By specifying stainless steel as the material of choice for your balustrades, you are making cost effective and environmentally conscious decisions to improve your clients’ long term costs on their project.
- Stainless Steel balustrades save you money on long term maintenance
- Start protecting the environment by specifying stainless steel
- Why the right grade of stainless steel guarantees structural endurance in balustrade systems
In todays uncertain economy, stainless steel balustrades may at first be viewed as an expensive option for building projects, however many architects and consumers fail to realize the long-term, environmentally friendly benefits that offset it’s initial cost by a large margin.
The unfortunate reality is that professionals like architects, quantity surveyors, developers and building contractors are driven by price, for understandable reasons and often land up choosing mild steel balustrades in stead for the initial cost benefit to the project in stead of stainless steel balustrades. But, what isn’t taken into account is that mild steel requires regular maintenance, like repairs, sanding, priming and painting. Therefore the initial cost of stainless steel versus mild steel cannot be compared when life cycle costing and environmental impact is taken into consideration.
Not to mention that if mild steel balustrades are not maintained often enough to prevent corrosion to the system, the system will weaken at the corroded spots and could result in failure, causing serious injury or even death to the user.
From a sustainability viewpoint a life cycle cost assessment is a very useful tool due to the fact that it assists project managers in making sustainable decisions by identifying and quantifying all costs, initial and ongoing, associated with a project or installation over a given period.
By choosing stainless steel balustrades instead of mild steel balustrades, professionals are also specifying a material that is 100% recyclable without any loss in quality. These recyclable credentials stem from the fact that during production, the use of scrap metal is a normal part of the production process. In fact, 65% of all stainless steel is produced from recycled stainless steel.
In addition, stainless steel is not coated with harmful materials and therefore doesn’t produce toxic run-off due to exposure to water and environmental corrosive elements. This means that even if stainless steel isn’t recycled and does find it’s way to a landfill or disposal site, it has no detrimental effect on the soil or groundwater. Mild steel, in comparison, will corrode due to environmental exposure and will need ongoing maintenance, with toxic coating and paints that eventually damage the environment.
At Steel Studio, we highly recommend the specification of stainless steel Grades 304 or with exact comparable properties for inland applications and Grades 316 mirror polished finish for coastal environments for the manufacturing of balustrades, to prevent them from deteriorating and resulting in danger to those utilizing the building.
From a structural point of view it’s also important to take into account that with stainless steel’s non-corrosive properties, the structure doesn’t become weak (if maintained in the correct manner) in areas that could result in the failure of a key building element like a balustrade system.
In comparison, mild steel corrodes and if not maintained and repaired on a constant basis, the balustrade could result in weak areas that lead to the failure of the balustrade system. This is extremely concerning given that this type of structure is ultimately a safety element of a building and an accident could result in serious injury. Which really defeats the object of specifying a safety element on a building like a balustrade that complies with the balustrade design regulations at the time that the building is handed over to the client but that might not comply with the structural qualities over time if it isn’t maintained frequently. It is a known fact that the architect or quantity surveyor who initially specified the balustrade on the project, don’t follow up on whether the balustrade is being maintained or not and are unaware of what the effects could be on a deteriorated mild steel balustrade system.
Overall, stainless steel is the preferred material for green buildings throughout the world given that it’s impact on the environment is minimal when compared to other materials and its environmental impact reduces significantly as it is used and recycled. Companies
and individuals who are committed to the long-term sustainability and cost saving benefits of this ‘simply brilliant’ material by choosing stainless steel can therefore make a huge difference.
The really good news, though, is that by specifying the correct grade for your stainless steel balustrades on a building project, you are protecting the environment, saving your client long term maintenance and replacement costs and guaranteeing the structural quality of the balustrade for the rest of it’s life span.
Find out more about our ‘Saving lives one Balustrade at a time’ campaign here https://insights.balustradesafety.co.za/forms/bf/253 and ensure that you work with professionals when specifying stainless steel balustrades.
Speak to our team of experts in our residential or commercial sales department to assist you in specifying the right grade of stainless steel for your application.
Call us on +27 (0) 11 608 1963 or email firstname.lastname@example.org