The basic framework of our modules is made of steel. We deliberately chose this construction material because the advantages in the life cycle of a building outweigh the disadvantages.
The life cycle of a building begins with the production of the building materials, transport and storage. Then comes the construction of the building and its use and maintenance. The life cycle ends with the deconstruction and sustainable recycling of all elements and building materials. A close look at the entire life cycle quickly reveals the advantages of steel over other building materials such as concrete or wood.
The production of concrete requires vast amounts of primary energy, and the amounts of CO2 produced are enormous. The recycling of concrete is extremely complex and expensive, and the chemical additives as well as reinforcements in concrete make sustainable disposal practically impossible.
Wood is a very beautiful and CO2-neutral material. This is a big plus. However, many forests are illegally cleared for profit, unfortunately also in Europe. Where timber is legally harvested, it is often harvested too intensively and trees are cut down far too early instead of being allowed to grow as long as possible, so that they cannot absorb the maximum amount of CO2.
Another disadvantage is stability. Modules made of wood do not have the same strength as modules made of steel. Multi-story buildings made of pure wood therefore quickly reach their static limits.
Steel is one of the few building materials that can be 100% recycled without loss of quality. At Swiss Modular Building, we use only 100% recycled eco-steel, for example from melted down cars or steel beams from bridges and buildings that are no longer needed.
Recycled steel requires about 50% less primary energy than steel produced from the basic materials for the first time. Therefore, eco-steel has a very sustainable value as a building material due to its durability and 100% reusability. The life cycle carbon footprint is smaller than any other building material except wood.