The Advantages of Using Steel in Construction
The advantages of using steel in construction are numerous and perhaps too complex to properly explain in one article. But, they can be broken into a few broader categories quite easily.
Steel is ubiquitous in modern building, favoured for its versatility, resilience, environmental benefits, looks and cost amongst other reasons. Let’s take a more in-depth look at why it is the material of choice for builders, engineers and architects.
The advantages of using steel in construction range from its resilience to its environmental benefits and more. Here’s a look at why steel is so ubiquitous in building.
Steel is Strong
Steel is synonymous with strength and durability. As a raw material, it has extremely high tensile strength and an excellent strength-to-weight ratio meaning that it will never twist, bend or buckle, no matter how much pressure it is under.
Steel is also non-combustible, unlike wood. It does not rot like wood does. Galvanised steel is quite impervious to corrosion and bugs and insects such as termites have no appetite for it. It’s as reliable as you can get when it comes to building materials and requires very minimal maintenance and care. You can always count on steel for strength.
Steel is Sustainable
The widespread felling of trees is one of the biggest contributors to global warming and the subsequent destruction of our natural environment. Using wood in construction is highly unsustainable, whereas steel offers a much more responsible solution.
Steel is one of the most recycled materials in the world and can be melted down, re-shaped and re-used an infinite times without losing its structural integrity. Clearly it is the most sustainable option.
Steel is Affordable
When you consider the durability and sustainability of steel, it is an extremely affordable option.
Raw steel is relatively inexpensive, and manufacture and steel fabrication has become less and less labour intensive in recent years thanks to advances in the tools and technology that steel fabricators employ. Both of these factors help reduce building costs. Steel also lasts forever, and maintenance isn’t an issue, so it will never cost you a thing again – it can even save you money on insurance costs.
It is also easier and lighter to transport, which will save you money on delivery and installation costs.
Steel Is Versatile
Architects love working with steel because it is malleable, making it aesthetically versatile. In a nutshell, it is customisable, and a fabricator’s job is to transform basic sections of steel into different shapes, taking advantage of its malleability and ductility.
Steel’s impressive strength to weight ratio makes it possible to span greater distances and therefore create larger and more open spaces, and steel can be textured and finished to suit almost any design. It is also extremely easy to expand on steel structures with minimal cost, effort or disruption.
Steel is worker friendly
Another reason why steel has won the hearts of builders is because it is so easy to work with. You can have steel designed and cut to almost any shape, it is light and therefore easy to transport, and unlike wood, steel doesn’t need to be treated with harmful pesticides, preservatives or glues, making it a lot less toxic.
Even the job site is quieter and less dusty when using steel thanks to all the cutting and prepping being done off-sit
Steel is Modern
In the past few decades, trends in design and architecture have steered towards sleek, yet bold aesthetics that steel lends itself perfectly to. Therefore, steel is often associated with more sophisticated, modern applications in residential and commercial construction. It pairs wonderfully with other modern materials like glass, as well as classic elements like stone, wood and tile (a further testament to its fantastic versatility as a building material).
With its impressive strength to weight ratio, steel is able to span great distances while maintaining its strctural integrity, and for this reason it is favoured by forward thinking architects.
These are just a few of the broad advantages of using steel in construction and there are many more to consider. However, what is for certain is that steel is the vital resource and provides the framework for building in the modern world.
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