Contrary to popular belief, structural steel frames are not just for skyscrapers. Sure, in the past, steel was expensive and only large-scale construction projects were able to afford it. However, things are a lot different today, and structural steel has slowly found its way into residential construction projects.
Unfortunately, there are still many misconceptions about steel frames going around, and today, we are going to put an end to some of them. So, without further ado, here are five advantages of structural steel frames.
Faster build time
Everybody knows that time equals money, especially in the construction business. If you don’t want to exceed your deadlines and blow through your budget, then structural steel frames are the way to go. Unlike frames from other materials, steel comes pre-fabricated to the site and ready to be installed. As you can imagine, this cuts the build time by a lot. Furthermore, because steel frames are built to a certain standard and dimensions, your engineers won’t have to worry about their quality and if each piece is going to fit with other ones.
Steel is eco-friendly
Steel eco-friendly? You must be thinking that we are going insane, but hear us out. Even though steel is a product of heavy industry, it is still more eco-friendly than some other materials, and here is why.
First, steel is a completely recyclable material. Every building with a steel frame can be recycled, so you won’t have to worry about polluting the environment. Second, steel frames last longer than frames from any other building material. Finally, because steel is easily recycled, the steel industry has reduced energy use for steel manufacturing by 30% since the 1990s.
Even a layman can see that steel is more durable than wood, for example. Steel frames can sustain more structural weight and simply last longer than wooden ones. However, these are the obvious durability advantages, but there are more still that are not noticeable at first glance. For example, wood can be affected by termites and other pests, but steel cannot. No living organism can pass through steel. Additionally, unlike wood, steel is completely unaffected by elements like fire and water, making it a safer choice if you want to protect your home against natural disasters.
Steel is lightweight compared to wood
First, we say that steel is eco-friendly, and now we say that steel is a lighter material than wood. We know that it all sounds odd to the people that aren’t familiar with the structure of steel and how it has advanced in the last couple of years, but bear with us, please.
Sure, density of steel is higher than the density of wood, making the steel heavier if you compare two identical objects made from these two materials. However, when it comes to structural frames, the shape plays a huge role. A steel I-beam is a lot lighter than an LVL beam, Parallam beam, or any other type of a wooden beam.
Lower costs in a long run
Finally, steel is more economical in a long run. There is no way around it; the upfront cost of steel frames will always be higher than that of wooden ones. However, if you take into consideration what we talked about until now, you will realise that steel is much more cost-effective. First, the building will last longer. Second, the construction process will be less taxing. And third, if you decide to tear down the building, you will be able to recycle the whole structural frame.
We are not saying that structural wooden frames are bad, but as you can see, there are a lot more advantages to steel than most people know about. So, the next time you work on a construction project, maybe consider switching to structural steel frames.