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Gerdau Installing 6,650 Tons of Steel for San Diego’s New Central Library
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The New Central Library in downtown San Diego will have many stories to tell when it is completed in mid-2013. Not only from the books on the shelves, but from the old cars, worn-out appliances and other pieces of scrap metal that were melted and transformed into high-quality rebar for the project. Of the 6,650 tons of reinforcing steel that Gerdau fabricated and installed at the 294,673 square foot facility, between 85 and 99 percent came from recycled materials.
“Many people do not realize that steel is the most recycled material on the planet, more than paper, aluminum, plastic and glass combined,” said David Perkins, vice president of Gerdau Reinforcing Steel West. “It is an amazing product because its metallurgical properties allow it to be recycled again and again without degradation in performance.”
The nine-story building was designed by San Diego architect Rob Quigley and is being built by Turner Construction Company. It will be more than twice the space of the former library and include a three-story domed reading room, a children’s library, a charter high school, six meeting rooms, 407 computer stations and two levels of underground parking. Gerdau became involved with the project in November 2010 through an $8.7 million contract with Turner Construction Company.
The New Central Library aims to achieve a LEED Silver certification upon completion, which is accomplished by earning points in categories including sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design process.
Gerdau can help earns points for these types of projects due to the recycled content of steel and in many cases, for being a regional product. With 20 steel mills and more than 50 downstream fabrication facilities across North America, a Gerdau facility is often found within 500 miles of major construction projects.
In the case of the New Central Library, the rebar was fabricated approximately 110 miles away at Gerdau’s San Bernardino Reinforcing Steel facility. By sourcing materials from a limited radius, the carbon footprint of a project is reduced because less gas or coal is needed for transporting materials. Gerdau can also help obtain as many as five LEED points in the innovation and design process.
Gerdau is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, which developed the LEED building rating system, and has been involved in many projects that successfully achieved a LEED certification. The company is one of America’s biggest recyclers, contributing to environmental preservation and reducing the quantity of material deposited in landfills and at inappropriate sites. By using scrap steel in its steel production process, Gerdau recycling of steel scrap also reduces energy use and, as a consequence, CO2 emissions.
Gerdau is the leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special long steel in the world. It has over 45,000 employees and industrial operations in 14 countries with operations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, which together represent an installed capacity of over 25 million metric tons of steel per year. It is the largest recycler in Latin America and around the world it transforms millions of metric tons of scrap into steel every year. Gerdau is listed on the stock exchanges of São Paulo, New York, and Madrid and has approximately 140,000 shareholders.
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