Different materials are used in the building and construction industry. Metals such as steel and iron are among the commonest building materials available. The use of metals in construction sites for different buildings and structures has been on the rise. This increase in popularity of metal building can be explained by several factors ranging from energy efficiency, durability, low maintenance and aesthetics. Discussed here are 8 reasons why metal buildings are popular in construction.
1. They are Economical
For a person interested in saving building costs, incorporating metal building is a good option for them. Metal buildings are economical in several ways. Metal building materials have a better life cycle on return-on-investment when compared to other materials. At the present, metal construction products are highly protected by long lasting coatings and paints which guarantee service life of 40 years and above.
Other economic benefits from metal building materials include lower costs of maintenance, tax benefits, lower cooling and heating expenses, and lesser installation time.
2. Adaptability and Accessibility
With metallic structures in a building, it is easier to make changes and modifications even after finishing the construction. For example, using steel framing and floor systems makes it easy to access and alter existing electrical wiring, computer network cables and communication connections.
With the current living conditions, the functions of a building may change dramatically requiring a modification. A tenant may require certain changes such as repositioning of walls, increasing floor spaces and creating new interior layouts. Metallic structures cater for these changes.
3. Fast and Efficient Construction
Regardless of the season, assembling metallic structures is quick and efficient. The construction components are pre-manufactured away from the site before transportation to the site for assembly. This makes the labor requirements at the site minimal. For instance, a complete frame is erected within days and not weeks corresponding to 20%-40% reduction of construction time when compared to an on-site construction. Furthermore, steel is lighter compared to other framing materials. This enables an effective, smaller and simpler foundation saving more time.
Metal is among the most sustainable and energy efficient building materials. It contributes to the circular industrial processes which work towards attaining sustainable consumption and production patterns. This is because metal is one of the most recyclable materials in the world.
Their recyclability, completely developed networks of distribution and energy efficiency qualify them into the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Since architects and builders are constantly designing LEED qualified buildings, metal construction products helps in attaining these standards.
5. Earthquake Resistance
When an earthquake occurs, many buildings are damaged. Steel is very ductile and flexible, making it the material of choice to build earthquake resistant building. Instead of crushing or crumbling under extreme conditions and loads, steel flexes. In a steel structure, most of the beam-to-column connections are designed with the aim of supporting gravity loads. By using steel rods to reinforce concrete buildings, the extent of building damage by an earthquake is reduced hence prevent mass casualties.
6. Versatility with Metal Buildings
Building owners and designers can obtain virtually any appearance and look they want because of the flexibility provided by metal. Numerous finishes are also available with metals making metal the most versatile building material. With metallic roof systems, one is able to attain a wide range of options. Whether it is application for substrates, shapes, seams, colors, styles, rib patterns and profiles, metal provides the widest spectrum of application. Similar applications are also available for metal wall systems.
7. Less Columns and More Space
With steel sections, it is possible to obtain an elegant and cost effective method of spanning over wider spaces. Extended steel spans enable construction of a large open plan space without columns. Many clients are demanding column grid spacing in excess of 15 meters. Rolled beams construction spans of around 50 meters while steel trussed or lattice construction is able to extend up to 150 meters. A fewer number of columns enables subdivision and customization of space.
8. Retrofitting Ability
Apart from construction of new buildings, metal is also used in retrofit construction as well. Retrofitting with metal wall systems and roof systems can bring out new life to the old buildings using more sustainable products and energy efficient applications. Roof retrofitting with metal offers certain benefits such as fixing a problematic roof; improving appearance, fix maintenance issues and avoiding deposition of old roof materials in landfills. Retrofitting walls with metal strengthens the wall and improves the aesthetics without a significant structure alteration.