Many entrepreneurs need to construct new buildings to make their companies operational, such as warehouses, factories, or office buildings. These undertakings can be expensive – but they will often dictate the future of the business. The right building, made from the right materials, can often reduce costs, improve productivity, and even help the business establish a better reputation.
One of the best choices for business owners is to build steel buildings – which is why steel buildings are becoming so trendy in areas like California. But why are steel buildings becoming so popular and what are their unique advantages?
The Advantages of Steel Buildings
These are some of the best advantages of buildings made of steel:
- High strength. One of the most well-known advantages of steel is its tremendous inherent strength – especially if you use reinforcing to make the steel structure even stronger. In terms of both compression and tensile strength, steel is one of the best building materials available. It can withstand heavy impacts and most types of extreme weather, so your building will remain standing through turmoil; it can also lower your insurance rates for this very reason.
- High efficiency. Thanks in part to the high strength of steel, your buildings can use less material and still offer more space. With thin columns and sparse structuring, you can enjoy a massive open floor plan and still add plenty of structural integrity to the building itself.
- Low costs. Hearing about the strength of steel, you might think it’s ridiculously expensive. And while it’s certainly more expensive than some types of cheap building materials, steel remains one of the most cost-effective structural materials – almost always coming in cheaper than concrete.
- Fast building. These days, it’s possible to construct buildings with steel frames faster than ever. It can be fabricated relatively easily, designed precisely using 3D modeling technology, and erected in tight formations with minimal waste. As an end result, the time from initial planning to completed construction is often shorter with steel than with other building materials.
- Sustainability. Roughly 57 percent of consumers are willing to change their purchasing choice to favor a brand that operates sustainably; that’s how popular and important sustainability has become. Steel happens to be one of the most sustainable materials you can use to construct a new building for your business. Most structured steel consists of mostly recycled materials, and all existing steel materials can be re-recycled for future use. In fact, some companies pay for the opportunity to dismantle existing buildings, due to how valuable the steel inside can be.
- Modularity. Steel lends itself to easy modifying, since you can stack vertical additions onto an existing structure very easily – and expand horizontally as well. With simple changes, like removing an existing section and adding a new one, you can convert any steel building into something that fits your needs. If your business has plans for expansion or an uncertain growth curve for the future, this is a huge advantage.
- Other innovations. Innovators are always looking for new ways to improve the strength, cost, and efficiency of steel. Thanks to pioneers in this area, we now have hybrid materials and engineering tactics that can make even better use of this already-amazing material.
- History and future. Structural steel has been manufactured and used in construction for decades. It’s a well-known material that modern manufacturers have had decades of experience producing. Steel fabrication is a reliable, predictable science – so you don’t have to worry about unknown variables like you might with an experimental new material.
Are There Any Downsides?
So are there any downsides or negatives associated with steel buildings?
- Corrosive nature. Steel is an iron alloy, which means it’s vulnerable to corrosion in certain conditions. The good news is that anti-corrosion measures can often prevent this.
- Need for maintenance. Steel has somewhat higher maintenance costs than some other building materials, especially if you want it to remain corrosion resistant.
- Vulnerable to fire. Steel is not inherently fireproof, though it is fire resistant. In a fire of sufficiently high temperature, the tensile and compressive strength of steel will fade, and the entire building may structurally fail.
- Vulnerable to buckling. If not properly designed, a building made of steel may eventually buckle. This is especially a problem in areas with extreme temperature changes.
For the most part, the downsides are minimal and easy to get around.
Steel isn’t a perfect building material, nor is it the right material for every building. But if you’re a business owner looking for something strong, flexible, reliable, and still inexpensive enough to fit your budget, steel may be the best option. Business owners all over the country are starting to realize the benefits, and the trend will likely continue from here.