Structural steel isn't just for skyscrapers, large agriculture buildings and garages. There are multiple reasons why steel makes an attractive building option from start to finish, not the least of which are:
From full-throttle metal building projects, to hybrid construction projects that leverage the attributes of both wood and steel, the modern builder has a wealth of options to choose from.
Steel is a versatile building material, which has led to its inclusion in nearly every stage of the construction process from framing and floor joists, to roofing materials. Here are some of the main benefits that make structural steel such a reliable choice.
You Can Build Faster With Steel
Time has always equaled money, but it seems like this high-tech era of ours has made it so that every clients wants their building to come in under budget and ahead of schedule. Fast-tracked projects can be a nightmare for architects and construction crews - namely because taking shortcuts can lead to unsafe building practices and a finished product that isn't up to snuff. That all changes with the addition of steel.
Steel parts are pre-engineered to a specific design inside the manufacturing plant and are shipped out, ready to be erected. This speeds up construction time significantly, making it possible to complete large-scale projects in a matter of weeks.
Because the fabrication process is highly quality-controlled, project managers can place their attention on other issues and the pre-cut, ready to assemble parts eliminate the need for measuring and cutting on site. This also takes the element of human error out of the equation, reducing the amount of time spent assembling something only to find out it needs to be re-measured, cut and installed again.
Save Money With Steel
Much of the cost savings you'll gain can be inferred from the labor and cost benefits of decreased construction time. However, building with steel also saves money via other first time and lifetime savings.
Steel can be recycled. Rather than paying landfill fees for non-recyclable construction waste, your company will be able to recycle steel and metal building components. Due to public interest in decreasing unnecessary constuction waste, most waste removal companies have subsidized programs allowing them to pick up your steel and metal building waste at no cost to you.
Because steel is so durable, and requires so little maintenance, it is a more economic choice for building owners. Maintenance fees, repairs and replacements are minimal - even over the course of 50 years or more - saving building owners tens of thousands of dollars over the course of the building's lifetime.
Innovation in steel production, combined with greater competition to meet rising steel demands, has brought steel prices lower than they've been in twenty years. According to the American Institute of Steel Construction, "In 1980, 10 man-hours were required to produce a single ton of steel. Today that same ton of structural steel requires substantially less than a single man-hour." Thus, these cost savings can be being passed on to the consumer.
Due to a steel structures' almost unrivaled ability to withstand high winds, heavy snow loads, fire and seismic activities, combined with their resistance to pests and decay, insurance companies often offer lower premiums on policies underwritten for metal buildings.
Faster construction times means fewer interest payments to the lender, who typically requires that interest-payments are made through the duration of the construction process.
When bundled together, these cost-saving benefits make steel one of the most affordable building products on the market.
It’s Environmentally Friendly
Steel is made from recycled materials and can be recycled at the end of its lifespan, one of the many reasons why it can earn builders points toward major green building certification programs. According to the Steel Recycling Institute:
80 million tons of steel are recycled each year, making it the world's most recycled product.
Since 1990, the steel industry has reduced energy intensity per ton of steel produced by 28% and CO2 emissions by 35% per ton of steel shipped.
Reductions in energy use and CO2 emissions are rapidly reaching the limits defined by the laws of physics.