Steel manufacture contributes around 7% to global CO2 emissions and around 50% of all steel produced is used in buildings and infrastructure, so, the structural engineer has a significant role to play in reducing emissions associated with steel use.
There are design strategies that can be used to achieve the same functionality but with less material, but ultimately the provenance of the material will play a part in delivering low embodied carbon structures and infrastructure.
It is now key for designers to have an understanding of the manufacturing processes used to make the steel, and steel products they specify and the availability through the supply chain. Armed with this knowledge structural engineers can make informed decisions that steer the supply chain towards a low carbon route.
It could be argued that the transition to low emissions steelmaking started many, many years ago with the introduction of 100% scrap-based manufacture, but the real challenge for the steel industry is to decarbonise primary steelmaking. Rolling out the deep decarbonisation of steelmaking is underway - discover the technologies that will be used to achieve this, the progress made to date and the impact that the low carbon steel products that result will support the delivery of low and net zero steel framed buildings and infrastructure.
Walter Swann MIStructE, Steligence Construction Engineer
Walter is a Chartered Structural Engineer with over 35 years of construction industry experience. He started his career working in consultancy designing in a range of materials, but pursued his interest in steelwork initially working in steel fabrication and latterly in steel manufacture.
With a broad knowledge of steel products, the manufacturing processes employed to make them, and where they sit in a construction context Walter has become a point of contact in the industry on strategies that can be rolled out to deliver on embodied carbon targets for buildings.