What kind of buildings will enable future generations to live sustainably? Who will build them – and what steel technologies do they need? Olivier Vassart, chief executive officer – Steligence®, describes how our disruptive new concept for steel in construction is transforming the potential of modern buildings and bringing us closer than ever to customers.

When you look at a building as a whole object – at every aspect of the way it is designed, constructed and used – you can see enormous, transformational opportunities through the use of steel. That concept is at the heart of the Steligence® philosophy.

By treating a building as a holistic entity and bringing together our innovation with the architects, engineers and construction experts involved in the process as a whole, from the design stage all the way to the construction, we can create enormous sustainability and efficiency gains.

And we can create new kinds of buildings, with flexible, transformable uses. It is an opportunity to put construction at the centre of the circular economy, and to build a sustainable business around a sustainable construction industry that delivers for future generations.

Steel technology that brings benefits to customers and society

Steligence® gives architects and engineers access to real advances in steel technology. And it enables them to take maximum advantage of those solutions by considering the lifecycle, the recyclability and, ultimately, the re-usability of a building and its components at the earliest stage in the design process.

That means buildings designed using the Steligence® philosophy are quicker to assemble and potentially easier to disassemble. This will lead to significant efficiencies and cost savings. Innovative steel solutions also enable more building storeys within a given height than with traditional building systems and materials, reduced costs for foundations because of the lower weight of steel and composite buildings, and far longer uninterrupted spans between columns, meaning the internal floorspace is more easily adaptable to any current or future use.

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A vision of sustainability

We think customers will see this as a win-win opportunity. There are clear cost benefits. And like us, they recognise that climate change, energy regulations, and resource scarcity are creating imperatives for the industry to transform itself.

The potential carbon benefits alone are very exciting. Society needs buildings – but their embedded carbon footprint is currently too high. By using Steligence® optimally, we believe customers could reduce the carbon footprint of a building by 40% over its lifecycle. So, it is entirely feasible to build a cheaper building, with a significantly improved environmental footprint.

Personally, I see steel’s unique potential for reuse as particularly important. Modular steel components that can be used again and again – these present great opportunities to enable the circular economy. We’re already exploring this concept in the design of our own headquarters in Luxembourg.

Joining up our innovation with customers’ needs

So, how are we putting this philosophy into action? By focusing on customers. We’ve brought together expertise from our R&D and other sales and marketing functions to create a new division that helps us get closer to all the stakeholders involved in creating a new building.

It is a way of working that has brought enormous benefits to our customers in the automotive sector. The construction industry, of course, is very different, and traditionally involves a wide range of disciplines. Bringing together the expertise required to meet the needs of such a differentiated industry has never been done before. That’s why Steligence® is so radical, so ambitious – and so exciting.

ArcelorMittal launches Steligence®, a radical and disruptive construction industry concept.