BlueScope Steel has made manufacturing changes to the latest version of COLORBOND steel to achieve substantial environmental improvements.
The use of BlueScope's new magnesium-incorporating Activate coating technology as the foundation for COLORBOND steel has increased the material's lifespan while using fewer metal resources.
BlueScope sustainability manager Richard Rowe explains the company's efforts to reduce COLORBOND steel's environmental footprint have been rewarded with positive results identified in an independent comparative environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of roofing for 1000 square metres of commercial or industrial space. The LCA results show that the latest version of COLORBOND steel outperforms its predecessor consistently in 18 categories, which measure impacts on air, water, land and human health.
The improvements recorded in the LCA range from a substantial 19.8 per cent reduction in the impact of consumption of non-renewable metal resources through to a 43 per cent reduction in the impact of chemical emissions to land.
Key results from the LCA also include a 22.1 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, a 28.5 per cent reduction in the impact of chemical emissions on human health, a 22.6 per cent reduction in the impact of consumption of non-renewable fossil fuel resources and a 34.8 per cent reduction in the use of fresh water.
The LCA concludes the reduction in environmental impact is the result of innovation in the metal coating formulation on the new COLORBOND steel substrate, which delivers an increased lifespan while using fewer metal resources.
Additionally, the use of Thermatech technology enhanced the environmental benefits of COLORBOND steel by reducing the amount of heat entering a building through the roof.
An effective way to reduce a building's energy load through less reliance on air-conditioning to maintain a comfortable internal temperature, Thermatech potentially saves occupants money on air conditioning costs as well as reduces emissions from electricity generation.
According to Mr Rowe, environmental considerations are becoming increasingly important in the construction of new buildings; COLORBOND steel is therefore ideal for creating buildings that satisfy environmental rating tool requirements such as the Green Building Council of Australia's Green Star program.
COLORBOND steel contributes towards satisfying the steel materials credit (MAT-6) across Green Star rating tools. Additionally COLORBOND steel roofs made from Classic Cream and Surfmist may also contribute towards satisfying the Environmental Category Credit (ENV-3) Heat Island Effect in the Green Star Communities tool. This credit aims to mitigate the problem of cities and urban areas being warmer than their surrounding rural or undeveloped areas by reducing the amount of solar radiation or heat absorbed by a building and its surrounds.
COLORBOND steel is also 100 per cent recyclable and manufactured by a responsible steel maker, BlueScope.