Steel frame construction is gaining a large share in the building and civil engineering sector. But is steel framing a more effective construction method than other choices?
Steel Frame Construction: What You Need to Know
Steel frame construction was formerly used mostly for large and simple structures like garages, huge agricultural constructions, and warehouses – as well as high-rise buildings.
This is how steel frame construction is still known in popular culture, although it is now employed for a variety of other projects, including offices, factories, schools, public structures, and some residential residences.
When structural steel components are required on-site, they can be quickly manufactured off-site and then brought to the construction as needed, lowering labor requirements and reducing the impact of factors that might delay a project, such as bad weather.
Steel frame construction has several benefits from a fabrication standpoint as well as a few drawbacks. These will be discussed in more detail below.
Steel Frame Construction: What Are Its Benefits?
Steel frame constructions have the following advantages over brick, concrete, and wooden structures:
Durable and light
Steel construction components are typically lighter and more durable than weight-bearing wood or concrete products. Comparable weight-bearing steel construction is 30-50% lighter than a wooden counterpart. As a result, steel frame building is far more sturdy and long-lasting than previously common wood framed alternatives.
Steel studs come in a range of sizes and can be made to order. This means they may be configured to support particular loads in structures of all types and sizes.
The fire-resistant properties of steel frame construction lower the risk of a structure catching fire and delay the spread of a blaze if one were to break out. Structural steel is treated with special flame retardant coatings that enhance this property.
Burrowing insects and animals can damage wooden frameworks, but structural steel components are resistant to their detrimental effects.
Depending on the carbon content of structural steel, it may have excellent moisture resistance. Hot zinc plating and further powder treatments for improved rust resistance will increase a structural steel component’s resistance to water. This is an important consideration for components exposed to the elements.
Steel Frame Construction: What Are Its Drawbacks?
There are a few drawbacks to steel frame buildings, the most common of which being:
Steel does not provide as much warmth as other materials, owing to its high heat-conducting efficiency. When heat is carried away from a structure through steel studs, the insulation value of walls can be reduced by up to half, which is not good for energy retention in a building. Insulation is required to counteract the thermal conductivity of steel when steel frame construction is employed.
Less flexible on-site
The ability to alter components on-site is one of the advantages of utilizing wooden structural parts. A component may be reduced in size, nails punched into the connection to strengthen it, and so on.
Steel, of course, can’t be bent. Steel needs to be measured precisely in advance because a steel fabrication is delivered to the site in its final shape, ready to be inserted into the structure.
This is, of course, one of steel’s major advantages, but if the construction results in an incorrect component for whatever reason, the project may be delayed while the framework is returned to the workshop for correction.
Frameless frame structures do not function well on their own. They usually require drywall, sheathing, insulation, and other wooden components to make a structure.
Some construction firms, on the other hand, argue that because steel frame buildings take longer to build, they aren’t worth it. Steel frame constructions are nonetheless very popular today for their cost-effectiveness and versatility.
Do you need a steel frame structure for your project?
Please contact one of our engineers right now if you are in the midst of a planning project and want assistance determining whether steel frame construction is appropriate for you.