Steel frame building materials are growing in popularity, and in some places around the world, steel is actually displacing timber as the primary framing material for both residential and non-residential buildings. In the United Kingdom, for instance, 90% of one-story industrial buildings and 70% of multiple story industrial and commercial buildings make use of steel framing.
So why are steel frames becoming more popular, year after year? Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and then you’ll see why you should use steel for your next building project!
1. Steel Saves Money
One of the reasons that homeowners avoid steel is sticker shock. Compared to timber framing, the initial construction cost is typically more expensive. Long term, however, steel will end up saving everyone money. For you, the builder, you’ll find it cheaper to haul away scrap because it is recyclable, which means that waste removal companies often don’t charge to pick up your scrap steel.
For the homeowner, the money savings come with things like maintenance and insurance. Steel frames won’t rot, splinter or become damaged by pests, and insurance companies typically charge substantially less on homeowner’s insurance for steel frames over timber frames.
2. Steel Frame Building Materials Are Versatile
No other building material can allow you to accomplish as much as you can with steel. Unlike timber, steel is easy to shape, meaning that you can create all kinds of architectural interest. More importantly, however, is the fact that steel is more structurally sound than timber, which means that you can build much larger interior spaces without pillars or load-bearing walls.
3. You’ll Cut Down on Your Construction Time
When it comes to construction, steel is far easier to work with than most other building materials. First, it comes pre-engineered, which means that your employees will spend less time measuring, cutting and shaping. Steel is also lighter than wood, making it easier to put in place with less manpower. These two factors alone will allow you to progress more quickly with your project than you would if you were working with timber.
4. More Durable Than Wood and Other Products
We touched on durability above with things like pest resistance, rot and other environmental factors that affect wood but not steel. This building material also wears less than timber framing, which means it lasts longer than wood construction. However, there is a lot more to it than that!
Steel frame building materials have the highest weight to strength ratio on the market. In other words, pound for pound, steel I-beams and other framing elements weigh less than their counterparts in other materials, but are stronger and can hold heavier loads.
5. Steel is The Eco-Conscious Choice
There are many factors that make steel environmentally friendly.
- Steel comes from recycled products, and any waste along with end-of-life steel building materials can be recycled.
- Between the 1990s and today, the steel industry has reduced energy use per ton of steel manufactured by about 30%.
- Because steel frame building materials are long lasting, they are considered more sustainable than other building materials. Fewer replacement materials required over the lifespan of the structure means less energy used and less waste produced.
These reasons should be enough for any builder to consider steel frame building materials for their next project, but if you’d like to learn even more about steel building products, we would love for you to get in touch with us, let’s discuss your next project.