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  • Writer's pictureMitzi Collinsworth

Sustainable Building: Red Iron Beams Might be the Right Material for your Project


red iron beams for framing
Red Iron Beams for Starbucks in Penitas, TX

In today's current climate, sustainability is more important than ever. Builders must take into consideration the types of materials they use to co-exist with its surrounding environment. When choosing sustainable materials, according to the United States General Services Administration (GSA), the following elements should be considered:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)

  • Use carbon pollution-free electricity

  • Use environmentally-friendly materials

  • Protect and conserve water

  • Enhance the indoor environment [1]

When commercial buildings are erected in an existing environment, all of these sustainability factors must be considered. The new building must, not only be an enhancement to the community, but the environment as well.


Part of the initial construction in commercial design is framing. Framing is what gives the building structure and support. The type of framing material you use depends on your surrounding environment.


The Rio Grande Valley tends to be a warm, humid, and windy climate. This means materials used to frame have to be able to withstand humidity, wind, and rain. The use of metal materials in the valley will rust over time due to the moist climate. It also has the occasional hurricane pass-through. Therefore steel beams are typically the best choice for larger-scale commercial buildings.


Since the valley is humid, red iron beams are the best choice for commercial framing. Steel beams for structure are typically the top choice due to their strength, reliability, ease of setup, and eco-friendly design. However, the valley has the "rust" factor, making red iron beams the better choice [2].

Red iron beams "are built with industrial-grade steel primed with a coat of red-tinted iron oxide mixed with other alloys. This primer layer creates a water-wicking barrier to protect the steel from rain and snow" [2].


The red iron beams are also built in the letter "I" shape to make assembly easier and more efficient, meaning less labor time. Not to mention, these reinforced beams are incredibly strong against hurricane-force winds [2].


Southern Post Construction works with J & N Welding and Fabricators, Corporation to provide local communities with strong commercial and residential design framing structures. If you drive through Penitas, Texas, you will see the red iron beams taking shape for the next Starbucks soon.


Southern Post Construction is building the Rio Grande Valley sustainably as the community grows. They are committed to "Green Building" to protect the environment for future generations.


–Mitzi Collinsworth, May 25, 2023

Article Sources

[1] FMP ConstructionMarketing. “Steel vs. Red Iron Buildings: Which Material Is Better?: FMP.” FMP Construction, August 26, 2021. https://fmpconstruction.com/red-iron-building/.


[2] “Sustainable Design.” GSA, March 17, 2021. https://www.gsa.gov/real-estate/design-and-construction/sustainability/sustainable-design.


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