How Does CanAm Provide So Much Recycled Steel?

Protecting the environment is a key element of CanAm Steel Building’s company values. One of the ways we are able to demonstrate our commitment to the environment is by providing up to 89 percent of recycled steel for all of our building projects. It’s not a simple task, but it’s one that we are proud of and believe is necessary for the health of the steel industry. For questions about the process for CanAm buildings, call us today!

[Read more “How reclaimed can a building be?” here]

Taken from the article:
“The trade in used construction materials is big business these days. As owners strive to make authenticity an element of their projects, a cottage industry has sprung up to meet demand for secondhand wood, steel, brick and any other building material that can be repurposed in new structures.

One way this is achieved is through the process of deconstruction. While demolition generally involves tearing material out of a space or knocking a building down and sending the wreckage off to a landfill, deconstruction is more methodical. In deconstruction, crews take great pains to avoid damaging the bricks, fixtures, windows, wood and other high-value items they are able to remove intact.

Beyond finishes

One of the biggest challenges to using such materials for structural or other applications is meeting current building codes, said Dustin White, construction manager at C1S Group, in Dallas. For example, windows might not meet today’s energy-efficiency requirements and material from older buildings could contain lead or asbestos. Some materials might have weakened significantly over time, whereas others, like steel, tend to be stronger than their modern counterparts.

“The beauty of steel is that — most of the time — the farther back you go, the better the quality,” White said. Steel used to be inexpensive enough that manufacturers could account for potential design errors by simply adding more mass to members.

Today’s project cost considerations, however, have made design more precise. And there’s not as much redundancy built into steel members.

“[Steel products today] are not weaker, they’re just enough to do the job they’ve been designed to do,” White said. “But 50 or 60 years ago, [they] would be able to do twice the job.”

Buying old to go green

Owners’ desire to achieve green-building marks like LEED certification is by far the biggest driver of interest in using reclaimed architectural and structural materials on commercial projects, Haldeman said.

The Research Support Facility at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Golden, CO, achieved LEED Platinum certification in June 2011, in part by using reclaimed steel natural gas piping, recovered from an out-of-service pipeline, as structural columns. The University of North Texas’ Apogee Stadium, in Denton, TX, which also earned LEED Platinum status, used reclaimed steel beams as headers for concession-stand openings.”