Steel and Concrete Alternatives
GreenBeams.com offers chunky timber beams as steel and concrete alternatives. There are many environmental problems with steel and concrete, mainly related to the amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere during their production.
Why use green beams? They are…
A green alternative to steel:
- There is a real imbalance in the materials used for construction. Structural & Civil Consultants Ltd. are involved with projects involving around 26,000 Tonnes of steel in 2006 but only 26 Tonnes of oak.
- For every tonne of steel produced, 1.75 tonnes of carbon is released into the atmosphere. Steel should only be used for projects that benefit the environment e.g. new railways.
- Although steel beams are compact, they then need to be fireproofed and clad in a timber disguise. Genuine hardwood timber needs no disguise and has excellent fireproofing due to the protective charring of its surface.
A green alternative to concrete:
- Every tonne of processed cement releases a tonne of carbon into the atmosphere!
- World-wide cement production is responsible for 5% of all carbon emissions.
- Concrete is heavy and difficult to make aesthetically pleasing
- The transporting costs for concrete are likely to be much greater than those for locally felled timber, and in some cases could be greater than the total cost of the timber used.
As noted there are many problems with steel and concrete. Better supply networks and more confidence about the properties of timber and its viable uses could kick-start a campaign for timber members as good steel and concrete alternatives.
Failing concrete beam and a rusting steel beam.