Wood has been the primary choice for construction over the years, but steel is slowly starting to replace it. The self-replenishing nature and wide availability of wood make it a favorite building material among many but steel construction is becoming the new norm. Structural steel has impressive tensile and compressive strength and a higher strength-to-weight ratio when compared to wood, making steel structures ideal in areas prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, and other natural calamities.
In 2002, the U.S. Department of Housing built a steel frame home alongside a wood home to conduct a study. Results reveal that steel-framed buildings cost 14% more to construct than wood buildings. The next few years showed that the cost to own and maintain a steel building was significantly lower. Since then, manufacturing techniques have advanced such that they reduced the cost of steel construction compared to wood. This inevitably made steel the top choice for commercial building.
Seven Reasons Why Steel Is The Best Building Material
1. Higher Durability
Metal buildings are structurally sound and highly durable. It doesn’t rust or corrode, which makes it appropriate building material for roofs, bridges, and outdoor sculptures. Its durability often prevents you from getting replacement steel framing, components, or materials.
Steel buildings are energy efficient because metal is a great insulator. It helps keep the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Additionally, metal is fire resistant making it an ideal material for building fire stations, hospitals, and other emergency facility construction projects.
The steel industry poses no threat to the environment, making it perfect for green building projects. No deforestation takes place in the name of structural steel.
Metal is a recyclable material that can be reused for your new building after you tear down your old steel building. Unlike plastic and other recyclable materials, steel loses no quality each time it is recycled. This property makes structural steel suitable for eco-friendly construction projects.
5. Aesthetic Appeal
Metal construction allows room for customization. You can pick from a wide variety of designs and colors available to make a personal statement with your metal building. Metal can elevate the elegance of any commercial construction project.
Compared to other materials, metal is pretty cheap. Using metal is a great way to cut back on construction project costs. Metal buildings are more affordable when it comes to heating and cooling options compared to traditional buildings made from other construction materials.
Steel raw materials are usually sprayed with special coatings to make them fireproof. This means that if your building has a steel frame, then in the event of a fire breaking out, the building as such wouldn’t catch fire. Only high temperatures and intense fire can damage the framing.
What Are The Most Used Metals In The Construction Industry?
Steel is considered one of the most popular building materials in the construction industry. It is the most recycled material worldwide, making it suited for eco-friendly construction work. Steel is favored owing to its sustainable nature and the fact that steel buildings can be built pretty quickly at attractive prices. Steel is used in construction projects such as skyscrapers, educational buildings, stadiums, hospitals, and security fencing.
Aluminum is used in ceilings and walls, roof covers, window frames, HVAC systems, and durable bridges, to name a few. Aluminum is highly resistant to corrosion, and its lightweight but strong and durable nature, not to forget its fluidity, allows architects and designers to manipulate it to meet their needs.
Titanium is another popular metal that is lightweight and durable, particularly used in HVAC systems, roofing, pipes, and specific security systems.
Cast iron and wrought iron serve different purposes in the construction industry. Cast iron is usually melted, poured, and molded and is widely used in large architectural projects. Wrought iron is molded in the final stages of its manufacturing and is used in the construction of beams, trusses, and rafters.
Copper is one of the oldest known metals that are popular even today in the construction industry. It remains one of the versatile engineering building materials to date, having properties including corrosion resistance, conductivity, flexibility, durability, and strength. Copper is mainly used for heating systems, electrical wiring, oil and gas lines, cladding, roofing, and rainwater systems.
How Steel Compares With Other Building Materials
Steel vs. Fiber Reinforced Plastics
Composite materials such as alternative metal alloys and Fiber Reinforced Plastics (FRP) are becoming increasingly sought-after in the construction of commercial buildings. Metal composites are more durable than steel, and fixing damaged composite components is generally less expensive and doesn’t require heavy machinery. However, compared to steel components, these are not cheap to manufacture.
Steel vs. Wood
No material has been deemed so far to be good enough to replace steel, but components like engineered wood are becoming commonplace in construction projects. Wood is now featured as a durable and renewable resource by timber companies, so engineered timber is considered a relatively better alternative to steel.
Steel vs. Residential Steel
In residential construction, steel is preferred over wood. However, there is a lack of general contractors who would construct residential homes with steel. Owing to the higher strength-to-weight ratio of steel compared to wood, steel structures are stronger without any added weight. Since it is also termite and fire-resistant and offers better protection against natural disasters, it is more durable than wood.
Four Things to Consider Before Building Any Metal Building
What Will You Use It For?
