ArcelorMittal has unveiled a radical new concept for the use of steel in construction, which will facilitate the next generation of high performance buildings and construction techniques and create a more sustainable life-cycle for buildings.
Known as Steligence®, the concept revolves around the idea of buildings as holistic entities where all aspects of design are considered in an integrated way, as part of the whole. As such, it proposes the need for better dialogue between various specialist architectural and engineering disciplines, recognising not only specialist expertise, but also the need for enhanced co-operation between experts. Steligence® further suggests that the use of best available technology in steelmaking, as well as modularisation of steel components in buildings where possible, has the capacity to generate efficiency gains in the design, construction and configurability of buildings as compared to those using traditional construction methods.
Additionally, because steel is infinitely recyclable, Steligence® sets the stage for architects to consider the life-cycle, recyclability and, ultimately, re-usability of a building and its components at the earliest point in the design process.
This new approach to construction from ArcelorMittal has been brought about by real advances in technology which now make steel an even more attractive material for construction than was previously the case. As such, the Steligence® concept has the potential to drive significant architectural and sustainability benefits.
These benefits include more building storeys within a given height than is the case with traditional building systems and materials; less deep and therefore less costly foundations due to the lower weight of steel buildings compared with traditional materials; and far longer uninterrupted spans between columns, resulting in much better flexibility of interior floor layout.
In addition, buildings designed using the Steligence® philosophy will be easier to assemble (and potentially disassemble) and therefore quicker to build, leading to significant efficiencies and cost savings for the construction sector.
While steel’s infinite recyclability potential is clearly superior to that of alternative materials, even then there are associated costs given the energy necessary to melt and re-form. In this context, design where possible using modular steel components can enable re-use rather than re-cycling of steel components in new buildings at the end of life of the original building. This ‘re-use’ possibility gives steel a huge advantage over traditional building materials, particularly as regulations strengthen regarding the sustainability credentials of buildings.
Steel already plays a big role in the circular economy. Steligence® will enable the construction industry and buildings themselves to play an even more significant role in it.
Speaking at a launch event in London, Greg Ludkovsky, ArcelorMittal’s global head of research and development, said: “As climate, energy and resource scarcity intensifies, win-win solutions like Steligence® become imperative for business and society at large. Buildings play a huge part in all our lives, so creating a construction concept that improves their social, economic and environmental impact while dramatically enhancing their functionality and aesthetics has been a huge but important challenge.”
“Steligence® is the culmination of several years’ intensive scientific, independent peer reviewed research to develop specific-use steel for the construction industry. By combining this R&D with extensive consultation of leading players in the construction industry, we have landed on a radical new approach to construction which is underpinned by a clear philosophy: to build a sustainable business around a sustainable construction industry that delivers for future generations.”