Considering the Life Cycle
Beyond aesthetics, Understanding Steel Design discusses assemblies and disassemblies, adaptive reuse and the recyclability of steel construction. Topics related to the sustainability of steel, including a zero-waste fabrication approach, are emphasized in a number of case studies and in the final chapters. And relevant for architects, engineers, students, and educators is the recycle-versus-reuse discussion, which highlights important strategies for reducing material waste and building energy footprints when designing in steel. It demonstrates how architects can implement low-carbon solutions by considering the adaptive reuse of structural components, in a manner similar to how we have come to reuse timber. Boake concludes this discussion by highlighting how steel, and metals in general, has become the material of choice in many temporary structure designs given its modularity, cost-efficient assembly/disassembly, and ease of recyclability.
In conclusion, these three books on structural steel by Boake demonstrate how architecture can once again be a singular and seamless expression of form and structure through an effective integration of building technology with design and materiality. While they each emphasize strategies for steel design and detailing, they ultimately point to new directions in expressive and evocative forms of architecture that consider building performance and environmental impact alongside the intimate act of making found in buildings and architecture.
How to Cite this Article: Zarzycki, Andrzej. Review of Birkhäuser Steel Design Series, by Terri Meyer Boake. JAE Online. June 22, 2016. https://jaeonline.org/issue-article/birkh%c3%a4user-steel-design-series/.