Steel reuse agricultural buildings

Steel reuse agricultural buildings

Project summary: Agricultural steel-framed buildings made of reclaimed steel

Location: North Yorkshire

Key information

Project type: Agricultural

Size: 30x15x6m structure

Completion: TBC

Stakeholders involved:

  • Simple works (structural engineer)

  • Cleveland Steel and Tubes (steel stockholder and supplier)

Project description

  • Simple Works is designing agricultural sheds using reclaimed steel supplied by Cleveland Steel and Tubes.
  • The system utilises reclaimed steel tubes to create portal frame structures consisting of pitched welded trusses.

Key drivers for steel reuse

  • Low carbon structures for agriculture
  • Providing a viable reuse pathway for reclaimed steel tubes
  • Creating a structure which can compete commercially against traditional agricultural structures
  • Creating a structure which is easy to construct
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Amount of steel reused

17 tonnes per building (30x15x6m structure)

Embodied carbon savings

34 tonnes (76 kgCO2e/m2) compared to an equivalent traditional steel framed structure*

*Carbon savings were calculated based on the LCA of reclaimed steel by Cleveland Steel and Tubes. This includes inbound transport impact to the stockholder’s yard and excludes outbound transport impact to the construction site.

Business considerations

Reclaimed steel procurement route: Reclaimed steel was purchased from the steel stockholder. Reclaimed steel has originated from various sources, including demolished buildings and surplus material.

Information available on reclaimed steel: Various information was available from laboratory tests to steel mill certificates.

Quality of reclaimed steel,  testing and certification: All reclaimed steel elements were validated with independent tests.

Warranty issues: None, all steel was CE/UKCA marked.

Cost of reclaimed steel versus new steel: The cost of reclaimed steel was 20% lower than new steel.

Economical implications of steel reuse: Finished fabricated items were cheaper than equivalent new ones.   

Implication of steel reuse on project timelines: There were no implications on timelines resulting from steel reuse.

Lessons learned, challenges and critical success factors

  • This project demonstrates both the environmental and economic advantages of reusing steel in agricultural construction.
  • The use of tube sections versus more traditional open sections was a challenge as tubes are typically less efficient with respect to material use for agricultural structures. However, utilising a truss systemallowed the tubes to be used for their beneficial section properties resulting in a structure with a material weight comparable to that of a traditional frame.

This case study was compiled based on information provided by Cleveland Steel and Tubes and Simple Works, as part of the DISRUPT project (Delivering Innovative Steel ReUse ProjecT).

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