POSCO joins in solving social problems
Steel ContiNew is an innovative project that leverages infinitely recyclable steel to repurpose deserted rural houses into sustainable spaces such as cafes and restaurants.
The title Steel ContiNew cleverly plays with the similar-sounding words ‘still’ and ‘steel’ to symbolize the ongoing transformation of contemporary steel that will persist into the future. This is also in accordance with the project’s ethos of converting empty houses into environmentally-friendly and sustainable spaces.
At present, South Korea is grappling with notable societal challenges caused by a decline in population resulting from low birth rates, leading to a rise in the number of unoccupied residences, particularly in rural regions. POSCO launched the Steel ContiNew project to address this issue by using steel based on its management philosophy of Corporate Citizenship: Building a Better Future Together.
Steel ContiNew went beyond conventional building remodeling approaches by revitalizing an entire village, converting four deserted rural houses into vibrant cafes and restaurants.
Breathing new life into vacant houses with POSCO steel
POSCO has articulated the meaning of sustainability inherent in steel, and the unique aesthetic beauty that only steel materials can offer, through the application of its diverse steel products. These products, noted for their environmental friendliness, stability, and economic efficiency, have been extensively used in the interior and exterior of remodeled buildings.
POSCO employed customizable Pos-H welded beams as a key component in the foundational structural renovations of the vacant houses. Pos-H offers superior value and seismic performance to other H-beams and can be manufactured in sizes optimized to customer requirements.
PosMAC, renowned for its exceptional rust resistance, was utilized for the roofs and exterior facades of the buildings. With a 20-year anti-corrosion warranty, PosMAC guarantees the long-lasting durability and enduring visual charm of the structures. A “solar roof” made with PosMAC can be laid over existing roofing so mounting is accomplished without support fixtures or other additional structures, enhancing stability and environmental friendliness.
In terms of interior materials, POSCO employed stainless steel Kinetic Walls to achieve a fluid and undulating visual effect. Additionally, PosART, a high-resolution inkjet printing technique on metal, was utilized to recreate the texture of materials like wood and marble. Features such as sink countertops, tables, benches, and lighting were also made with stainless steel to optimize hygiene and emphasize the aesthetic beauty unique to steel materials. “Pre-coated metal” was used inside counters and on walls to create a beautiful gold-rose look.
POSCO’s clients who actively participated in the ‘Steel ContiNew’ project
Steel ContiNew holds profound significance as it brings together diverse stakeholders throughout society to address pressing social issues such as rural depopulation and the increasing number of vacant homes
POSCO collaborated with MBC, a South Korean public broadcaster, in the project’s design and generously provided the primary steel materials necessary for the renovation of the vacant houses. POSCO’s client companies actively participated in the project by contributing funds for production and construction costs. Additionally, the local government of Jeonju-si provided the necessary sites and vacant houses for the remodeling process.
The collaborative efforts of diverse sectors in society have successfully transformed abandoned rural houses, left vacant due to declining birthrates and population relocation caused by the decline of industrial complexes in the 2000s, into sustainable spaces that embrace the environmental friendliness and aesthetic beauty of steel.
Moreover, small business owners and local residents who were finding it difficult to make a living since the COVID-19 outbreak were provided with an opportunity to get back on their feet by being put in charge of running the cafes and restaurants. Abandoned houses, once considered eyesores, have been given a new lease on life through the use of steel. They have been transformed into tourist attractions that draw not only local residents but also people from all over the country.
POSCO Steel’s infinite power to create a sustainable world
As mentioned previously, Steel ContiNew has not only generated employment opportunities for the community but also played a significant role in fostering local economic growth. Most importantly, the project has brought hope to a village that was once desolated by abandoned vacant houses. Through the use of steel, an infinitely recyclable and eco-friendly material, these structures have been revitalized into sustainable spaces radiating renewed energy and vibrancy.
Looking ahead, POSCO is committed to making continuous and substantial efforts to ensure that such small sparks of change can spread throughout South Korea. This is because we believe that when the unlimited power of steel is combined with the warmth in people’s hearts, the world will become a more beautiful and sustainable place.