AISC Expands Sustainability Focus

When the design community has a question about steel, they naturally turn to the American Institute of Steel Construction. After all, AISC literally writes the specification for the design of steel buildings. In recognition of the growing importance of sustainability in design decisions, AISC has announced a major expansion of its sustainability efforts--including creating a team of three sustainability experts and working to update steel industry EPDs. 

"Surprisingly few people know that wide flange steel sections, straight from the mill, consist of an average of 93% recycled steel scrap (from things like cars, refrigerators, and decommissioned bridges), and all structural steel is 100% recyclable without loss of properties. It’s a truly circular supply chain, which is unique among American structural materials," said newly appointed Vice President of Sustainability and Government Relations Brian Raff. "My team will also work to ensure that all of the sustainable benefits that structural steel offers remain a viable option for designers and builders across the country."

"AISC's sustainability team will work to ensure the design community has the information they need to design truly sustainable buildings and bridges," Raff stressed. "But, sustainability is only part of the story. AISC is dedicated to keeping America's infrastructure moving forward with robust, long-term funding. We also support American workers and their families through Buy America requirements and protect future generations with responsible environmental policy. Finally, on international trade, we always insist that if any trade action is taken, it must include downstream users of mill material like fabricated structural steel."

Raff joins Director of Sustainability and Government Relations Max Puchtel, PE, LEED Green Associate. Jonathan Tavarez, PE, rounds out the team; Tavarez has previously served as the Institute's New York structural steel specialist and a staff engineer answering technical questions at AISC's Steel Solutions Center.

"Max has done an exceptional job coordinating AISC's sustainability efforts up to this point, and Jonathan and I are excited to build upon the strong foundation that Max has already established," Raff added. "AISC is committed to leading the construction marketplace on sustainability by championing transparency and disclosure, empowering the design community, fostering a truly circular supply chain, and supporting broad industry decarbonization by 2050."