Steel offers a low-cost, resilient alternative to other materials available for building construction. Though many have come to associate steel construction with skyscrapers, these days almost any building can be made with steel.
Steel is the overlooked champion and unsung hero of building construction materials. It is often not considered by those contemplating which material to choose for their next building construction, yet it deserves to be right up there (or even ranked above) the best of the best building materials available.
There are many benefits of steel construction. Below are five of the most compelling reasons to consider steel for your next building.
- Steel Allows for a Faster Build
Time equals money. Because they are pre-engineered, steel parts take much less time to erect than other building materials such as wood or concrete. This does not mean that quality is sacrificed – in fact, the truth is quite the opposite.
Steel parts are uniquely designed and crafted in the factory before being shipped out. The steel is measured and precut before arriving to the site, shortening the amount of time the construction crew needs to erect the desired structure. This pre-measuring, pre-cutting and pre-punching/cutting process also removes a lot of human error in the constructing and building process, allowing for a more efficient, speedier construction time.
- Steel is Cost-Efficient
Steel building construction is a money-saver from the get-go. Choosing steel as the main construction material means an entire plan will be drawn up and sent to the factory where the necessary parts will be manufactured. Precision is key here as the automated machines pre-cut, drill and punch the required steel pieces.
Once the manufacturing has been completed to the desired specifications and construction is ready to begin, the pieces are sent to the building site. The building can then be erected quickly and efficiently as all the pieces fit together like a puzzle and come with detailed instructions.
This process saves money across the board by removing material storage fees and reducing labor costs. It also reduces the chance of worker injury during construction, leading to fewer worker’s compensation claims.
- Steel is Versatile
Structural steel can be formed into basically any design, making it an incredibly versatile material to choose for building construction. Beyond this, steel also offers architects a chance to let their creativity run free without sacrificing strength or safety.
From airplane hangars to low-rise residential structures, steel can be bent and shaped to serve the needs of the building desired and the whims of the designer. Steel is a striking option and one that far surpasses wood when it comes to sturdiness and weight bearing. Steel can even be shaped to model after shingled roofs and wooden side panels, making it a chameleon among building materials.
- Steel is Environmentally Friendly
Steel is not only made from recycled resources, it is also completely recyclable again at the end of its life as a building construction material. In fact, it is the Earth’s most recycled product, with around 80 million tons of steel recycled each year.
While the use of this flexible, sturdy material has increased, its impact on the environment has decreased. There has been a drastic drop in energy intensity per ton of steel produced since 1990.
Beyond this, steel buildings are air-tight. When combined with proper insulation the sealed steel construction allows the building to remain temperature controlled, thereby reducing energy usage to either heat or cool the interior of the structure.
- Steel is Low-Maintenance
Steel buildings require little maintenance once built. Aside from cleaning the structure from time to time, steel buildings rarely need to be repaired or to have parts replaced.
Should a piece require replacement, the new part will arrive perfectly cut, drilled, punched and ready to be installed. The new piece will fit like a glove, as the same plans that were used to create the original piece will be used to create the replacement.
Steel cannot be burned down or chewed through by vermin or bugs. Unlike wood, steel will not warp or crack and can be installed even in the rain. Steel will not bend out of shape over time, so the structure will maintain its integrity.
Weather, animals and fire are no match for steel. It can withstand it all. Due to the durability of the material, steel buildings are often able to be insured for far less than other construction materials.
At first, it may not seem like the most stylish choice of material on the market, but steel continues to rack up many positive reasons to use it in building construction. And actually, more and more every day steel buildings are being designed with flair and pizzazz. It is becoming the perfect combination of aesthetic appeal and solidity.
Steel is the whole package when it comes to building construction. It is versatile, durable, low-cost and can be fashioned to suit most aesthetic tastes. When all other buildings sag and threaten to fall, steel constructed buildings will still be standing tall.