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10 Cutting-edge, Energy-efficient Building Materials

10

Recycled Steel

If you check out the material produced by the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI), you might want to skip the wood beams when building your next house.

According to the SRI, builders are simplifying the framing process by ordering customized steel beams and panels to fit each specific design. The SRI touts the durability of steel in areas subject to high winds and earthquakes. Further, it reports that while a 2,000-square-foot (186-square-meter) house requires 40 or 50 trees to build, a frame from recycled steel would require no more than the material that comes from six scrapped cars [source: Steel Recycling Institute].

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At least 65 tons (59 metric tons) of scrap steel are recycled every year. Recycling scrap reduces the energy produced in making the steel by 75 percent, and it saves space in landfills as well [source: Steel Recycling Institute].

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