Sun reflecting from windows of skyscraper

Best practice guide for Steel Applications in Zero Energy Building

ZEB can contribute to energy and cost savings and CO2 reduction in buildings.

A ZEB is an energy-efficient building where, on a source energy basis, the actual energy delivered is less than or equal to the on-site renewable exported energy.

The construction sector accounts for nearly 40% of total fossil fuel energy. It therefore has a key role to play in the fight against climate change.

Steel’s energy efficiency coupled with its ability to contribute to airtightness are important contributors to reducing operational energy use and hence CO2 emissions in buildings. At the same time, steel’s ability to enhance thermal resistance (in combination with other materials) and to quickly store and release heat when needed also contributes towards reducing energy consumption.

In addition to this, steel structures are easily and quickly built off-site under quality-controlled, highly regulated and safe factory conditions. This means they can circumvent the delays associated with materials that need to be built on-site due to issues such as bad weather.

Arguably best of all, at the end of its life, steel can either be reused or infinitely recycled without any loss of property.

Professor Yujin Nam of the Department of Architectural Engineering at Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea, has led an international team of universities and architectural institutes to produce a guide on how steel can help bring about a more sustainable construction sector.