Is Structure made of Steel and Concrete Sustainable?

Is the construction industry taking a toll on nature? With the recent adverse change in climatic pattern, finally, we have come to the sad realization that indeed, our actions took a toll on our environment. But the question of the hour is ‘How can construction be made sustainable’. As in the developing world, one can not just forego the idea of construction. Here is an interesting fact, Reinforced Cement Concrete structures can very well be considered sustainable. Wondering how?

How can a structure made of steel and concrete be called sustainable?

Sustainability is a broad term, it doesn’t mean forgoing, but undertaking steps foreseeing the picture of a better tomorrow. So, how can a structure that is made of steel and concrete be called sustainable?

The answer lies in its life span. A well constructed RCC structure has a life span over 100 years, marking it as resources well spent. With very little maintenance required, RCC homes do qualify as sustainable. Construction should always be optimized to maximize life and minimize the maintenance required. As on demolishing a building, most of the waste can be recycled but with the effects of downcycling. For instance, the concrete mix can be crushed and reused to make a base layer for asphalt pavement. Bricks can have a long life, and often be reused for landscaping projects. They can also be crushed to become gravel for paving in tennis courts. But they cannot be truly recycled and recovered as construction materials fit for construction purposes.

Steel, a larger part of why RCC can be called sustainable

In an RCC structure, steel is used as reinforcement to concrete for better durability. Considering the fact that while concrete can resist the compression, it breaks with forces of tensional nature, which is easily resolved by steel as a reinforcement to structures. So. how can steel be called sustainable when the construction industry is the largest consumer of steel? The reason is, Steel is 100% recyclable with no effects of downcycling. This presents an opportunity for infinite recycling, proving steel as a sustainable building material.

Why TMT steel bars are perfect for constructing sustainable homes?

Steel is 100% recyclable and TMT (Thermo Mechanically Treated) steel bars made from recycled steel is as good as primary steel (steel made by purification of iron from ores). Here are a few reasons why innovation of TMT technology helps in better sustainable buildings

  • Use of TMT bars reduce the need for steel by 8% – 10% when compared to HYSD bars for undertaking the same construction
  • TMT process provides better resistance to corrosion giving more life to steel reinforcement
  • TMT bars have high ductility which helps the RCC structures in withstanding earthquakes
  • Better safety provided by improved fire resistance and ability to withstand earthquakes

Take Away

Construction is an art, but a taxing one. A reason why the practice is in the need of constant evolution to keep up with the challenges. Innovation is a definite requirement in construction keeping in mind for a better tomorrow. Whereas while new construction practices are being successfully implemented worldwide, we should keep on open-mindedness to accept the best practices. Only by accepting better construction practices, can we contribute to making a better tomorrow.

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