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EPD underlines voestalpine Metsec commitment to sustainability

voestalpine Metsec has recently published an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) covering its purlins and framing systems. Verified by independent EPD authority, EPD Hub, the declaration provides designers, specifiers and developers with comprehensive information to include in a project’s sustainability assessment.

Assurance of a system’s environmental credentials comes from a manufacturer’s Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). Compiled in accordance with EN 15804+A2 and ISO 14025/ISO 21930, the EPD covers all aspects of the products’ environmental credentials, from manufacture, transport and installation to end of life. The EPD includes a life-cycle assessment and environmental impact data comprising core environmental impact indicators, use of natural resources and end of life information.

voestalpine Metsec’s publication of the EPD underlines the company’s commitment to sustainability and follows swiftly on the heels of its parent company, voestalpine AG, announcing a major initiative to achieve net zero carbon emissions in its Metal Forming Division by 2035, some fifteen years ahead of the targets set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

At design stage, steel framing systems offer the potential for zero material wastage as all components are designed and manufactured to exact dimensions and assembled to strict tolerances.

This precision transfers to the construction phases of a project where lightweight steel framing reduces the burden on foundations and assures maximum efficiency in installation and logistics as components can be delivered and installed immediately.

In addition, whereas many other building materials, such as timber, are not readily recycled or repurposed at the end of their working life, steel has a re-use and recovery rate approaching 100%, making it one of the most recyclable materials on earth.

Sales Director of voestalpine Metsec’s Framing Division, Chris Holleron comments, “In the not-too-distant future, architects, specifiers and developers could well find themselves having to meet carbon emissions targets for new developments.

“In addition to policies such as the much-vaunted ban on gas-fuelled heating systems that is currently making the news, these targets could well encompass the entire design, construction and ultimate demolition of a building, including reuse of the materials from which it has been constructed.

“In such a scenario, all materials and processes used in construction would need to meet criteria designed to assure net zero carbon emissions. Along with other parties invested in the project, materials manufacturers will need to state and prove the environmental credentials of their products and systems.”

As the UK’s largest designer and manufacturer of constructional steel systems, voestalpine Metsec has always been at the forefront of the industry when it comes to setting, adopting, maintaining and verifying the most rigorous standards across all of its operations. Key to its carbon net zero commitment is not only the continuous interrogation and improvement of its processes to achieve net zero by 2035 but also providing designers and contractors with confidence that voestalpine Metsec systems, and their efficient installation, are as environmentally responsible as possible. The publication of EPDs is a key part of this policy.

Whilst the process of making and converting steel into building components may appear carbon intensive, the advantages it offers can mitigate the building’s carbon footprint and once embodied within the steel carbon is not readily released.