5 Advantages of Steel Frame Construction

5 Advantages of Steel Frame Construction

Construction manager and engineer dressed in orange work vests and hard helmets explore construction documentation on the building site near the steel frames

What are the advantages of steel frame construction?

  1. Durable
  2. Cost-effective
  3. Can be manufactured in various sizes
  4. Handles wind uplift
  5. Better fire rating

 

A building’s framework serves as the backbone for all buildings. Its quality defines just how well a building is able to resist environmental conditions and other potentially harmful natural disasters that can affect the structure. The construction industry recognizes this need, which is why they are able to understand the many advantages of steel frame construction and how important this aspect is, in defining a building’s physical stability and durability for the occupants.

Constructing with steel frames has a number of benefits: The material is durable, cost-effective, resistant to corrosion, and environmentally-friendly. It’s also a preferred material due to the capacity of fabricators to cut steel frames in various sizes that are able to meet building codes and safety standards. Read on to learn more.

 

Durable

It need not be said, but steel frames are some of the most durable materials in construction. Compared to other framing materials like wood, steel doesn’t easily get damaged from physical impacts. Builders keep this in mind not just for meeting guidelines, but also to make sure that the structure remains standing even in the midst of a disaster.

While it’s true that steel is far denser and heavier compared to wood, the former scores better on the strength-to-weight ratio. Meaning that for every steel beam, pipe, or section used for construction, the strength rating is definitely higher compared to the same quantity of wood used for the same purpose. Steel also does not contain brittle fibers that can rot and degrade over time when exposed to the elements.

 

Cost-Effective

Construction site with steel frame structure and crane.

Another great property of steel is that it is infinitely recyclable. It’s also a widely-used construction material, meaning that it has already undergone market saturation — procuring, manufacturing, and using this material has finally become more affordable.

Using cost-effective materials enables structural-based construction projects to better anticipate any further costs and expenses on the budget. Furthermore, due to steel’s recyclability, old building frames can be repurposed without a compromise in their benefits.

For example, if a project requires recycled steel beams, these materials would need only to undergo a technique called abrasive blasting in order to remove impurities on the surface. The method is cheap and is effective at removing corroded portions on the steel alloy, provided that there are no pitted areas. The resulting product can then be combined with fittings, flanges, and other components to design the structural component of any building project.

Can Be Manufactured in Various Sizes

Using many types of heat treatment methods, it’s possible for steel frames to be cut in varying sizes. These methods essentially improve the machinability and ductility of the material to accommodate further modifications. Cutting and other fabricating methods on steel can be done both on-site or off-site, depending on the project requirements due to its simplicity.

Different sizes for steel frames allow buildings to meet requirements on load-bearing capacities — i.e. dead loads, wind loads, earthquake loads, temperature loads, and the like. For example, a small or mid-level steel building project may require higher loads compared to high-rise buildings. For this situation, it’s better to use steel frames that are specifically cut for the purpose.

 

Handles Wind Uplift

steel structure workshop

In cases of typhoons, wind uplift is another factor that building designers have to take into consideration. Wind uplift can be caused by a number of correlating factors that not only have to do with the type of natural disaster, environment, and location, but also to do with the building height, design, and quality of framing materials used.

Unlike other materials, steel frames are able to handle wind uplifts much better. Any changes in pressure that take place in the building’s exteriors and interiors won’t affect a steel framing that has been installed in the most optimized way possible. For any current occupants of that building space, they can be sure that both the building’s roofing and framing components will remain stable.

 

Better Fire Rating

Fire is usually caused by faulty wiring or human error. In areas where structures aren’t really made with fire-resistant materials, this can pose an issue, as it may cause the fire to spread quickly and affect other structures in the same vicinity.

Aside from offering adequate protection against wind uplift, steel frames are also fire-resistant. In cases of severe fire emergencies, the steel framework helps protect a structure and contain the spread of the fire in only a small location.

Compare this situation to when building frames or rafters are made of wood instead — the material can ignite almost instantaneously. This may cause other building materials to disintegrate and may also harm the inhabitants and other occupied buildings nearby.

 

Key Takeaway

Several advantages of steel frame construction can be classified according to how well the material gives stability to a building or how safe for use it is as a construction material. In this guide, you’ve learned that steel is durable, cost-effective, and machinable. Steel frames also have a number of safety benefits — it protects against wind uplift, limits fire spread during emergencies, and protects any occupants inside.

There are limitless ways by which building designers can work with steel frames. There’s no doubt that this material will still be one of the first choices for construction projects for many years to come.

5 Advantages of Steel Frame Construction
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