Thursday, 25 February 2016

Steel Shipping Container Home Coming to Hamilton, Ontario

Photo Credit: Wonder Inc.

Shipping container house debuts in Hamilton article c/o Hamilton Spectator

Steel shipping containers have been used as the basis for modular homes around the world for many decades and finally one is scheduled to be constructed in Hamilton, Ontario this coming spring.

Jason Halter, owner of Wonder Inc., a modular housing company will be breaking ground when the ground thaws in April.

From Halter,
In a way, all architecture is temporary and the shipping container is sort of this icon of being temporary," Halter says. "Here today and moved around the world all over the place. I like that place, yet at the same time you hope something you made still looks good in 10 years. That's the challenge for any architect or designer.
 Click to read the full article on the Hamilton Spectator.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Daily Commercial News Article - Does LEED v4 provide a better deal for steel?

Daily Commercial News published an article on February 11, 2016 titled Does LEED v4 provide a better deal for steel? which details the sections and credits in the newest version of LEED v4 for New Construction and Major Renovations and the ways that steel can earn points towards certification.

From the article, 
Under LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations (v4), there are five MR credits available for many steel products, for a total possible 13 LEED points:
  • Building life-cycle impact reduction (up to five points) 
  • Building product disclosure and optimization — environmental product declarations (up to two points) 
  • Building product disclosure and optimization — sourcing of raw materials (up to two points) 
  • Building product disclosure and optimization — material ingredients (up to two points) 
  • Construction and demolition waste management (up to two points).
 The CSSBI is in the process of finalizing its industry average Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for steel roofing, cladding and decking products and it will be available early 2016.

Mark Thimons, vice-president of the Steel Recycling Institute also mentions in the article that steel can play a role in credits relating to recycled content and urban heat-island effect.

Click to read the full article and learn about the ways steel and LEED v4 can work together for a more sustainable built environment.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Cold-Formed Steel Design Competition Won by University of Waterloo Student

The Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute recently announced the winners for their 2015 International Student Competition on Cold-Formed Steel Design and second place was awarded to Taylor Porter from the University of Waterloo.

The CSSBI has a long-standing relationship with the University of Waterloo so we are thrilled that one of its students has done so well in this incredibly competitive competition. With a total of 34 entries from eight universities in Brazil, Canada, China, India, Iran, Mexico and the United States, competition was steep and it seems that 2 other University of Waterloo students also managed to place in the top 10.

Congratulations to Taylor Porter and all of the other winners! Check out the winning designs here.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Which is the more sustainable building material - wood or steel? MYTH #4

Photo courtesy of SCS Global Services 

According to certain “studies,” wood claims a smaller environmental footprint than any other major building material. However, a closer look at the facts reveals some significant inconsistencies with that claim.

This is our FINAL week featuring a myth about the sustainability of wood vs. steel. See here for the past 3 myths -  #1, #2 and #3. We really hope you enjoyed this series. You can check out our Sustainability Section for more information on sheet steel products and how they can contribute to your next sustainable building project.

MYTH: All wood construction products are certified as being sustainably harvested.

REALITY: The majority of forests in the U.S. do not meet the wood industry’s own sustainable harvesting standards. 
  • Eighty-one percent of forests in the United States are not certified, 11 percent are Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI®)-certified, and seven percent are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®)-certified.(1) The sustainable harvest certification provided by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative has often been challenged as to whether it reaches the required threshold of sustainable forestry. SFI was created in 1994 by the paper and timber industry. A report on SFI by ForestEthics concludes in part: 
                 - “SFI is funded, promoted and staffed by the very paper and
                   timber industry interests it claims to evaluate.”(2) 
                 - “Of SFI’s 543 audits, up to the time of the report’s issuance,
                    there were no major noncompliance issues related to soil
                    erosion, clear-cut procedures, watershed issues, or chemical
                 - “SFI-certified logging practices are having a disastrous impact
                    on North American forests.”(4) 
  • In actuality, only seven percent of the forestland in the United States reaches the threshold of being considered sustainably managed.
If you want to learn about the other myths, you can download the Steel Market Development Institute's Fact Sheet to learn more.

(1) “Forest Certification Around the World: Georgia-Pacific, Sustainable Forestry and Certification,” Georgia-Pacific, 2014. 
(2) “SFI: Certified Greenwash – Inside the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s Deceptive Eco-Label,” a report by ForestEthics, November 2010, p. 2. 
(3) “SFI: Certified Greenwash – Inside the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s Deceptive Eco-Label,” a report by ForestEthics, November 2010, p. 9. 
(4) “SFI: Certified Greenwash – Inside the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s Deceptive Eco-Label,” a report by ForestEthics, November 2010, p. 11.