reasons, however, its defenders allege aspects such as durability, stability, speed of execution or the fact that they cannot be attacked by insects, as the main advantages of the use of metal in the construction sector.

Recycle the metal

A good way to recycle the metal is to use used elements such as nails, plates, structural beams, etc., which can be used as elements of coverings suitable for indoor environments.

Today, there are architects’ studios, which base part of their designs on the strategy of using metallic elements for the construction of their new buildings: industrial remains, oil deposits, concrete mixers and shipping containers, etc.

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