Most people use metal buildings for storage purposes, but these are so flexible that you could use them as carports, metal garages, barns, sheds, workshops, hobby work, offices, living quarters, and more. A shed can be easily turned into a writing space, outdoor office, or workshop. If you intend to use a metal building for anything other than storage, you will have to personalize it accordingly so that it can manage expanded use. With windows, doors, power supplies, and roof vents, it’s easy to customize metal buildings.
Who Will Do the Work?
Unless you are a professional, you might not have the experience or time to build a metal building on your property. Before you pick a building, make sure you have a good idea about gathering the necessary building materials and who will put them together. Certain companies provide required materials and also help set up steel buildings. Some of them construct only on the site you decided to build, and others help make your pick on the ideal location.
Where You Will Build It?
Apart from getting good-quality building material, having a proper site for your building is equally important. The ground has to be level and strong so that it doesn’t shift, and it has to be stable enough to bear the weight of the building. You can pour concrete or go for a cement pad, and it’s better to avoid areas with a lake or river nearby, which can cause erosion and result in the ground shifting.
What Permits You Need
Rules and regulations differ from city to city or county to county. You must be up to date with the building codes and be prepared with the permits you need to start your construction project. Some companies take care of the paperwork for building owners, and others start working once you have taken care of it.
How to Buy a Prefab Metal Building
Whatever your reason for constructing metal buildings, Steel and Stud has just the right set of prefab structures to cater to your requirements. We design the kit as per your wish and get it shipped wherever you are. We can also help you with assembly and construction work, and we take the hassle off your hands by providing a one-stop-shop for planning the construction of your building.
Choose High-Quality Metal For Your Next Construction Project
Metal fares better than wood due to its durability, sustainability, affordability, energy efficiency, safety, and recyclability. It’s high time you picked metal for commercial buildings and interior design for added aesthetic value. Wood can lose quality over time, which is why the construction industry prefers metal nowadays. Switch to what’s trending to get the most out of your steel buildings. Call us today to learn more about our services and to get started with your new steel building.
Why is metal a good building material?
Metals are hard, malleable, ductile, fusible, and shiny with good thermal and electrical conductivity. Their durability and strength make them popular in the construction industry for making structural components, cladding materials, and pipework.
Why is steel the most preferred material in construction?
Steel, if properly treated, is more durable than wood and is significantly heavier than oak. Steel production doesn’t hurt the environment, either.
Why is steel so good for building?
Steel is strong and binds well to concrete, plus it’s relatively cost-efficient. It also has a thermal expansion coefficient similar to concrete, and steel appears to be a fine choice with reinforced concrete used to make sturdy foundations.
Is steel the best building material?
Steel is the perfect choice for construction because it is superior in strength without being extremely heavy. This makes it ideal for framing commercial buildings and large multi-story structures. It is also not susceptible to moisture, termites, and fire.
Why is steel better than other materials?
Structural steel doesn’t bend or crack and is durable and long-lasting. During seismic events, steel buildings maintain excellent strength and integrity.
Why are metals important in building houses?
Owing to their intrinsic properties, metal is the first choice in the building and construction industry. They are used for structures, cladding, reinforcements, roofing, plumbing, window frames, heating equipment, and other applications.
Why is metal a good option to use in construction in terms of flexibility?
The versatility and flexibility of metal allow a structure to be designed such that it will enable the inclusion of airy, light, and open spaces. Thus, metal is ideal for reconfiguring and modernization.
Why are metals considered the most important material in engineering today?
Metals are sought-after due to their excellent mechanical properties and thermal conductivity.
How are metals useful?
Metals are not just strong but also easy enough to shape, making them useful in numerous construction projects.
What is the strongest material for building?
Steel is the strongest building material available unless you take into account exotic materials such as titanium.
What is the strongest structure material?
Graphene, in its two-dimensional form, is considered to be the strongest of all known materials. It is 200 times stronger and six times lighter than steel.
What is the strongest building?
The areas around elevator shafts and interior stairwells are the strongest parts of a building.
What is the most important use of metal?
Metals are commonly used in machinery, refractory, automobiles, and the construction industry.
Why are metals important in engineering?
The excellent mechanical properties and thermal conductivity of metals make them important engineering materials.
How did metal change the construction development?
The industrial revolution changed the face of metal and made it useful in numerous industries. The structural elements present in cast iron officiated steel construction, metal fabrication, and high-rises.
Which metal is mostly used in construction?
Steel is the most commonly used building material in the construction industry. It is also the most recycled material on Earth, which makes it an eco-friendly choice for construction.
What is metal used for at home?
Stainless steel is used to manufacture car parts and some of the items in the kitchen, and aluminum alloy is used in kettles and frames. Nickel silver is present in trays and knives, and wrought iron is used to build gates, chains, and fences.
Which metal is the most used?
Steel is the most commonly used metal in construction projects.