Role of Light Gauge Steel Buildings in Low Carbon Development 

Last week we explored the role of offsite construction in helping Ireland to achieve net zero by 2050, following the publication of the  revised Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021. You can read this article in full here: https://horizonoffsite.ie/role-of-offsite-construction-in-helping-ireland-achieve-net-zero/  

In the UK, CEO of Cast Consultancy and MHCLG champion for MMC in homebuilding, Mark Farmer helps to put the sustainability agenda in perspective with the publication of a thought-provoking opinion piece titled: ‘Carbon targets have been set – now the hard work really starts’, wherein he throws down the gauntlet to the industry by stating “Turning well-meaning words about climate change into measurable action requires fundamental change across the industry”. You can access the article in full here: https://www.building.co.uk/comment/carbon-targets-have-been-set-now-the-hard-work-really-starts/5111660.article

The climate change agenda was slightly sidelined over the past year, with Brexit and the pandemic understandably dominating the construction consciousness. However, as the vaccine roll-out programmes globally pick up pace, the need for climate action is re-emerging as an urgent threat. As the above article states, “this is perhaps the biggest societal challenge facing us”. The built environment, as a huge contributor to global carbon emissions, rightfully has a huge role to play in tackling this. Farmer questions whether the industry truly realises how much it will have to change. Ever the strategic thinker, he positions this as a potential opportunity, with new innovations being adopted as the industry rises to the inevitable challenges. 

The circular economy of build and demolition needs to be broken with the ability to maximise re-use and adaptation. This will test designer and manufacturer thinking and set a different brief for materials scientists…Once developers, investors and corporate or public body occupiers start defining carbon differently – and as a true proxy for value – then this will drive different specifications and methodologies.” Mark Farmer, 2021

When it comes to a more sustainable method of building with less waste, offsite construction and other modern methods of construction, or MMC, are efficient by their very nature, with further efficiencies engineered by design. The above article points out that “All the waste has some form of carbon footprint, so moving to more efficient DfMA-led site assembly methods and driving waste out are as important as decarbonising concrete and steel manufacturing”.

The author suggests that MMC needs to get “much smarter” about how it integrates lower embodied and operational carbon with high levels of pre-manufactured value. 

At Horizon Offsite, we are long time advocates of the benefits of light gauge steel framing for buildings, with up to 75 per cent of all steel currently used in light gauge steel framed housing being recycled. Also, our expert design and precision engineering ensures superior quality with minimal waste. In terms of end product, this consistently high quality ensures excellent building energy performance through the highest possible U-values and air tightness. 

About Horizon Offsite

Horizon Offsite Ltd is one of Europe’s leading players in Offsite Construction and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), providing a fully accredited structural light gauge steel system to the residential, industrial, commercial, healthcare and educational sectors. Contact the Horizon Offsite team at https://horizonoffsite.ie