Steel buildings, which have quickly become the standard for large scale buildings, boast many advantages over building with other materials such as wood, brick, and concrete. It’s no wonder that most modern, large scale buildings like skyscrapers are made of steel. The durability and strength of steel is unmatched in any other construction material.
First of all, steel is strong. It has a high strength to weight ratio that makes it ideal for high rise buildings, long-span buildings, buildings built on soft ground, and buildings in earthquake zones. Steel is also very ductile. This means that it can withstand a large amount of deformation before failure. It can also be twisted and formed into long curves.
Steel is extremely cost-effective. While steel initially may be a more expensive option, over many years money is saved from the low amount of repairs needed. Also, steel buildings are relatively fast to erect, reducing labor costs. Steel rarely fluctuates in price. Steel building allows for very little waste and it may allow for lower insurance premiums.
Steel is more durable than any other building material. While the strong winds of the West Texas plains can cause other buildings to warp and twist, steel is not affected by wind. Steel also stands the test of time - it will never decay, be affected by termites, crack, or settle.
Steel requires little maintenance over time. Over time, buildings made of wood will rot, nails will loosen, and the building will be in constant need of repair. Not so with steel. The connections between steel parts do not loosen. A steel building will remain upright through many decades. Also, unlike concrete, the properties of steel do not change much over time. If a steel building does need repair, repair is usually quick and easy.
Steel is safer from fires, earthquakes, and for people living and working in the buildings. The effects of fire have been researched on steel more than any other building material. This allows for precise fire specifications. Contrastly, little is known on how well concrete holds up in fire. Also, wood has to be treated with pesticides and chemicals that may be harmful to those living and working inside the building while steel does not.
Steel is energy efficient and is less harmful to the environment. The building owner will save money on energy costs because steel buildings don’t leak air, they allow for more insulation, and they do not expand and contract based on the weather. Also steel is the most recycled material in the world with more than 100 billion pound recycled each year, according to Verstube.com. It is also more available than wood. Steel can be recycled over and over again with no effect on its strength.
Steel is very customizable and open to design modifications. The framing components of steel allow for future additions to buildings and its strength allows for longer floor spans and higher walls. With less need for columns, the interior of steel buildings can be constantly changed and adapted to the occupant’s needs. This helps to avoid costly, disruptive demolition and rebuilding.