Green Attributes of Rebar
CRSI endorses the commonly accepted United Nations definition of sustainability as stated:
“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs – by attempting to balance social, economic and environmental effects.”
According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, the domestic production of a given unit of steel today requires less than half the energy than was needed 40 years ago, resulting in a 50% reduction in GHG emissions. Domestic processing of steel for rebar uses Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) technology and scrap steel, which reduces the typical energy required to make a ton of product by about 65 to 70% over steel from virgin materials.
Micro-mill technology is the latest innovation in EAF steel production, which hot rolls steel reinforcement in one continuous operation, further reducing the manufacturing energy required. Several new micro-mill plants have been constructed in the U.S in the past decade.
Steel is the most recycled material in the world, with U.S. producers recycling more than 70 million tons of scrap each year. According to the 2022 Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for Fabricated Reinforcing Steel, the most common reinforcing steels (ASTM A615 and A706) exceed 97% for recycled content. Specialty reinforcing steel products have a recycled material content typically greater than 75%.
After its service life is complete, both concrete and steel reinforcement can be recycled, into fill and base for the concrete and yet another steel application by the rebar.
The advantages of sustainable construction go beyond environmental gains helpful to the community and marketing prestige. They include durability and other features that produce bottom-line savings that cut time and cost during a project’s construction and service life. No construction material contributes to sustainability needs more than steel reinforced concrete.
The recycled content of reinforcing steel is greater than 75 percent and, in most circumstances, greater than 95 percent.
ABILITY TO BE RECYCLED
Reinforcing steel can be readily recycled at the end of the structure design life.