As the importance of lowering energy costs, conserving natural resources, and utilizing recycled materials becomes increasingly vital to building owners, Behlen Building Systems is positioned to meet this demand and the changing culture. More and more building owners are taking sustainability into consideration when constructing a new facility. These are important factors when seeking to achieve credits with LEED registration (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and in achieving an EPA Energy Star® Cool Roof rating.

Frequently Asked Questions:
What is LEED?
Where can I obtain more information about LEED?
Why is metal considered “Green” building material?
How much recycled content is there in a metal building?
What is a “Cool Roof?”
How does Energy Star® apply to cool metal roofs?
How is “Coolness” measured?
What are the advantages of a Behlen building?
What are the energy rating values for Behlen Building Systems standard color offerings?

What is LEED?
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally accepted third party certification program, providing a benchmarking tool for building green. The intent of LEED is to assist in the creation of commercial and institutional buildings that are environmentally friendly, energy efficient, affordable, durable, and offer a healthy environment for its occupants.

There are four different levels of LEED certification a new construction project can obtain. Certification levels are determined by a scoring system of points.

  • Platinum 52-69 points
  • Gold 39-51points
  • Silver 33-38 points
  • Certified 26-32 points

Through a whole building approach, LEED points can be obtained in any or all of the following six credit categories:

  • Sustainable sites – limiting the environmental impact on local ecosystems.
  • Water efficiency – strategically reducing potable and non-potable water usage.
  • Energy and atmosphere – optimizing energy systems performance and/or employing energy sources that reduce or eliminate environmental impacts.
  • Materials and resources – utilizing materials high in recycled content, are recyclable, and/or are rapidly renewable.
  • Indoor environmental quality – maximizing occupant comfort and well-being by utilizing low-emitting materials, controlling ventilation, and other thermal systems, and controlling lighting systems.
  • Innovation and design process – performing in an exemplary manner in any of the five (5) credit categories listed above.

Where can I obtain more information about LEED?
More information can be found at the U.S. Green Building Council website: www.usgbc.org

Why is metal considered “Green” building material?

  • Saves time on installation and requires minimal disruption to jobsite
  • Improves energy efficiency and comfort
  • Reuses and recycles waste material – reducing landfills
  • Does not produce off-gassing as no on-site painting is needed
  • Offers a better life cycle ROI
  • Cool metal roofs reduce heat island effects (Energy Star/cool paint finishes)

How much recycled content is there in a metal building?
The amount of recycled content in steel depends on the process used to make the steel. There are two basic types of processes used: the basic oxygen furnace (BOF) process and the electric arc furnace (EAF process. Steel made by the BOF process has an average total recycled content around 30%; steel made by the EAF process has an average total recycled content around 90%. Because different types of steel are made with utilizing one of these processes, the recycled content of any given building system will depend on the “mix” of the various types of steel used. As a general rule, a typical metal building system will have approximately 60%-65% total recycled content.

More information on the benefits of metal buildings, visit: www.themetalinitiative.com

What is a “Cool Roof?”
Cool metal roofing meets the EPA Energy Star® Roof Products performance criteria for being sustainable and energy efficient. Metal roof systems considered “Cool” are part of an interdependent system of exterior roofing surfaces, substrates, underlayment, configurations, ventilation, and insulation. Cool metal roofing is durable, highly reflective, and available with high emissivity. In fact, emissivity as high as 90% can be achieved for certain cool metal roof systems. Like the other components of a metal building, cool roofs are highly durable, have a low life cycle cost, are made from a significant amount of recycled material and are 100% recyclable at the end of their service life.

As with all metal roofing systems, cool roofs are available in a wide array of attractive colors, finishes, and profiles. This provides architects extensive design flexibility and allows metal to be used in numerous building applications.

Visit www.coolmetalroofing.org to find out more about the benefits of metal roofing.

How does Energy Star® apply to cool metal roofs?
According to U.S. Department of Energy, one-sixth of all electricity generated in the United States is used to air condition buildings. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, our nation’s electricity demands will be 45% greater than they are today by the year 2030.

Energy Star® roof products reflect more of the sun’s rays, lower the roof’s surface temperature, and decrease the amount of heat transferred into the building through its roof. Energy Star® qualified roof products can help reduce the amount of air conditioning and reduce peak cooling demand by 10-15 percent. Saving energy lowers operating costs and reduces pollution.

A roof that meets the Energy Star® performance requirements is considered one that is cool and helps to reduce urban heat island effects. The criteria for an Energy Star labeled roof are:

  • For steep slope applications (greater than 2:12 pitch): initial minimum solar reflectance of 0.25, and 3-year aged minimum solar reflectance of 0.15.
  • For low slope applications (2:12 or less pitch): initial minimum solar reflectance of 0.65 and 3-year aged minimum solar reflectance of 0.50.

More information on Energy Star® can be found at: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=roof_prods.pr_roof_products

How is “Coolness” measured?
The Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) is an independent, non-profit organization that maintains a third-party rating system for radiative properties of roof surfacing materials. The two properties measured include:

  • Solar reflectance (R)
  • Thermal emittance (E)

Both properties are measured from 0 to 1 and the higher the value, the "cooler" the roof.

Starting May 1, 2007, Energy Star® began to require a minimum thermal emittance value of 0.75 for all roof products. In the new version, products with thermal emittance below the min of 0.75 (ex. unpainted metal) can comply if they meet specific criteria for a value known as Solar Reflectance Index (SRI). The SRI value is determined by a complex calculation based on solar reflectance, thermal emittance and wind coefficients as described in ASTM E 1980.

For a user-friendly SRI calculator, visit the Cool Metal Roofing Coalition website: http://www.coolroofs.org/coolroofing.html

Find out more at the CRRC website: http://www.coolroofs.org/

What are the advantages of a Behlen building?

  • Limitless design flexibility
  • Highly durable
  • Lower maintenance and insurance costs
  • Energy efficient
  • Advantages when applying for LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
  • 100% of Behlen materials are recyclable at the end of their service life

What are the energy rating values for Behlen Building Systems standard color offerings:

Behlen Building Systems has made promoting and documenting the advantages of Building Green one of our top priorities. With steel being the most recycled material on the planet, we feel it’s important that building owners know that by building with Behlen Good Iron, they truly are choosing a Green Alternative.




Behlen Building Systems • P.O. Box 569 • 4025 E. 23rd St. • Columbus, NE 68602-0569
Toll Free 1-800-228-0340 • Fax: 402-563-7470

COPYRIGHTED 2009 by Behlen Mfg. Co., Columbus, Nebraska. All rights reserved.