1. TRADITIONAL MATERIALS

2. ALTERNATIVE MATERIALS

3. DESIGN A LOW CARBON BUILDING

STEEL

Steel is an alloy made of iron.

It is used in construction as it is extremely strong.

It can be used to form the skeleton, or structure of a building.

Bird’s Nest

Stadium

Bejing, China

What it is used for

BEAMS

REINFORCING CONCRETE

STEEL FRAMES

What's good & bad

STEEL IS VERY STRONG

YOU NEED MUCH LESS STEEL IN A BUILDING’S STRUCTURE

PRODUCING STEEL IS VERY BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

Carbon indicator

ZERO CO2

LOTS OF CO2

> VIEW ANSWER

Interesting information

For every 1 m³ of new steel produced, 6,810m³ of CO₂ is released into the atmosphere. This is called the embodied energy.

CO₂ is very harmful to the environment as it causes global warming. 6,810m³ is enough to fill over 60 double decker buses, that’s a lot of CO₂.

Fascinating facts

The structure is the part of the building that holds everything - the floors and the roof - up. Recycled means using a material again, by changing it in some way first, like melting it down.

Due to its clever steel tube design structure the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, uses less than half the steel per metre than the Empire State Building. And its nearly twice as tall, 828m, that’s more than half a mile high.

In the UK, when an old building is demolished an average of 94% of the steel in it is salvaged and recycled.