Before you begin your next construction project, you should look into the benefits of building with steel. Steel can be used for everything from garden sheds to skyscrapers, the latter of which is not possible with any other construction material.
Without steel, an entire city could be destroyed by a hurricane (Harvey wiped out Port Arthur) or devoured by fire (The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906). Without steel, earthquakes would force us to rebuild every time a strong temblor made the ground shake. Without steel, construction would be more expensive and harder on the environment.
Read on for a deeper look into three important benefits of steel buildings.
Low Construction Costs
Building with steel starts lowering costs from the very beginning, before the first shovelful of dirt is thrown at your jobsite.
A steel building manufacturer begins with your ideas and guides you through fulfilling them in the most cost-effective way possible. A consultant takes architectural drawings or basic sketches and begins to create your building.
- Length, width and height dimensions are finalized.
- The primary frame is designed according to all loads the building will bear.
- The roof system is determined from the height of the eaves to the degree of pitch. Any penetrations for utilities or skylights are taken into consideration.
- Wall panel profile and color are selected and accessories from windows and doors to gutters and trim.
The complete plan is sent to the factory and your steel building is manufactured, pre-cut, pre-drilled and pre-punched using automated processes, ensuring a high level of quality and precision. All fasteners are gathered and every part is checked for fit. During all of this time, you do not need to store any construction materials on-site. You save on security and storage as well as reduce the chances of damage.
You do not receive your building solution until you are ready.
Once you take delivery, construction begins and will be of significantly shorter duration than construction with other materials. Once your foundation is ready, all you need to do is assemble your steel building like you would a jigsaw puzzle. Except a prefabricated steel building is much easier because you don’t have to guess where the parts go.
- You receive complete assembly instructions that you and your crew can use to erect the building in record time.
- You need no special equipment or skills for cutting or rolling metal and you do not need to measure and punch holes for the fasteners.
You require fewer days of labor, there is less disruption to the surrounding area and noise abatement efforts are minimized. Shorter construction time translates into labor savings as well as reduced chance for worker injury, therefore reduced use of worker’s compensation.
Depending on the type of building you need, a 10,000 square foot steel structure can be completed in three months. If expansion is in the building’s future, remove an endwall or sidewall, erect additional framing and cover with matching panel, quickly and easily.
Low Maintenance Costs
Steel is a highly durable building material that requires little maintenance above the occasional cleaning. Repairs are few and are easily performed. If you need to replace a part, you have the advantage of a single source for all your steel parts. You don’t need to shuffle through a long list of vendors to find the one who made that piece. When you get your replacement, it will fit perfectly because the same manufacturer used the same plans to create it.
So far as we know, there is no insect or vermin that can chew through steel. Not only will you have no repairs due to damage from animals and bugs if your entire building is steel, but you also may not need pest control. High winds, heavy snows and hail are no match for a properly designed and installed steel roof.
- There is no need to worry about cracking, splitting, twisting or warping of the steel frame or the panels under normal use.
- Steel members do not sag; they remain straight and true throughout the service life of the structure.
- Fire cannot be started in steel nor will steel spread fire.
Steel frame coupled with fire-resistant insulation and the proper fire mitigation system, a conflagration will not reduce your building to ashes.
As a bonus, since steel buildings are difficult to damage, insurance companies offer better rates (another cost-saving benefit). The benefits continue to pile up.
Low Environmental Costs
It may not seem so on the face, but steel is actually very environmentally friendly.
- Steel milling uses almost no water and cleans what is used before being placed back into the environment.
- Steel does not give off toxic fumes, although certain finishes, coatings and paint might. Specify low-volatility paints and finishes to mitigate the issue.
- Steel is 100% recyclable. If your building must be demolished later, the steel will never be taken to the landfill.
- Steel is made up of a significant percentage of recycled steel, reducing the need to mine ore and create virgin steel.
A steel building is readily made energy efficient. Steel will increase the ratings in five out of six categories used in the LEED rating system.
Compare a steel frame with a wood frame. It takes up to 50 trees to build a traditional wood garage, barn or house. It will take 20 years or more to grow new trees to the right size to harvest for construction. Steel is readily available, does not need to be harvested and transported long distances (reducing emissions) and can be replaced immediately with recycled metal from another project.
Steel buildings save time, money and the environment, three big reasons for choosing to build with steel. Your construction costs are lower with a shorter timeline and less need for skilled labor.
The upkeep of your steel building is minimal while providing a durable shelter that withstands almost anything Mother Nature cares to throw at it. In fact, you may win Mother Nature’s heart by using such an environmentally friendly material so the trees can stay in the ground and scrub the air of carbon dioxide.
With three benefits like these, you win, win, win.