The use of Iron for Structural frames can be traced back as far as the 1700’s, being used for its fire resistant properties in factories and commercial buildings. The development of Structural Steel then made the construction of the world’s first Skyscraper possible, The Home Insurance Building in Chicago, completed in 1885.
Today, Steel is a superior construction material with many benefits that have brought it to the forefront, as one of the best and most feasible building materials for both commercial and residential construction.
Load Bearing Ability
The immense strength of steel framing is a great advantage to buildings but one of its other very important features is its flexibility. It can bend without cracking allowing a steel building to flex when it is pushed to one side by severe wind or even an earthquake.
A further characteristic of steel is its plasticity or ductility meaning that when subjected to great force, it will not suddenly crack like glass, but slowly bend out of shape. This property allows steel buildings to start to bend, or deform, thus giving warning to inhabitants to escape. Failure in steel frames is not sudden – a steel structure rarely collapses and in the majority of cases performs far better in earthquake than most other materials because of all its properties.
High Strength to weight ratio
Structural Steel weights less than concrete up to 60% making for a less expensive foundation system since there is less weight to support reducing the cost of the overall project.
Faster Construction process than alternative materials
Steel construction is faster since concrete requires time to prepare and cure. Furthermore, a lot of steel structures can be fabricated and put together off-site and then simply transported and assembled.
It is more important today then ever that we use materials in a sustainable manner. Structural Steel frames produce much less waste product when demolished since steel can be re-purposed. Reducing waste management costs and contributing to a greener environment.
If you would like to read more about steel framing in construction then click here.
For advice on Structural Steel and guidance on your project then do not hesitate to get in touch with our Structural Steel experts.
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