Structural steel has become an extremely important component of modern buildings and housing. It is also considered one of the most prevalent construction materials of the century.
It is used across all industrial sectors. Manufacturing, oil and gas, packaging, automotive, shipbuilding, transport and mining industries are largely dependent on structural steel.
Architects, engineers, designers, and contractors regard it as an ideal choice for constructing buildings. When compared to any other building material, it offers innumerable benefits.
Let us now take a look at why structural steel is such a reliable choice :
1. Availability – It is easy to find steel, both as a raw alloy and pre-made components, because of its widespread adoption.
Suppliers (with many factories selling both locally and overseas) openly sell the fabricated parts. It allows beams and frames to be purchased directly.
Because of this companies now have the benefits to access a supply of steel parts anywhere in the world, and work under tighter deadlines.
As soon as the architectural plan is agreed on, steel parts can be ordered. This saves the time that would be spent waiting for them to arrive at the site.
Issues that could normally delay construction by several hours, can be avoided by using structural steel. It provides extra time to check measurements and find suitable storage.
2. Affordability – Steel can be reused, and it is cheaper compared to other metals. Thus by using structural steel, you can reduce the overall cost of the entire project.
A large amount of recovered steel could drastically reduce the cost of a new structure, as it retains all of its properties. Research has revealed that steel composite is roughly 8% cheaper than concrete slabs across all ten stories.
Steel requires low maintenance and tends to have a longer lifespan. Thus making structural steel an economically viable option compared to other building materials.
3. Strength – Less steel is needed in single support or beam, due to its high strength-to-weight ratio.
Steel thus reduces material costs and improves its sustainable nature. Structural steel can withstand strong physical impacts and forces.
It doesn’t wear away or needs to be replaced afterward, thus keeping building occupants safe. Rather than the amount of steel used, this extra strength can be retained through the design.
Since they’re lighter, stronger, and less wasteful than any wooden beam of the same size, steel I-beams are often used in modern construction. Alloy steel is viable for exterior structures, such as fire escapes or balcony supports because of its resistance to fire and rust.
4. Sustainability – Steel will become more convenient for construction projects, as the desire for eco-friendly buildings increases.
Structural steel doesn’t need to be permanently disposed of, and it is easily recycled. Thus old buildings or temporary supports can be repurposed into new projects as needed.
Recovered steel components can be reused in other projects if they haven’t been damaged. Therefore it cuts down the cost of getting the alloy melted down and re-cut as a new part.
The existing parts of a building that are being demolished and rebuilt, could be stripped out and repurposed to save money kept in storage for future projects or simply sold to another company as components.
5. Weight – Steel is lighter than wood, as it has a high strength to weight ratio which makes it easier to work with.
Because of its lightweight, it can be easily transported over land and lift via a crane. This reduces the amount of fuel wasted getting it to the site, as well as the shipping and labor cost required as compared to wood.
Steel is a very desirable building material for structures that have extra land for expansion because of its versatility and mobility. Also, it makes buildings far easier to take down.
6. Environment-friendly – One of the best things about steel is its inability to allow mold to grow.
Buildings made of structural steel don’t require any kind of any type of special treatment to prevent mold, decay, or insect infestation. Using steel is beneficial for the inhabitants of the building, as steel cannot absorb moisture and therefore cannot host any bacteria.
It is also extremely resistant to natural occurrences such as snowstorms, earthquakes, and floods. Steel homes have been known to resist earthquakes of a magnitude of up to 7.9 on the Richter scale.
7. Aesthetic appeal – Steel has its natural beauty, which is always praised by architects. To emphasize grace, slenderness, strength, and transparency of frame, architects stay excited about exposing steel in the design of their structures.
To create non-linear members to further enhance the aesthetic appeal of the structure, structural steel sections can be bent and rolled.
As compared to most of the other construction materials, structural steel allows the project architect a greater degree of expression and creativity in their design.