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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Apr 25, 2024 8:00 AM

Moving Towards Sustainable Construction

Moving Towards Sustainable Construction

McElroy Metal is committed to sustainable business practices and one way we live this is to recycle as much material as possible.

sustainabilityRecycled content is a measure of how much-recycled material is contained in a finished product.
To fully comprehend the percentages below, it’s important to first understand the definitions of pre-consumer and post-consumer and how they relate to recycling formulas.

Pre-consumer recycling occurs when materials are recycled before consumers have the chance to use them. By-products of manufacturing processes are commonly classified as pre-consumer.

Example: Fly ash is generated by coal-fired electric and steam plants. The same fly ash can then be used to make Portland cement. In this example, the fly ash would be considered a pre-consumer recyclable.

Conversely, post-consumer values are based on products that were recycled at the end of their
service life cycle and after consumers used them. Automobiles are a primary source of post-consumer recycled steel.

McElroy Metal roofing, siding, and substructural components exceed the minimum values published

  • Recycle Content: 36.9%
  • Pre-Consumer: 14.4%
  • Post-Consumer: 19.8%

We are committed to continuously improving the sustainability of our processes.

For more insights into sustainable production and construction, we talked to one of our partners, Tyler Kanczuzewski, Vice President of Sustainability at Inovateus Solar, who wrote a book titled "Reinvent Your Waste."

This book explores innovative ways to reduce waste and promote sustainable practices, particularly in the construction industry. Tyler has a background in environmental work and is involved with companies actively working towards a greener future. Let's dive into the conversation.

McElroy Metal: Let's talk about reinventing your waste from a metal roofing materials perspective. First, give our audience a quick background about yourself and explain why you wrote this book.

Tyler: Certainly. I grew up spending a lot of time in Michigan. I am originally from South Bend, Indiana, and my connection to nature and the outdoors developed during family trips to Michigan. When I was in high school and college, my dad got more involved in environmental work through his entrepreneurial endeavors.

That's how Inovateus Solar, the company I'm associated with, began. My brother and a professor from Notre Dame, George Howard, were all part of its foundation. Growing up around Inovateus since I was a kid, I've been inspired by sustainable companies and the importance of addressing environmental issues.

I became increasingly aware of global environmental challenges like climate change and animal conservation. This led me to write about these topics in school, and eventually, I pursued a master's program emphasizing sustainability. The ideas and research I developed during my program became the foundation for my book, "Reinvent Your Waste."

McElroy Metal: It's clear that your background and upbringing played a significant role in your passion for sustainability. Please tell us more about the four-step plan outlined in your book.

Tyler: Absolutely. The four-step plan I propose in the book is based on the principles of respecting, recovering, reinventing, and restoring.

The first step is respecting our natural resources and the world we're born into. It emphasizes valuing and appreciating our environment.

The second step focuses on recovering resources whenever possible, primarily through reusing materials and minimizing waste generation.

The book's central idea is the third step, which is to reinvent waste. This step involves revaluing waste materials and moving away from the concept of a traditional trash can. Instead, we should adopt a mindset of better material management and explore opportunities to repurpose waste.

The fourth step aims to restore the natural world. Once we close the loop by reinventing waste, we contribute to a more regenerative and sustainable planet.

This four-step plan reduces our environmental impact and creates business opportunities, jobs, and societal benefits.

McElroy Metal: Thank you for explaining the four-step plan. It provides a clear framework for sustainable practices. Now, let's shift our focus to your involvement with Inovateus Solar and your work in sustainable construction. Can you tell us more about how Innovateus Solar relates to your book's waste reinvention and sustainability theme?

Tyler: Certainly. I have two primary roles—one as the Sustainability Manager at Inovateus Solar and another as the VP of Sustainability at another company. I essentially serve as a fractional employee for both.

In these roles, I handle sustainability reporting, lead green teams, set environmental goals, and work to improve overall efficiency and sustainability. Both companies are actively involved in recycling and waste reduction, which aligns with the core theme of my book, "Reinvent Your Waste."

McElroy Metal: It's great to see your practical involvement in promoting sustainability. Now, let's delve into construction, particularly roofing. Could you share your insights on how recycling and sustainable practices can benefit the construction industry, especially roofing?

Tyler: Construction, whether building construction or solar farm installation, often faces recycling and waste management challenges. Prioritizing timelines, budgets, and convenience can sometimes overshadow sustainability efforts.

TinyHouse1However, it's essential to be aware of recycling options and consult with recycling experts. In my tiny home development project, we prioritized recycling and repurposing materials, such as metal scraps, wood, and plastic.

Our material selection process focuses on eco-friendly options like metal roofing due to its recyclability and long-lasting nature. The construction industry needs to raise awareness about recycling opportunities and the environmental footprint of their projects.

McElroy Metal: That's a valuable perspective. Choosing sustainable materials can have a positive impact on construction projects. Are there any emerging trends or technologies in roofing or construction that contractors should keep an eye on?

Tyler: While I haven't seen any significant breakthroughs recently, trends are moving toward sustainability and reducing environmental footprints. Building-integrated solar products, such as solar roofing, are gaining popularity. Innovations in materials, like more efficient insulation, also improve energy efficiency.

On the waste management side, we'll see more efforts to reduce construction waste and promote recycling. Contractors need to stay updated on sustainable practices and materials to remain competitive in the industry.

McElroy Metal: Knowing that sustainability is becoming more integral to the construction industry is encouraging. Lastly, what advice would you give individuals or companies looking to embrace sustainability and waste reduction in their projects?

Tyler: My advice would be to start by setting clear sustainability goals and involving everyone in the organization. Sustainability should be a collaborative effort.

Second, educate yourself and your team about the environmental impacts of your industry and the available sustainable options.

Lastly, seek partnerships with experts and organizations that share your sustainability values. The more we work together, the more significant the positive impact we can have on the environment.

McElroy Metal: Thank you for your insights and practical advice on sustainability and waste reduction in construction. It's been a pleasure having you here today.

Tyler: Thank you for having me. I hope our conversation encourages more people and companies to prioritize sustainability in their projects.

Here are a few ways to find the book and connect with Tyler:

Become a Contractor or Distributor

About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.

Topics: Sustainability

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