At Bailey Metal Products Limited, we strive to produce safe, sustainable, lightweight steel framing.
We are leaders within the lightweight steel framing industry and we value quality and sustainability. We are committed to the advancement of lightweight steel framing as an environmentally-friendly green building product that reduces energy consumption and waste. Our aim is to improve indoor and outdoor air quality, conserve water and natural resources for both new and existing commercial and residential buildings.
GREEN BENEFITS OF LIGHTWEIGHT STEEL FRAMING
Bailey Metal Products Limited is committed to the advancement of LSF as an environmentally conscious product. Our product is produced with consistent properties and dimensions. Steel will not rot, shrink, split, warp or provide a source for mold, bacteria or insects, and it is fully recyclable and non-combustible.
An added benefit of steel is that it has the highest strength to weight ratio of all structural building materials, in addition to being a structural substitute for both dimensional lumber and reinforced concrete building applications.
Steel framing is essential to supporting a healthy indoor air environment. It is free of resin adhesives and other chemicals like those used to treat wood framing products, and this prevents the release or off-gas of any volatile organic compounds.
- All steel products are 100% recyclable. The overall recycling rate of steel products in North America is approximately 66%, the highest rate of any material.
- Steel products can be recycled repeatedly without degradation or loss of properties.
- The steel industry is the single largest recycler in North America.
- The steel used in the manufacturing process for Bailey construction components is certified to Environment Canada's Environmental Choice Program and carries the EcoLogo. This provides customers with the assurance that they are making an environmentally responsible decision when using Bailey Metal Products for their lightweight steel construction needs.
LEEDing WITH STEEL
Buildings have a profound impact on our natural environment, economy, health and productivity. In North America, the built environment accounts for approximately one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water and material consumption and generate similar proportions of pollution. Indoor air quality is regarded as one of the top environmental health risks today, affecting the well-being, productivity and performance of many individuals.
As concerns increase about sustainability in building design and operation, there is a need to develop a framework for assessing and quantifying buildings so that questions such as, "What is sustainable design?" and "How green is this project?" can be addressed. In response to this, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system was developed to provide such a framework for North America. The following explores how the use of steel structures and components can contribute to achieving a LEED certificate for a building.
What is LEED?
The LEED system was developed to provide a standard for what constitutes a "sustainable building" and to transform existing building markets so that sustainable design, construction and operation become mainstream practices. The approach taken was to create a "voluntary, consensus, market-driven building rating system based on proven technology. LEED aims to improve occupant well-being, environmental performance and economic returns from buildings, using both established and innovative practices, standards and technologies. It is also intended to prevent exaggerated or false claims of sustainability and to provide a common standard of measurement.
LEED was first developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and adopted in the USA. In 2004, the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) created LEED Canada - NC version 1.0 and in June 2010, a new version will take effect, LEED Canada for New Construction and Major Renovations 2009.
Currently it applies to new designs and major renovations of commercial, institutional or high-rise residential buildings.
LEED offers a third-party certification process whereby points are collected within five main environmental performance categories. For version 1.0 (see Table 1). A sixth category deals with Innovation and Design Process, which aims to promote whole-building integrated design practices and a new seventh category Regional Priority gives extra points to projects who can show any extra considerations given to any environmental challenges unique to the region of the jobsite.
LEED represents a consensus-based approach of the members of the USGBC and CaGBC, which include a wide cross section of designers, suppliers, clients, regulators and other interest groups. As of April 2005, over two hundred buildings were LEED certified in North America, and over a thousand projects were registered seeking LEED certification.
Benefits of LEED Certification
There are several well documented benefits of employing sustainable building technologies, and they include measurable reductions of waste, decreased water use, energy savings, reduced operating and maintenance costs and improved indoor air quality. Less tangible benefits may include improvements in occupant health, employee morale, productivity, recruitment, retention and improved public image for organizations that build green. Research studies have found links between sustainable and improved labour productivity - a business expense that dwarfs other building operating expenses.
Incorporating sustainable features also serves to "future-proof" a building for tomorrow. New buildings that overlook these issues may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage in the future with rising utility costs, more demanding indoor environmental quality standards, and concerns about the impact of some materials on the environment. As a result LEED accreditation helps to identify leaders in sustainable design and serves as a marketing tool that can be used by building owners to generate increased returns. LEED can also be used to raise consumer awareness of the importance of sustainable design. In addition, many organizations are now requiring LEED certification for their buildings.
It is important to note that buildings are certified in the LEED program and products are not. However, when steel components are used for the building envelope, framing, or structural members, they can help qualify a building for LEED certification.
To this end, several green building programs exist that underscore the suitability of steel framing as a sustainable building material. These include rating systems like LEED, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which is currently considered the predominant green building rating system in the US and Canada.
Lightweight steel framing stands out as a structural material that will meet multiple green building program objectives based on attributes including high recycled content and high reuse potential, good thermal performance, low building site waste, and the fact that it is an inert material that doesn't release harmful chemicals and resists the growth of mold, mildew and other bacteria. Specifying steel framing for a building project can contribute to sustainable decisions under guidelines of each green building program.