Steel is Green

Steel is one of the most sustainable building materials in the world. The industry has embraced the common sense approach that reducing its impact on the environment is not only the right thing to do, but it makes economic sense.

  • Since the early 1990s, the steel industry has reduced its energy use to produce a ton of steel by approximately 1/3.
  • More than 95% of the water used in the steel making process is recycled and returned - often cleaner than when it was taken from the source.
  • Every piece of steel used in construction contains recycled content. Further, all steel can be recovered and recycled again and again into new high quality products

  • Steel is durable, safe, and strong. It is not susceptible to rot, termites, or mold. Steel used for framing will last from hundreds to over a thousand years due to its zinc coating, a natural element. Steel structures require less material (both reduced weight and reduced volume) to carry the same loads as concrete or masonry or wood structures.
  • Steel is dimensionally stable: it will not warp, split, or creep - making it durable and built to last. Don’t waste time and dollars on costly call backs. Minimize cracking and pops in drywall and other finishes with CFS framing.

Steel and Green Building Codes and Standards

As more and more green codes and standards begin to make their way into adoption, cold-formed steel (CFS) is well positioned to help your project meet the highest sustainability standards. Steel is recognized in all major green building standards and rating programs, including the National Green Building Standard (ICC-700) for residential buildings, ASHRAE Standard 189.1 for commercial construction, and the US Green Building Council’s LEED program that covers all types of buildings.

How is this possible? More than 82 million tons of steel were recycled in the US in 2008 - more than aluminum, glass and paper combined. That steel goes back into new studs, joists, and other members used in buildings. In fact, steel is the only material with an automatic minimum default value for recycled content in the LEED program. Further, most green codes and standards recognize the excellent potential of CFS at reducing the amount of construction waste generated at a site. Most of this is due to the almost universal use of pre-engineered and assembled panels to build steel assemblies using modern, efficient technology. For example, of all the waste from a 2000 sq. ft. residence framed with steel, less than 2 % of steel is left over and can be recycled compared to that same house built of wood generating 20% of waste that will be sent to landfill.


Steel and the Environment.  Download PDF

Steel Takes the LEED (How to determine recycled content for LEED programs)   Click here

Durability of Cold-Formed Steel Framing Members CFSEI TechNet D001-07 primer on zinc coated CFS   Download PDF

Mold: One More Reason to Build with Steel Framing. Issue Paper  Download PDF

Termite Issue Paper  Download PDF

Poly Canyon Village San Luis Obispo. CA. A university’s experience with CFS as the sustainable choice.  Click here for more info.


Save on Insurance Plans

  • Cold-formed steel (CFS) is non-combustible, which reduces the risk of property loss during construction and over the life of the structure.
  • Reduced risk of property loss leads to lower insurance premiums for builders and owners.

Zurich Builders Risk Plan

  • When it comes to controlling costs on your next commercial or multi-family residential building project, you have choices. Selecting high-quality cold-formed steel over other framing materials is one. Choosing the Zurich Builders Risk Plan is the other. Both are good options in themselves, but together, they create an unprecedented compounded benefit. On every one of your building projects, every time. New consistent classification of steel framing as non-combustible, offered through the Zurich Builders Risk Plan, can reduce your premiums when compared to combustible frame construction.
  • “Have your Insurance Agent Contact Zurich for a Quote” 
    For more information call Zurich Insurance 1.888.79.STEEL or click here to download brochure.

STEEL Advantage Insurance Program

  • The Steel Framing Alliance and DiBuduo & DeFendis Insurance Brokers, LLC (a member of Assurex Global), have launched a comprehensive insurance program that provides builders who use steel framing with as much as a 43 percent discount on a broad range of insurance products. This program makes steel framing even more competitive with other construction materials. Named “STEEL Advantage,” the program is specifically tailored for cold-formed steel-framed construction projects, including single-family tract, low-rise multi-family, mid-rise commercial and mixed-use structures. The program is currently available to all cold-formed steel construction projects nationwide.
    For more information contact Charles Specht, CIC (559) 437-6556 or [email protected].

    Steel Advantage Program. Contact the following for discounts on a suite of insurance products:

    Charles Specht, CIC 
    DiBuduo & DeFendis Insurance Brokers, LLC 
    A member of Assurex Global 
    +(559) 437-6556 Direct Phone 
    +(559) 437-6557 Direct Fax 
    [email protected]

For more information on the Builders Risk Insurance plan and how your agent can contact call Zurich Insurance +1.888.79.STEEL Zurich or click here to download brochure.


Steel is Non-Combustable

  • Steel is a non-combustible, fire resistant material and will not feed a fire
  • On average, wood structural members or framing rank third as the first-ignited material in home fires according to the National Fire Protection Association.
  • Building with steel can reduce cost of construction insurance as well as homeowner’s insurance premiums.

A Guide to Fire and Acoustic Data for Cold-Formed Steel Floor, Wall and Roof Assemblies

Compiled by the Steel Framing Alliance and Canadian Steel Construction Council, this searchable directory provides the user with the ability to search the current, complete range of fire and sound-rated cold-formed steel assemblies as listed by the major recognized testing agencies.

The assemblies contained in the database are limited to those that are relevant to residential and light commercial construction.

Source: Steel Framing Alliance


A Guide to Fire and Acoustic Data for Cold-Formed Steel Floor, Wall and Roof Assemblies: Download PDF

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