The often slightly greater cost of purchasing a steel building is
quickly made up for by its phenomenal benefits on a number of levels.
Perhaps this is why steel buildings are seeing such an upsurge in
popularity in recent years. They have such a plethora of good points
that it makes you wonder why this upsurge hasn't come sooner. Let's take
a look at a few of the great attributes of steel construction and how
it can be an option that is also highly cost effective, especially over
time. If businesses, companies, or individuals that need construction
done can get beyond focusing on the greater initial expenditure (if
any), they will soon be convinced that steel construction is the way to
go, both financially and otherwise.
Speed of Construction
The standardized and prefabricated nature of the elements of steel buildings means greatly reduced construction times. It is also lighter than other framing materials, meaning that the foundation often doesn't have to be as large are extensive. Both of these factors greatly reduce construction time and allow for whatever activities the building is involved in â whether it is industrial production of some kind, office work, or simple business or residential occupancy â to begin sooner. This is a financial advantage for both the builder and the client, meaning that the builder gets paid sooner and the client can get right into business turning the initial outlay into profit.
By virtue of its high strength, durability, and resistivity steel is a very safe building material. It is highly fire resistant and resists wind, impacts of various types (such as trees falling), and extreme weather. It is also resistant to earthquakes â an important advantage in areas where this is a consideration. Steel is fairly ductile, which means it can tolerate a high degree of stress and bending without serious structural damage. It's not hard to see how all this saves money â there are little or no repair costs for a house that successfully resists accidental damage.
Lower insurance costs
The insurance costs for a steel building are thus often reduced due to the fact that fire and other accidental damage are less likely to occur. Steel has, naturally, a much higher fire rating than wood. Insurance companies are much more willing to insure properties that they will probably not have to pay claims on, and insure them at very reasonable rates. So the lower insurance cost alone is a reason to favor steel building construction.
Reduced maintenance costs
The day to day maintenance costs of steel are also a lot lower than with other materials. Steel resists ordinary weather, termites and other insects, exceptionally well. This results in very minimal routine maintenance and repair costs. Wood can warp due to moisture, rot, become infested, mildew, and crack. When these types of wear occur in wooden buildings they are often expensive to remedy or fix. And the frequency with which they occur means that work to correct them also occurs on a frequent or ongoing basis. But steel is subject to none of these problems. It is about as close to maintenance free as a building material can get.
This is especially useful in commercial situations. If a business owner decides to make modifications involving increased weight loads in a specific room or on a certain floor, new steel beams can be welded of bolted onto the existing steel framing making for greater weight bearing capacity. This is nowhere near as easy to do with a wooden structure, mainly because more is not always stronger in the case of wood. Wood has structural limits which added wooden framing elements will not necessarily extend markedly. However with steel, these limits are far higher, and the addition of new framing members often extends it even more.
Steel is Environmentally Responsible
Steel is 66% recyclable, and new steel beams are made of at least 28% recycled steel. The recyclability factor means it is fairly inexpensive to produce steel. It can be recycled numerous times, cutting down on mining of iron and other metals that iron is alloyed with to produce steel. Use of steel in construction also fights deforestation because little or no wood need be used in the construction of a steel building. So on top of the cost and time benefits, steel is an environmentally ethical option that contributes to global and economic well being.
For all these reasons, steel is nothing short of a glorious building option. It is financially and environmentally responsible, strong, durable, attractive, modifiable and cost effective. So if you're wondering what the primary material for that new construction project should be, or wondering what type of already built structure to buy, steel should be on the top of your list. It is the wave of future in building materials, and steel buildings will likely continue to become more streamlined, cost effective, and the coming years.