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Light Gauge Steel and the 3 Rs - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

In the world of sustainable building materials, steel often takes a backseat to more buzzworthy options like bamboo, reclaimed wood, or even hempcrete. However, Agriboard Green Building Systems™ uses steel, specifically, recycled light gauge steel, which is quietly emerging as a carbon-friendly building material. Let's delve into the environmental benefits and "Green Building" potential of recycled light gauge steel, and shed some light on its role in our sustainable construction system.

Recycled light gauge steel, often referred to as cold-formed steel, is typically used in the construction of residential and commercial buildings. It is called "light gauge" due to its relatively thin cross-sections compared to traditional structural steel. 

One of the most significant advantages of recycled light gauge steel is its smaller carbon footprint. Unlike traditional steel production, which is energy-intensive and carbon-emitting, recycled light gauge steel is a lower-carbon alternative.

Here's why:

Recycling: The primary source of this material is scrap steel from various sources, including old buildings, automobiles, and industrial machinery. This scrap steel is collected and processed, reducing the need for mining and the associated carbon emissions. 

Reusable: Light gauge steel is infinitely reusable with no loss in strength, and with proper pre-planning, it can be reused countless times without any loss of quality. This characteristic also means that it reduces the need for virgin materials and minimizes waste. If you can't use it "as-is" it can be recycled, reshaped and reused endlessly. 

Reduced Energy Consumption: The manufacturing process for recycled light gauge steel consumes significantly less energy compared to conventional steel production. It also requires less transportation energy than other framing options because of its lighter weight and portability.

Reduced Deforestation: The use of steel in construction helps mitigate deforestation by providing a strong, sustainable alternative to wood. This helps preserve vital ecosystems and reduces habitat destruction.

Reduced Waste: Steel production generates less waste compared to other building materials. Its efficiency in terms of material utilization means fewer resources end up in landfills.

Durability: Steel structures are incredibly durable, with a lifespan that can span decades. This longevity further contributes to their carbon neutrality, as they require fewer replacements and repairs over time.

By harnessing the environmental benefits of recycled steel as part of our Agriboard Green Building Systems, we can build a more sustainable and eco-conscious future for the construction industry. Additionally, steel production in general is continuing to develop improvements leading to lower carbon emissions and a few companies have even touted being carbon neutral by as early as 2026. So, the next time you discuss sustainable building materials, be sure to include light gauge steel in the conversation.

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