Steel has been an integral part of the construction industry for decades. Today, let’s focus on its growing use in creating commercial hubs.
Steel has slowly become the most popular framing material for commercial use. With an extensive track record of high quality and incredible performance, companies choose steel over concrete every day, given its durability and efficiency.
On comparing the quality with glass, concrete, or wood, there is a significant difference that we noticed in terms of longevity and sustainability. Not only is steel beneficial for the environment, but it is a cost-effective solution that provides more health and safety benefits.
To help you understand why steel has become the leading construction material in commercial setups, we have curated this detailed and comprehensive guide. We will begin with the benefits of using steel, followed by tips to make it more attractive.
Without further ado, let’s get down to business.
Benefits Of Using Steel
- Benefits Of Using Steel
- Making Steel Structures Attractive
Our city skylines are growing every day, and this is only possible because of tall steel structures. Architects and engineers are finally able to expand their vision using a tougher and more robust alternative to wood and concrete.
Read on to find out about the various benefits that steel is providing in this sector.
Adjustable Steel Panels
Expansion is a crucial factor when it comes to commercial infrastructure, and you will probably be expanding with time. While this is a very expensive deal for traditional brick structures, steel panels promise to be way more affordable.
Moreover, steel buildings are highly customizable and can be tailored to your business efficiently. They are flexible and more adjustable than other materials, and you can place the panels in any position. Whether you need different designs or varied sizes, there are panels to fit your exact need.
In case you want alterations, steel will provide enough opportunities to adapt and redevelop when you need it. Unlike wood, you will not need to replace or use new steel.
Budget-friendly and Eco-friendly
Steel is prefabricated and is easier to use to create walls. It saves a lot of money which would otherwise be spent on labor. Also, steel buildings are easier to make and take up less time. This saves you from spending on excess electricity too.
While steel is cheaper than wood or other construction materials, it is also eco-friendly. The alternative of using steel in construction is wood, but it is known to catch fires easily. Not only that, to build one setup, you will also need to cut down more than a few trees.
With deforestation and global warming causing significant disruption in the world today, it is best to choose steel. You can recycle it, and construction companies will be able to vow not to cut down trees anymore.
You should also know that steel frames reduce carbon footprints, which is another prominent feature to consider. Since there are fewer columns and longer spans, fewer foundations are needed, and this brings down the carbon footprint to a great extent. The building will have a lighter frame, and a large proportion of embodied carbon is eliminated.
Protection From Natural Calamities
Steel buildings are capable of withstanding natural calamities in a much better way than wooden structures. Be it severe storms, rain, hurricane, earthquake, or snow; it can survive it all. Not only this, but they are also safe from termite infestation, which is a problem with wooden structures.
Termites eat away wood and slowly weaken the structure. Wood is also prone to cracks, splitting, and rotting, whereas a steel structure is resistant to these problems.
Now, one of the common queries is whether the building is truly safe from lightning as metal is supposed to attract it. You can rest assured that if it is properly grounded, it is absolutely safe. In fact, when compared, we found that it is safer than other structures with electric wiring and plumbing running through them.
When you are looking at building a commercial property, it is mostly a long term investment, and you will want the structure to stay in a good condition for as long as possible. Constant renovations are not preferred in these cases, and steel fits well with this need. It is incredibly sustainable and does not lose its durability and strength.
Steel can be recycled as many times as you want, even to make other buildings. It never loses its quality no matter how old it is. So, even if you plan to shift your business elsewhere, the same steel can be dismantled, recycled, and used to create the new structures for a future site.
Coming to the manufacturing process, plants that make steel have better environmental performance. These industries collaborate on projects which aim to reduce carbon emissions and save energy.
They also focus on waste minimization without reducing performance or quality. These are major objectives that help in enhancing the position of the companies.
Furthermore, the skilled workforce mostly performs their functions in a workshop rather than traveling from one construction site to another. This reduces the time and energy spent, while making the workers more efficient.
Resistance To Blasts
One essential reason why engineers are choosing to build with steel is because of their resistance to blasts. Since steel is ductile, it prevents any form of disproportionate collapse, leading to extreme structural damage in many cases. Steel buildings are much stronger and will tackle medium explosives easily.
This is vital for chemical-related industries where experiments are conducted every day, and there could also be internal blasts or equivalent mishaps. Steel will work well in such cases, and one will have to spend less money on structural damage.
