What Are The Advantages Of Steel In Architecture
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There are many advantages of using steel in architecture. This article looks at the benefits of using steel in architecture and why it is a popular choice in the construction industry.
Why do we use steel in architecture? In this article we discuss the many advantages of steel such as its resistance, quality and strength.
What Are The Advantages Of Steel In Architecture?
Without steel, we would be without skyscrapers, buildings above a couple of dozen storeys, and durable buildings that can withstand fires and earthquakes.
Steel is an alloy of carbon and iron that improves iron metal's strength and toughness. There are many examples of steel in architecture, such as skeleton frames that reinforce concrete and large modern structures.
Steel is a perfect material to build all types of buildings with. High-rise buildings made from steel structures benefit from the strong, lightweight, and speedy construction qualities. Industrial buildings also utilise the ability of structural steel to create large span spaces without compromising on the cost.
Light-gauge steel structures similarly make for durable residential buildings. Manufacturing steel concerns cutting, welding, processing, bending, flattening, and rolling.
During all these processes, steel maintains stable microstructures and properties. Steel as a material has unchallenged advantages and efficiency.
Compared to other materials like concrete, there are more advantages of using steel in architecture, such as enhanced flexibility, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, light-weightiness, safety, and speed.
Steel Structure Advantages
There are many more advantages of steel structures, and we have laid them all out below for you to peruse.
No matter the project owners' requirements, steel products can be adjusted, altered, and repositioned easily to create a new internal layout or widen a space. The adaptability of steel allows expansion projects to be done easier and quicker and extends the structure's lifespan.
The cost of a steel structure largely depends on its function and type. For example, constructing a large building will require steel, or steel and concrete, for its building advantages rather than wood and concrete.
Additionally, since it takes less time to create, steel is available at a reduced cost compared to timber and concrete. Due to its Light Weight quality, which we have more extensively talked about below, transporting steel reduces fuel costs and accelerates building schedules.
While steel's most economical shape for a prefabricated steel building comprises a basic rectangle shape, it is also created using more complex designs. Engineers can expand their building options with steel by creating large spaces in a unique design that they couldn't execute with other building materials.
Steel is an ideal building material for industrial structures because steel ceiling joints allow an engineer to span greater distances without interrupting the interior interconnected columns. When it comes to the floor plan, a clear interior space provides more flexibility.
Ductility refers to being drawn into a thin wire, representing that steel can be cut, rolled, and turned into various shapes to match the building requirements without making changes to the composition.
Steel will also bend out of shape and deform instead of cracking or breaking when exposed to a huge force. The advantage of showing signs of wear warns inhabitants to vacate the premises before it potentially breaks.
Buildings made from steel are less affected by extreme weather, such as earthquakes and would give you plenty of time to escape before it would collapse.
Durability and Strength
Steel structures have stronger and lighter properties as opposed to concrete or wood. It is a durable material that can withstand extreme weather conditions and heavy loads and is equally good at being fire-resistant. Steel is rust-proof and unaffected by bugs, fungus, mildew, mould, and termites.
Easy Fabrication in Different Sizes
Steel studs can be manufactured in different sizes and shapes to suit the different heavy loads they will hold in a building. Steel is easy to fabricate, which sets it apart from beams made from wood and concrete because they are not as readily available in varieties of specifications.
Steel is the most recyclable building material to use. Using said recycled steel saves energy and natural resources to lower the cost of producing new steel products.
On the other hand, concrete is completely non-recyclable, and wood can be only partially recycled.
Steel can also be recycled and minimise the amount of waste material produced in the construction of buildings.
There is also no waste produced in the plant upon being manufactured, making steel the ultimate energy-efficient material.
Easy Installation and Speed
When it comes to efficiency, steel structures guarantee high quality and high-speed installation when manufactured using prefabrication methods and techniques. They also take approximately 70% less time to construct than their less efficient counter material, concrete.
The designed steel parts are shipped out in pitch-ready condition, speeding up construction time significantly because there is no need to measure and cut parts on-site. Projects can be commissioned faster and more reliably because of fewer construction hours.
Structural steel is very flexible because it is designed as per a project's requirements. These requirements may focus on the safety aspect of the building.
For example, a bridge or tall tower must be designed with steel to support said structure against forceful winds and earthquakes. See Adaptability and Ductility above for more information about steel's flexibility.
Steel structures reduce the risk of fire accidents more than wood because of their highly fire-resistant properties. The more steel structures a building has, the less likely fire will spread.
Coating a steel structure with special flame-retardant can increase this property.
Improved Construction Quality
Steel structures improve the quality of construction. The material does not age or distort like wooden buildings do because climate change does not affect steel. Steel structures are designed dimensionally stable and hardy to protect the building from weather, wear, and fire spreading.
Light in Weight
Steel structures weigh up to 60% lighter than structures made from brick, glass, stone, or wood and require fewer materials for their foundation. The building's foundation is less weighed down, which can lead to dipping and sinking in the ground. Additionally, steel is easier to transport and lighter in weight, meaning that projects are also quicker than projects made from other building materials.
Moisture and Weather Resistance
Depending on the carbon content in the alloy, steel structures are moisture resistant. There are hot zinc coatings that make a steel structure more rust and moisture-proof.
It is wise to spread hot zinc coatings onto external steel components that will be exposed to outdoor climates.
Temporary steel structures, such as storage facilities or showrooms, can be equally pitched and disassembled within a short amount of time. Creating temporary structures out of steel requires bolting, riveting, or welding methods. Portions of steel structures are simple to make, meaning that assembly and installation are hassle-free.
Pest and Insect Resistant
Steel and concrete components are termite and bug proof, whereas wooden structures are susceptible to termites, bugs, and rodents. Steel components, therefore, require less maintenance and insect-resistant treatment than their material counterparts. See Durability and Strength for more examples of what steel is resistant to.
Resistance and Safety
A steel structure is well-grounded and unlikely to be struck by lightning. It does not have to be treated with resistant chemicals as wood would because steel is unaffected by termites, bugs, rodents, mould, and fungi, which makes it safer than wooden or brick structures.
There is no material more versatile than steel. It can be moulded into any shape, allowing architects to let their artistic imaginations run wild and create buildings that are strong, safe, and innovative. There are no similar alternatives to the adaptability steel structures give to auditoriums, airports, leisure centres, and warehouses.
Like concrete, steel is a very strong and safe building material. While it does not have as good flame resistance or strength when exposed to high temperatures as concrete but is coated by refractory agents that protect them against corrosion, mould, and parasites.
Steel is an indispensable building material with more advantages over other materials, such as brick, concrete, stone, and wood. We hope that this article helped you decide on whether to use steel structures in your building project.
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