Steel in construction gained prominence in the twentieth century and especially after the Second World War. In the recent past, steel framing has been growing around the world. In fact, in some places, steel is replacing timber as the primary material for construction of both residential and commercial buildings. According to Steel Framing Alliance, the use of steel framing in commercial structures has been increasing by forty per cent every year. The same report indicates that in the last decade alone, over five hundred thousand residential structures have been made using steel structures. Below are some of the reasons why you should consider steel framing in your future building.
i. Strength and the Freedom of Designing
Steel will offer you more freedom to explore various designs for your building regarding color, texture and shape. In addition, it combines strength, durability and precision to give you broader options for developing new solutions. The long spanning ability provides an ample space that does not require columns or load-bearing walls. Unlike other construction materials like wood, steel can be bent to a certain radius to create segmented curves for arches and domes. Steel can be modified to the required specification while still in the factory, which eliminates the risk of onsite variability.
ii. Enables You to Build Faster
Time is very valuable, and you may not want to waste a lot of it in constructing your structures. As mentioned earlier, steel framing can be assembled inside the manufacturing plant and therefore minimize on-site labor. This also cuts the construction time significantly, enabling you to erect a whole structure in a few days depending on the scale of the project. For small structures, steel framing does not require much contact with the earth and therefore eliminating the need for excavation. Compared to concrete, steel is relatively lighter requiring smaller and simpler foundation. These factors translate to significant resource efficiencies such as accelerated schedules and reduced on-site management cost.
Nowadays, the functions of a building can change dramatically. For instance, you may need to increase the floor loads on your building. Concrete structures will require repositioning to make any changes on interior layouts according to your requirements. However, steel can adopt any changes enabling expansion while at the same time extend the lifespan of the structure. Additionally, steel framing allows you to easily access and alter wiring networks such as electrical systems etc.
Unlike other construction materials, steel can be recycled and used for other purposes. Actually, it can be recycled endlessly with less wear and tear and maintain its properties. According to Worldsteel association, thirty per cent of the steel currently used is made from recycled steel. Steel Recycling Institute indicates that steel is arguably the most recycled product since eighty million tons are recycled every year.
v. Environmentally Friendly
Steel is relatively lighter than other construction materials such as concrete and offers less extensive foundations. This significantly reduces the environmental impact during construction. Steel is also energy efficient. According to the Steel Recycling Institute, in the last two decades, steel has reduced energy intensity by over 28% and a considerable amount of CO2 emission during transportation. During hotter climate, steel roofing can radiate heat quickly providing cooler environments. Conversely, in cold climates, steel can be easily insulated to offer more warmth.
One of the main reasons why most people avoid using steel is the initial cost. Compared to other construction materials like timber, the initial cost of using steel in construction is comparatively high. However, in the long term, steel is much cheaper than wood or even concrete. For instance, if you want to demolish your structure, the waste materials can be used in the construction of other structures. Steel structures are also easier to maintain since they do not rot or get damaged by pests. It is important to note that insurance companies charge less for steel structures.
Steel has a long lifespan and can withstand extreme weather condition such as strong winds and earthquakes. In addition, they are resistant to fire compared to wooden frames. However, due to its recent popularity, there are a lot of counterfeits in the market. Ensure you choose genuine steel for more functionality and durability.