Sustainability: How a construction material contributes to the environmental quality of life, is one of the strongest attributes of the OneStep Building System.
- Reduces the environmental impact of building operation
- Reduces the environmental impact of building construction
- Is made using earth friendly materials
As detailed in the Energy Efficiency fact sheet, a structure built with OneStep walls requires minimal amounts of energy for heating and cooling purposes.
Depending on geographic location and building type, analyses conducted with ASHRAE 90.1 software conclude a OneStep built structure will have the equivalent energy usage of light-framed structures with insulation levels of 25-50+ R-Value. In the words of the software, over 75% of the structures tested: "...would not attain the same energy performance [of the CFMU build structure] regardless of how much insulation is used."
Traditional masonry is known to require minimal maintenance. Naturally abundant and inert face shell materials, like concrete masonry, clay brick, and quarried stone, continue this tradition of an easily maintained exterior and interior finish. These materials and the concrete structural member are not combustible nor are they affected by rot or vermin.
Because of the strength and impervious nature of the 7 1/2" structural cavity used in OneStep wall construction, its useful life will exceed that of other building materials.
Unlike many other building products, most of the OneStep wall can be manufactured at a local production site, greatly reducing the amount of energy used for transportation.
The extraction of sand, gravel, clay, and limestone used to make OneStep walls is less obtrusive to the environment than is the cutting of trees or the smelting of steel.
The OneStep unit is approximately 45% the weight of a traditional CMU. This feature allows for less energy to be expended in the shipping and building of the OneStep wall system. The embodied energy required to produce and ship the grout fill would be recouped during the life of the structure via energy savings.
Post-industrial Recycled Materials
OneStep walls can utilize large quantities of recycled material. The plastic connector units can be made from recycled plastic, and/or recycled glass reinforced nylon. Like other grouted concrete construction methods, the ability to utilize fly-ash rich grouts in the structural cavity exists.
Post-Consumer Recycled Materials
In most low-level loading designs, traditional aggregates in the structural cavity can be substituted with inert waste materials that would normally end up in land fills. For example, our calculations show that if 50% of the aggregate in the concrete grout mix is replaced with ground-up rubber, plastic, and glass, a typical 2,200 s.f. house would utilize over 20,000 pounds of such material without expending the energy required by conventional recycling methods.
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Simplicity of design saves natural resources, human resources, transportation & energy costs. Results are quiet buildings, improved air quality, a safe environment and life cycle savings.
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