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Using Steel in Construction

In the last few years, the use of steel in construction has seen phenomenal growth. Although steel buildings have been around for a long time in the commercial and industrial sectors, they are gracing the skylines of countries all around the world with increasing frequency.

The use of various metals in the construction industry began in the 1700s with the placement of iron columns within walls. Over time, iron beams and columns became common features in large industrial buildings. Then in 1855, Sir Henry Basserner invented steel, and it immediately became an integral part of the construction of buildings, bridges, pipelines, and, later, skyscrapers. Because wood was expensive and impacted the environment negatively, steel quickly became the popular choice in construction.

Using steel in constructing buildings has many advantages. Construction using steel is generally much faster than when using other materials, and the costs are usually lower compared to conventional building methods. Steel buildings weigh less and are easier to maintain. They carry a reduced risk of fire as well and are more durable and last longer.

In addition, steel is 66 percent recyclable, which makes it especially cost effective and environmentally sound. Its strength is also a major advantage. Steel structures can withstand severe weather conditions such as hurricanes, heavy snows, and even earthquakes. Moreover, they are resistant to termites, creeping, cracks, splitting, and rotting. They are extremely durable.

Although steel-framed homes are still a little more expensive than traditional wood-framed homes, they are more energy efficient, which saves money, and they require less maintenance. This makes them an attractive alternative to other construction options. Itís also easy to give them a conventional appearance by covering the metal with traditional building materials like bricks, siding, or stucco. Insurance costs are lower due to the decreased risk of fire. Other benefits include lower assembly and labor costs. The cost of building materials is also less due to modern prefabrication design technologies. These have played a major role in the growth of the steel building systems industry, enabling fast and precise design and fabrication.

Steel building frames and other products are made of recycled steel. No less than 28 percent of steel frames are made of recycled steel, which can be recycled in turn. The use of steel in construction is better for the environment than wood, as a typical 2,000-square-foot home uses the wood from about 50 trees. The same house built with steel requires only about six scrapped automobiles.




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