Use of steel as a construction material has seen phenomenal growth in the last few years. Although steel buildings have been used in the commercial and industrial sectors for a long time, they are increasingly gracing the skylines of countries all over the world.
Use of metals in construction began in the 1700’s with the use of iron columns within walls. Iron beams and columns became a common feature in large industrial buildings over the years. Various difficulties with the use of wood, such as its expense and the impact its use has on the environment, have contributed to the popularity of steel.
Steel buildings offer many advantages. They are usually constructed much faster than buildings using other materials; the costs are usually lower compared to traditional building methods; they are lighter weight; they are easier to maintain; and they carry a reduced risk of fire.
Moreover, steel is 66% recyclable, which makes it an especially cost-effective and environmentally sound alternative to any other construction material. Above all, strength is a major plus for steel.
Steel structures can withstand unfavorable weather conditions such as hurricanes, high winds, heavy snow and even earthquakes. They are also resistant to termites, creeping, cracks, splitting and rotting, thus increasing durability.
Even though steel framed homes are still slightly more expensive than traditional wood-based buildings, savings from the fact that they are more energy-efficient and reduced maintenance make them an attractive alternative.
Besides, they can be given a conventional look by covering them with traditional building materials like bricks, siding or stucco. There are various benefits such as lower insurance costs (since risk of fire is lower), lower assembly and labor costs, and decreased material costs due to prefabricated designing. Modern technologies have also influenced the growth of the steel building systems industry since it can be used for better design and fabrication.
Steel building products, including steel frames, are made of recycled steel. No less than 28% of steel frames are recycled steel, which can then be recycled in turn. This is better for the environment than wood, as it is estimated that a typical 2000-square-foot home uses the wood from around almost 50 trees. The same house, when built with steel, requires only about six scrapped automobiles.