New COLORBOND® steel has reduced environmental impact

News /
27 November 2013
New COLORBOND® steel has reduced environmental impact
BlueScope sustainability manager Richard Rowe.

Manufacturing changes made to the latest version of COLORBOND® steel have produced substantial environmental improvements.

The use of BlueScope's new magnesium-incorporating Activate™ coating technology as the foundation for COLORBOND® steel has increased the material's lifespan while using fewer metal resources.

BlueScope sustainability manager Richard Rowe said that the company's efforts to reduce COLORBOND® steel's environmental footprint have been rewarded with positive results identified in an independent comparative environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of roofing for 1000 square metres of commercial or industrial space.

"The LCA results show that the latest version of COLORBOND® steel outperforms its predecessor consistently in 18 categories, which measure impacts on air, water, land and human health," Mr Rowe said.

"The improvements recorded in the LCA range from a substantial 19.8 per cent reduction in the impact of consumption of non-renewable metal resources through to a 43 per cent reduction in the impact of chemical emissions to land."

Other noteworthy results from the LCA include a 22.1 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, a 28.5 per cent reduction in the impact of chemical emissions on human health, a 22.6 per cent reduction in the impact of consumption of non-renewable fossil fuel resources and a 34.8 per cent reduction in the use of fresh water.

The LCA concluded the reduction in environmental impact is the result of innovation in the metal coating formulation on the new COLORBOND® steel substrate, which delivers an increased lifespan while using fewer metal resources.

Adding to the environmental benefits of COLORBOND® steel is its use of Thermatech®* technology, which can reduce the amount of heat entering a building through the roof.^

Thermatech® can be an effective way to reduce a building's energy load through less reliance on air-conditioning to maintain a comfortable internal temperature; potentially saving occupants money on air conditioning costs as well as potentially reducing emissions from electricity generation.^

Mr Rowe said that environmental considerations are becoming increasingly important in the construction of new buildings, and COLORBOND® steel is ideal for creating buildings that satisfy environmental rating tool requirements such as the Green Building Council of Australia's Green Star™ program.

"COLORBOND® steel contributes towards satisfying the steel materials credit (MAT-6) across Green Star™ rating tools,"** he said.

"Additionally COLORBOND® steel roofs made from Classic Cream™ and Surfmist® may also contribute towards satisfying the Environmental Category Credit (ENV-3) Heat Island Effect in the Green Star™ Communities tool.***

"This credit aims to mitigate the problem of cities and urban areas being warmer than their surrounding rural or undeveloped areas by reducing the amount of solar radiation, or heat, absorbed by a building and its surrounds.

"New COLORBOND® steel is still 100 per cent recyclable and manufactured by a responsible steel maker, BlueScope, with the benefit of being more environmentally sustainable than its predecessor," Mr Rowe said.

*Thermatech® technology is not available in the colour Night Sky®.
^Results will depend on level of insulation, building shape and function.
** COLORBOND® steel contributes to satisfying the Green Star™ Mat-6 steel materials credit because: (a) COLORBOND® steel is manufactured by BlueScope, a responsible steel maker; and (b) COLORBOND® steel roof and wall sheeting is made from steel with a minimum strength of 550MPa. For more information visit sustainability.bluescopesteel.com.au or call 1800 800 789. Green Star™ is a trade mark of Green Building Council of Australia ABN 43 100 789 937.
*** COLORBOND® steel roofs made from Classic Cream™ and Surfmist® have a solar reflective index (SRI) greater than 78.

BlueScope Steel

BlueScope Steel manufactures steel building products including cladding, purlins and house framing, including Lysaght, Colorbond and Zincalume.

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