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The Sustainable Choice for Concrete Structures

Sustainable development is defined as: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs – by attempting to balance social, economic and environmental effects.”

Epoxy-coated bars are widely used and help achieve the goals of sustainable development in the following ways:

Recycled content: Epoxy-coated bars are made using readily available reinforcing bar products. These bars are made generally using over 97 percent of recycled materials from primarily post-consumer sources. They are coated using environmentally friendly coatings in safe operations.

Embodied energy: the embodied energy of epoxy-coated bars during manufacture is lower than that of other corrosion-resistant reinforcing steels.

Shipping: Epoxy-coated bars are made from locally sourced materials available near most major cities. Other products are produced in limited locations, requiring additional energy inefficient shipping.

Durability: Epoxy-coated bars have provided over 40 years of excellent performance and substantially increase the durability of concrete structures.

Cost: Epoxy-coated bars cost less than other corrosion-protection systems.

Comparison with other Reinforcing Types

  Black Epoxy-coated Low Carbon/Chrome Galvanized Stainless
ASTM A615/ASTM A706 ASTM A775/A934 ASTM A1035 ASTM A767 ASTM A955
% recycled
>97 >97 >75 >97 >75
Embodied energy
Low Low High Moderate High
Nationwide Nationwide Single source Multiple sources Few sources
Low High Moderate Moderate Very High
Low Low Moderate Moderate Very High

What LEED credits are available to the purchaser of ECR?

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and used by the Canadian Green Building Council (CGBG). It is currently the most widely used rating system for environmentally sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings and neighborhoods.

Credits are available in MR4.1, MR4.2, MR5.1 and MR5.2 available for epoxy-coated bars are described below. Please contact your material supplier regarding your specific project needs.

Recycled Materials MR4.1 and MR4.2
The USGBC gives credits for building products that incorporate recycled materials. Meeting MR4.1 will provide 1 point and meeting MR4.2 in additional to MR4.1 will provide an additional point.

Note for MR4.1 and 4.2: Information on the credits provided by epoxy-coated bars is available from your supplier. Generally, epoxy-coated bars are constructed using steel that contains over 97 percent recycled material from pre- and post-consumer sources. The application of the epoxy-coating adds virtually nothing to the total weight of the rebar and may be discounted.

Regional Materials MR5.1 and 5.2
The USGBC gives credits for building materials and products that are extracted and manufactured within the region, thereby supporting the use of indigenous resources and reducing the environmental impacts resulting from transportation.

Note for MR5.1 and 5.2: As epoxy-coated bar suppliers are located near most major cities, in many cases, they qualify for credits in MR5.1 and MR5.2, depending on your particular project location. In determination of the manufacturing location, it is advised that the products are manufactured at the reinforcing bar fabricator, whereas the harvest location should be taken as the place where the steel billets are made.