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LEED and Sustainability

Sustainable Design

The aim of sustainable design is to reduce negative impacts on the environment and the health of building occupants. The main goals of sustainability are to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, and create healthy, productive environments. Recycling helps ease the demand for harvesting and mining of raw materials.


The benchmark for sustainable design in the United States is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED® ) rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Through this system, buildings become LEED certified by earning credits from the following categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Only buildings can become LEED certified - not products. When the United States Green Building Council introduced LEED in 1998, it made sustainability measureable.


Steel is the most recycled material in the U.S. This allows for old cars to be melted down to produce new cars, soup cans, appliances, or repair a portion of the Golden Gate Bridge.  DCI purchases steel from mill producers as supported by the American Iron and Steel Institute, the American Institute of Steel Construction, and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.  These suppliers subscribe to the tenants of the steel recycling resources including the online resource

Hollow Metal

DCI, as a manufacturer in North America, purchases steel with a post-consumer recycled content of 33.9% and a pre -consumer recycled content of 3.4%.  Based on calculations of the American Iron and Steel Institute, DCI hollow metal products have a Steel Recycled Content Value = 37.1%

LEED credits applicable to the hollow metal products of DCI are as follows.  For more detail CLICK HERE:

  • Materials & Resources LEED NC v3 Credit 4: Recycled Content 
    • Credit 4.1 (1 point) 
    • Credit 4.2 (1 point in addition to MR 4.1) 
  •  Materials & Resources LEED NC v3 Credit 5: Regional Materials 
    • Credit 5.1 (1 point) 
    • Credit 5.2 (1 point in addition to MR 5.1

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is 100% recyclable into the same product with no reduction in quality. The metal’s high scrap value and recyclability ensures that it is diverted from landfills and recaptured for use in new stainless steel. A recent international study by the ISSF determined that about 92% of the stainless steel used in architecture, building and construction applications is recaptured and recycled at the end of service. Stainless building components can be repeatedly recycled back into similar products with no loss of quality.

The stainless steel producing members of the Specialty Steel Industry of North America indicate that the average recycled content of 300 series stainless steel grades that are generally used in the building and construction market is approximately 75% to 85%.

Additional LEED information on stainless steel products of DCI is available by CLICKING HERE.

Let us help as you strive to design "Green" buildings that are safe, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing.


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