Responding to President Obama’s Penn State address calling for businesses to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings across the United States, the steel industry announced it has the products and technologies to help building owners achieve these long-term goals.
“The President has laid out an aggressive plan for retrofitting commercial buildings with energy-efficient upgrades,” says Lawrence Kavanagh, president of the Steel Market Development Institute. “We can help businesses meet this challenge with steel technologies and products that are durable, cost-effective, provide long-term energy savings, and are available now.
“Steel offers energy-saving solutions for many building components,” Kavanagh says. “An example is cool metal roofing and wall products that help reduce building energy consumption by lowering cooling loads. Reflective metal roofs can save up to 40 percent in building cooling energy costs and are excellent options for commercial retrofit applications. In many retrofit applications, metal roofing can be efficiently installed with above sheathing ventilation (ASV), which allows heat to dissipate through the ridge vent in hot weather while acting as an insulating layer when it is cold. With ASV, steel roofs can contribute to a 30 percent reduction in heat gain through the roof. “
Kavanagh explained that the steel industry, partnering with manufacturers and installers, continues to invest in innovative technologies to improve the energy efficiency of building cladding products.
Steel roofing and siding offers an excellent base to provide a building with electrical generation and innovative solar thermal systems. Metal roofs provide the optimal foundation for photovoltaic installations, since the roof can be expected to last longer than the PV system it supports. New technologies are being developed with the potential to allow the PV generating system to be painted directly on the metal roofing substrate. Wall and roof solar heat recovery systems can be integrated with steel cladding and used to provide air, water, or process heating needs.
In addition to these direct energy-saving benefits, steel roofing and wall cladding contribute to an overall reduction in environmental impact. Steel construction materials in retrofit applications typically generate credits in green building certification programs and reduce the building’s carbon footprint. Steel cladding is durable, offering long-term resistance to weather, including wind, hail, ice, and snow. Commercial metal roofs have been in service in excess of 30 years, and painted metal roofs are credibly warranted for a minimum of 30 years. Steel is produced using recycled materials and is fully recyclable at the end of its useful life. Reflective metal roofs can help reduce urban heat island effect. As an added benefit, steel roofing is lightweight, so a retrofit steel system can often be installed over an existing roof covering, reducing landfill waste.
“Wall and roof cladding products using steel can play a key role in achieving the President’s energy objectives by providing an attractive, durable retrofit alternative for the commercial building market that also reduces overall environmental impact,” Kavanagh says.
For more information on the benefits of cool metal roofing, visit www.coolmetalroofing.com.
The Steel Market Development Institute, a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new-growth opportunities in emerging steel markets. For more news or information, visit www.steel.org.
The investor companies in the construction market program of the Steel Market Development Institute are:
• AK Steel Corporation
• ArcelorMittal Dofasco
• ArcelorMittal USA LLC
• Nucor Corporation
• SSAB Americas
• Steelscape, Inc.
• United States Steel Corporation
• USS-POSCO Industries