In 2019, the global market for structural steel was valued at $100.3 billion. That value is expected to grow steadily for the foreseeable future as steel continues to be the preferred building material in both residential and commercial construction.

The popularity of steel building materials goes back centuries to the 1800s when the first skyscrapers started going up in the United States. Before that, cast iron was widely used by builders who preferred metal construction materials. Steel proved to be stronger and more structurally sound than cast iron.

Today, many Americans still consider steel better than other construction materials, particularly when it comes to the construction of long-lasting structures. We’ll give you eight clear reasons why you should too.

Read on to learn more

1. Steel Building Materials Have Impressive Structural Strength

Structural steel has a much higher strength to weight ratio when compared to other building materials such as wood. That’s why structures made of steel are generally stronger than those made of wood. The material is typically made to last.

Manufacturers of structural steel usually apply specialty coating on the material to make it more resistant to corrosion and dirt. That’s what makes the material ideal for structures that are meant to last a long time.

2. Steel Has Greater Adaptability

As you probably already know, the functions of a building can change over time, especially if it’s a commercial structure. In the future, you may want to make changes to your building that increase the floor loads. You may also want to reposition walls, so you create new interior layouts.

Steel allows for these changes. You can turn non-composite beams into composite beams with the existing concrete slab. You can also add cover plates to reinforce the beams to support additional loads.

Steel framing also makes it easier for you to make alterations to the communication systems, electrical wiring, or computer networking cables.

And when your business outgrows the facility, and you need to expand, structural steel makes the job an easy one. Contractors can remove a side or end wall, erect additional structural frames, and match the existing roof and call coverings.

3. Structural Steel Is Low maintenance

Given that the structure you’re building will last ages, one of the first things you want to think about is its maintenance. The fact is all structures need maintenance to stay in good shape for a long time. One of the most impressive features of steel construction materials is that they require very little upkeep.

Once you install a steel structure, you can utilize it to the point where you almost forget about any maintenance. Unlike such materials as wood, steel is resistant to weathering. The material does not crack, rot, or suffer insect attack.

With steel, you don’t need to worry about moisture, pests, or aging. Moreover, steel doesn’t require frequent painting.

4. Steel Structures Require Less Construction Time

Steel structures are easy to assemble, no matter the season. Usually, the components arrive on the site pre-manufactured, so setting up the structure requires minimal labor. Builders can erect an entire structure in a few days instead of weeks, depending on the scale of the project.

Where you’re building on a challenging site, you don’t need to excavate the ground too much since steel can allow as few points of contact with the ground as possible. And because steel is lighter compared to other framing materials like concrete, it allows a simpler and smaller foundation.

All these execution efficiencies translate to accelerated project schedules. Generally, you can expect to cut construction time by up to 33% compared to using other construction materials.

5. Structural Steel Has Remarkable Fire Resistance

One of the reasons why constructors prefer steel for building structures is that the material has astonishing resistance to fire. As you probably already know, fire disasters can cause enormous and sometimes irreversible damage to buildings.

Today’s steel building materials feature an advanced design that meets precise specifications of fire protection requirements. Structures made from steel require little extra fire protection.

6. Steel Structures Have Added Earthquake Resistance

If you live in an area that’s prone to earthquakes, then steel is the best material for setting up any structure. Steel is inherently flexible and ductile. The material flexes when under extreme loads instead of crumbling or crushing.

Usually, the beam-to-beam connections in a steel structure are designed to support gravity loads. However, these connections can also resist lateral loads due to earthquakes.

7. Structural Steel Has Less Impact on the Environment

Earlier, we pointed out that steel structures are significantly lighter when compared to concrete equivalents. That means that they typically don’t require extensive foundations. Therefore, there’s less impact on the ground on which they stand.

Generally, steel materials are also easier to move around, given their weight. They thus require less transportation and fuel use, which reduces pollution.

Structures made of steel also tend to be more energy-efficient. Heat from steel roofing radiates more quickly, creating a more comfortable home environment in the summer. Come winter, it’s easy to insulate double panel steel walls and improve heat retention.

Don’t forget that steel is also endlessly recyclable. Eventually, when you demolish your structure, you can reuse the steel for something else or sell it back into the steel industry for melting and repurposing. This building material, therefore, helps save the earth’s natural resources.

8. Structural Steel Is Cost-Effective

Despite all its incredible features as a building material, structural steel is quite affordable to purchase compared to other building materials such as reinforced concrete. You can click here for the latest steel prices.

Builders also get to save money on construction time and transportation costs. Don’t forget that after the building is built, you’ll spend very little on maintenance over the years.

Steel Is the Ultimate Construction Material

A construction project requires many decisions, one of which is picking the ideal material for the structure. When it comes to structural strength, adaptability, eco-friendliness, and cost, steel building materials have no equal. These are just a few of the many excellent features that will make steel the construction material of choice for a long time.

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