Creating High-Rise Structures
This is the perfect material to create high rise buildings because of its high strength to weight ratio. This allows you to create massive structures with a lightweight frame that will keep them sturdy and rooted to the ground.
One issue that occurs with tall buildings is that they face the high wind and hence, are more susceptible to damage during storms. But steel is flexible and can move slightly. This makes it an excellent choice to be used if you want the structure to deflect with the wind. This material will create tall, slender surfaces with a small footprint.
One reason why creating brick structures needs more labor is because of the weight of the materials. Brick and concrete are very heavy and take more time and effort to use in the construction business. Steel is relatively way lighter and easier to work with.
Since the material is light, you will not need to use heavy machinery while working with it. There are construction hazards, and often accidents happen because of heavy power saws used to cut thicker materials. Shifting to metal will save workers from fatal mishaps and make it easier for them to work.
When compared, metal structures actually take less time to be built, and they require less manpower too. Since heavy machinery is not needed, the cost gets reduced, and one can focus more on spending on the business itself rather than on its structure.
Steel panels are generally provided according to the size mentioned, and these have to be attached together. They are not made in the construction site and are generally transferred from workshops. This makes the process less complicated and easier to put together.
Also, since the material is very strong and not prone to scratches and cracks, one does not need to be extra careful while working with it.
Companies that provide metal to make buildings will usually have panels of different sizes, which can be used to create a number of structures. Although there is a limited number of designs, you will find enough versatility needed for commercial purposes.
Yes, it is true that wood will allow for intricate craftsmanship and designs, but there are fewer chances that you will need it for commercial purposes. Also, wood will need to be taken care of, and you will have to spend a lot on maintaining the surface. On the other hand, once you have a steel structure in place, it will not need any maintenance for years.
Creating Column-free Spaces
Another aspect of steel buildings is that it works best for creating column-free spaces. Fewer columns would mean more free space to install heavy machinery and conference rooms and halls.
While being aesthetically pleasing and more flexible, open spaces are very much in demand today. When companies have frequent demands to make changes in their infrastructural arrangements today, open spaces provide easier and budget-friendly solutions.
Rooms can be as long as 15 meters without any columns in between. This is also beneficial in case of heating or cooling the space.
Heating or cooling systems can be lined up towards the top and will change the temperature of a space evenly. The large rooms can be lighted up better, and one can keep a watch on work that is happening 10 meters away as there are no dividers in between.
Also, with large factories or companies, areas may need to be cordoned off for a particular project, meeting, or any activity that needs a significant amount of space. With long corridors and open spaces, you can easily clear off a large area for a certain amount of time.
Easy Maneuverability Of Cars
With large open spaces in steel buildings, you can easily take vehicles inside and move around. This may be essential, especially for industries that are spread over acres. One cannot walk the whole extent, and with time being a crucial resource, it is easier if vehicles can be driven in.
Also, there will be more parking spaces available with fewer columns in the picture. With large automobile plants, steel offers a lot more flexibility while operating.
Making Steel Structures Attractive
If you are convinced that steel structures are more durable on the one hand, but they will not look as attractive as a brick one, there is a solution to it. This is where a brick veneer comes into the picture, which will provide a brick facade to a steel building.
Adding a Brick Veneer
You may feel that a steel building will be less attractive while you could have done a lot with a brick structure. Here is a solution to this!
While metal can still be your basic building material, you can opt for a brick veneer, which will make the front more appealing.
Brick veneer is different from a building made with bricks. They do not support the base and are used to cover up the base material. It is much lighter than ordinary brick structures and is easier to work with. Instead of creating a complete brick and concrete structure, use steel for the most part and add a brick front to it. This will make it look good while costing a lot less.
Furthermore, this will help you save money on construction as it does not involve complex masonry work. Hire people with basic carpentry skills and let them create a beautiful front for you.
Steel is a great solution to achieve aesthetically pleasing, long, corridor-like spaces with no columns in between. It aims to provide future-proof and flexible designs that work very well with multi-storied structures.
With the advancement of technology, steel frames are being used in 70% of multi-storied buildings every year, and this percentage keeps growing. The sheer number adds to the benefits of steel buildings for business owners in continually improving their commercial space.
With the population expanding by leaps and bounds, today, high rises have become a necessity as there are lesser areas available for commercial spaces. We believe that steel is indeed the future of all iconic commercial buildings, and it is gaining popularity with every passing day.
On that note, we will sign off. Till next time!