With the release of BlueScope Steel's next generation ZINCALUME® steel less than four months away, we thought it would be a great time to compare the current ZINCALUME® steel with what is set to be the new standard for steel in the industry.
At present, ZINCALUME® steel is a praised product in the world of roofing and is known to be both durable and strong. But the new and improved next generation ZINCALUME® steel ranks better in all categories according to a recent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the product. Significantly, the study found that the environmental impacts of the new ZINCALUME® are roughly between 17 and 20 per cent less. These reduced environmental impacts are in the areas of metal and fossil depletion, freshwater and human toxicity, and climate change.
The LCA, conducted by Environmental Resources Management (ERM), looked at the cradle-to-grave environmental impacts of next generation ZINCALUME® steel (AM125) compared with current ZINCALUME® steel (AZ150) when used in a commercial and industrial roofing application.
BlueScope Steel's sustainability manager, Richard Rowe, said the LCA will be of particular interest to property asset owners.
"If you are going to own a building you should care about the whole-of-life environmental impacts, and costs of that property," Mr Rowe said.
"A building constructed using next generation ZINCALUME® steel should require less maintenance compared with the current coating technology and when, eventually, elements of the building have to be replaced, the ZINCALUME® steel can be recycled (again and again and again) - which is not true of all building materials."
The longer life of next generation ZINCALUME® steel is due to its patented Activate™ technology, which facilitates more efficient galvanic protection by the zinc via the addition of a new magnesium compound.
In addition to the reduction of environmental impacts attributable to its longer lifespan, the ERM study found that the reduction of the amount of metal resources used in the AM125 aluminium-zinc-magnesium coating contributes to the reduction of its footprint when compared with a traditional AZ150 aluminium-zinc coating.
The largest reduction in the impact categories assessed, which is driven by decreased use of zinc in the coating, was to freshwater eutrophication, which is the addition of nutrients to a water body resulting in reduction of the oxygen available to support aquatic life.
"The need to extract and refine fewer metal resources in order to manufacture next generation ZINCALUME® steel makes a significant contribution to reducing its environmental impacts," Mr Rowe said.
"With the launch of this product we are taking a big step towards creating a smaller footprint."
If you like the sound of next generation ZINCALUME® steel, contact us at Action Sheetmetal & Roofing by phoning 07 5564 8200, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or online www.actionsheetmetal.com.
Photo Courtesy of ZINCALUME