Sept 22: In the News – Delivering Steel’s Circular Economy Potential

Nigel Moss, Bourne Group Development Director, is quoted in an Institute of Structural Engineers article :

“As we transition to a net-zero world, through campaigns such as SteelZero and accreditation to Responsible Steel standards, steel producers will develop and deliver products with ever-decreasing embodied carbon levels. While new technologies and investments come on stream, steel will continue to support the circular economy through the longevity of the structures built, adaptability of those structures for repurpose or refurbishment, relative ease of deconstruction and reuse, or ultimately through 100% recyclability without loss of original properties. Modern structural steel production embraces every facet of technology, from 3D design and detailing, building information modelling collaboration and electronic planning, to process recording, computer numerical controlled (CNC) equipment and handling systems. Combined with one of the most refined stockholding and material supply chains in the world, steel production offers the epitome of a design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) approach to construction, but with the flexibility to produce some of the most complex and varying structures on the planet. Simply varying the material input from prime new steel to selected reused sections is a change, but it is wholly deliverable. As with any production flow, adding process may increase time and costs, but these should not be disproportionate to the prized carbon reduction gain. We have the tools – a Model specification for the purchase of reclaimed steel sections 8 to be used in conjunction with the National Structural Steelwork Specification along with SCI guidance5 for the assessment, testing and design of those sections. Appropriately accredited fabricators applying their normal processes to reclaimed materials in accordance with these protocols should CE/UKCA Mark their products as per current legislation. Collaboration through the whole value chain can create and sustain a supply system that economically harvests suitable steel, defabricates to an appropriate level, tests and delivers materials into the production process with almost zero embodied carbon. With some adjustments to the fabrication and checking regimes, production of reused sections to a certified stand is achievable today. Constraints will be limited to the availability of material, but these will ease over time as stocks grow.”