Nine days is not a lot of time. Just over a week, it can make for a decent vacation. But for the ambitious volunteers of “Beyond,” the university student group that POSCO sponsors, that’s enough time to change someone’s life. Because in nine days, Beyond volunteers can build someone a whole new home – out of POSCO steel.
Each year for a decade, 100 students from universities around Korea have joined Beyond, looking to make a difference in people’s lives. The Beyond home-building program is called “Steel House.” This summer, following their inauguration ceremony at POSCO Center, the volunteers travelled around Korea to build the innovative steel homes. Dividing into teams of 20 people each, they traveled to Yangpyeong, Pohang, Incheon, Yecheon and Gwangyang, building homes for people in need all over Korea.
Previous home-building typically was done with bricks and mortar as well as wood. But these Beyond-built homes use steel throughout the construction, from foundations to finish.
Steel Creates Stronger, Safer Homes
Steel frames allow homes to be more spacious, as less floor space is taken up by the walls, while the frame allows for better heat and sound insulation. Plus, because these steel homes can be built so much faster than regular homes, it minimizes the resources and pollution needed for construction.
Each house uses the POSCO World Premium product PosMAC, specially adapted for construction to improve its durability. For the exterior, multicolor steel technology from POSCO C&C was combined with ribbed profile extruded panels to produce strong, beautiful homes.
Once each house was finished, the volunteers held a completion ceremony, celebrating their hard work, offering energetic performances and plenty of fun.
“The steel house activity means a lot to me because I can learn the value of working hard together,” said Beyond volunteer Eunji Hwang. “Having a cold glass of water after a long day’s work really felt good.”
The Beyond volunteers intend to take their good works beyond the borders of Korea, too. They’re going to be gathering in Vietnam in January to continue helping others, this time at Vietnam POSCO Village.
Building Bridges Over Troubled Waters
With significant facilities in Vietnam, POSCO has long been active there in lending a helping hand. For example, with the heavy rains Vietnam experiences for six months of the year, people there often have to deal with flooding.
So POSCO Beyond volunteers, together with volunteers from the local POSCO affiliates like POSCO SS VINA and POSCO E&C and local suppliers, came together earlier this year to build a steel bridge for one community.
Large steel bridges, equipped with steel handrails to hold on to, can span longer distances than existing concrete and wooden bridges and are more stable even in the worst flooding conditions. Thanks to POSCO’s bridge, now local children can get to school safely no matter the weather, and villagers can travel safely, too.
To see why steel bridges can be so important to these Vietnamese villages and how they make a difference in so many lives, check out this video:
At POSCO, our offices all over the world remain focused on improving the communities around them. Whether building homes or bridges, these are just a few more examples of the power steel has to better people lives, offering a more secure and happier future.