What’s So Special About Steel Buildings?

Actually, there are a lot of things that are special about steel buildings! They’re seen and utilized just about everywhere, but have you ever wondered why? It’s because of the many advantages that they have over others.

Faster to Build
Though a concrete building can be begun sooner than a steel building, chances are that the steel building will be finished sooner and will still be of high quality. A steel building can also be built on ground that’s considered too soft for other types of structures. Also, repairs can be made quite easily and quickly in a steel building.

Less Costly
Steel buildings cost up to 7 percent less than concrete buildings and have cost less for the last 30 years. The cost of a steel building rose about 68 percent since 1980 while the cost of a concrete building went up 114 percent since 1980. One of the reasons is because steel is easier to manufacture than concrete. Steel is easy to mass produce and bays, porches and wings can also be added to a steel building with ease.

Environmentally Friendly
When people think of steel they might think of white hot furnaces, molten metal and burly men wielding sledge hammers that result in a metal that’s not very friendly. But steel is amazingly sustainable and almost 90 percent of steel is made of recycled material. Moreover, that recycled steel can be recycled again. The production of steel also uses very little water. Steel is so valuable as a recyclable material that demolition companies will pay to take down a steel building in order to recycle it.

True, a lot of prefabricated steel buildings are rather pedestrian, but steel’s versatility is such that it can be made into a structure of real beauty. Steel, unlike wood, doesn’t warp, swell or twist and is impervious to insects and mold and mildew. Though being out in the weather can cause steel to corrode, regular painting can hold off his problem. There are also types of steel that resist corrosion.

Steel is one of the strongest materials known. Even a building that has steel reinforcements isn’t as strong as a steel building. The yield stress of steel, after all, is 50,000 psi. Even reinforced concrete can only manage about 12,000 to 15,000 psi. The strength of steel is crucial in an area that’s subject to earthquakes like California or hurricanes like Florida. Paradoxically, this immense strength allows buildings to be erected that seem light and graceful.

Easy to Design
Engineers love to design with steel and the sophistication of the new technology for designing with steel reflect that. Many engineers and architects have proudly put up photos of the buildings they designed on social media.

To consider a steel building’s durability, think of how many steel bridges are still serviceable after a century or more with only routine maintenance. Many of these bridges are in environments where it’s frigid in the winter, sizzling hot in the summer and it snows, sleets, rains and hails a great deal.