The case for steel frame buildings grows more compelling by the year.
No longer is steel reserved for functional outbuildings or modern homes. It’s now a mainstream structural material prized by industrial, agricultural and other types of businesses the world over.
Why are more businesses building with steel? These are six of the most common arguments in favour.
They’re Straightforward to Assemble:
Steel framed structures are easier to construct than wood or brick buildings.
Steel plates are designed to fit snugly together, like so many hands in gloves. This obviates the arduous work of joining and fastening structural components, reducing labour costs and speeding time to delivery. If your building project can’t wait, the case for steel is doubly compelling.
They Produce Little Waste During Construction:
Steel is more eco-friendly than other common building materials because it produces little waste during construction. There’s no need to further modify pre-cut steel plates at the construction site or cut off excess length from support beams — an unavoidable requirement of wood construction. And, since steel frames last longer than other materials, fewer resources are required for upkeep, maintenance, and replacement.
They Perform Better in High Winds:
In 2015, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes caused at least $10 billion (£7.55 billion) in property damage in the United States alone, according to USA Today. It was the eighth consecutive year in which storm-related damage topped $10 billion — a dubious run.
Globally, the financial cost of severe storms is orders of magnitude higher. No matter where you’re located, steel provides valuable peace of mind when bad weather hits. Though no structure is invincible, modern steel buildings are rated to withstand powerful Category 4 hurricanes — more than enough weather protection for most users worldwide.
They’re More Resilient in Earthquakes:
Even as they stand up to gusty winds, steel buildings resist the very movement of the earth. Properly anchored steel structures withstand tremors better than conventional wood and brick buildings — a crucial consideration in earthquake-prone parts of the world.
Building with steel in the first place is a simple, cost-effective alternative to retrofitting existing structures — the cost of which can easily top USD$10,000 (£7,550), per HomeAdvisor. In larger commercial buildings, the expense is of course far higher.
Structural resilience is an important consideration even outside “traditional” earthquake zones. For instance, the U.S. city of Memphis, Tennessee, and the Greek city of Athens share one crucial bond: They both sit amid unstable fault structures that have produced devastating quakes in the relatively recent past.
Compared with structures built with organic materials, soundly constructed steel frame buildings are nearly immune to common indoor pests such as termites and ants. The reason is simple: With no latent food sources and few natural ingress points, they find it difficult to gain entry and struggle mightily to survive once they do.
They’re Almost Timeless:
Nothing lasts forever, but steel frame buildings come pretty close. The structure your firm builds today is likely to outlive you — and might just outlast your children as well. The fiscal benefits are self-evident.