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In the ever-evolving landscape of construction and architecture, the pursuit of sustainability has become paramount. At Firth Steels, our Specification Manager, William McDowell, takes centre stage in propelling eco-friendly building practices forward. This article will delve into his pivotal role and the key avenues through which he ensures Firth Steel’s steadfast commitment to sustainable and environmentally conscious steel solutions.
Material Selection for an Eco-Friendly Approach
William’s influence begins with meticulous material selection. Collaborating with architects, developers and specifiers – he navigates the landscape of sustainable steel materials. This involves considering options, understanding environmental impacts and tailoring choices to meet project-specific requirements. As a bridge between client preferences and Firth Steel’s sustainability commitment, he ensures the seamless integration of design and eco-friendly solutions.
During project development, William actively engages in discussions with architects to align aesthetic, functional and structural preferences. Simultaneously, he collaborates closely with the technical team, ensuring that the project’s design meets creative expectations while aligning with technical specifications and requirements. He works with contractors to guarantee that material selections harmonise with project logistics and timelines. A central focus is on the conscientious choice of sustainable steel materials, emphasising the importance of considering the environmental impact beyond the material’s initial use. Heplaces a strong emphasis on lowering the embodied carbon of chosen materials, contributing to our commitment to eco-friendly and responsible construction practices.
Firth Steel’s have partnered with world leading mills to offer a unique range of external coatings, low embodied carbon steels and even access to Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) steel substrates. When incorporated into the Protex System, the carbon impact of the building envelope can be dramatically reduced whilst maintaining the mill backed 40 year coating warranties.
Dedicated to advancing energy-efficient practices, William plays a vital role in promoting reflective coatings and solar reflective finishes. These technologies minimize the heat island effect, providing a potent strategy for reducing overall energy consumption in buildings.
Reflective coatings bounce back solar radiation, mitigating solar heat gain, significantly alleviating the burden on cooling systems and resulting in decreased energy consumption and operational costs. William collaborates closely with architects, developers and specifiers to integrate these coatings into customised building envelope solutions, contributing to both immediate energy savings and long-term efficiency.
Apart from direct energy savings, the use of reflective coatings supports environmental conservation by reducing reliance on energy-intensive cooling systems, resulting in lower carbon emissions and a smaller ecological footprint.
Life Cycle Assessments (LCA)
Taking a meticulous approach, William has access to several Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) to evaluate the environmental impact of steel cladding. This involves analysing the entire lifecycle, providing a holistic view of sustainability.
Firth Steels ensures transparency by providing accessible LCA data to clients. Customised reports tailored to specific projects empower clients with accurate, project-relevant information. He engages in open dialogues, discussing findings and exploring opportunities for further environmental optimisation.
Using LCA insights for continuous improvement and innovation, we remain committed to advancing more sustainable practices in the production and use of steel cladding.
Educational Outreach and Training
William goes beyond specifications, actively educating architects, developers and specifierson the environmental benefits of steel building envelope. Through workshops, seminars and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions, he shares insights into eco-friendly steel technologies and their positive impact on construction projects.
CPD sessions, tailored to the specific needs of professionals, cover sustainable trends, certifications, and innovative design approaches. William ensures that stakeholders have an in-depth understanding of Firth Steel’s sustainable options, providing practical insights into seamless integration into various projects.
To learn more about sustainable solutions, William has availability in his calendar to carry out CPD sessions with your company – book your session now.