In the United States, millions of commercial and residential buildings represent a large portion of the country's energy consumption. This is why reducing building energy use has become a government concern and national effort. From the perspective of building owners and operators, energy efficiency is one way to maximize return on investments. In these goals of reducing energy consumption and increasing ROI from energy efficiency, metal buildings are among the topmost option. However, are metal buildings really energy-friendly?
The energy-friendliness of metal buildings starts with the production of actual construction materials such as steel. The steel production industry is one of the most energy-efficient industries today, using 33% less energy than it did in the 1970s. Moreover, the steel industry also reuses much of its water consumption. Most importantly, 100% of scrap metal is also recyclable. These sustainable practices of the steel industry make metal buildings energy-friendly.
Metal buildings are energy-friendly because it can help you save a significant amount on annual energy bills. A metal roof reflects solar energy. Add a coating material, and you can cut your cooling bill in the summer. A highly emissive or energy-reflective material reduces air temperature significantly. On the other hand, a pre-painted or granular coated roof can re-emit up to 90% of absorbed solar radiation, which also makes the roof useful for heating during winter. Metal buildings are energy-friendly because a coated white roof helps in regulating temperature.
Builders now implement steel building prefabrication methods that eliminate waste and reduce energy requirement. Steel prefabrication methods are now efficient in terms of designing, engineering, and manufacturing. Offsite prefabrication methods now require less time for erecting the frame, and precision engineering cuts down on rework and waste. Moreover, prefabrication also prevents having poorly sealed windows and doors, which result in heat loss. Metal buildings can be prefabricated offsite, and parts are designed and manufactured using precision engineering methods.
Overall, metal buildings are energy-friendly because the raw materials are manufactured using less energy and unsustainable methods, reflective metal roofing significantly helps in building insulation, and prefabricated bodies reduce the energy needed for the actual construction and even after completion due to precise measurement of windows, doors, and openings for proper temperature regulation. These factors make metal buildings energy-friendly from manufacturing of raw materials to constructing the building and even during its operations, which also means maximizing possible return on investment for owners and operators.