Ironman just might be the coolest character ever, but iron does not bring about similar desirable effects when it is used as a building material.
For decades, people thought that iron was the answer to all their construction problems. This would have worked up until someone in Chicago went looking beyond the quintessential construction materials and used steel to build the very first skyscrapers.
There are enormous advantages of steel and this can be seen by the sheer data available on the types of structures in terms of height, strength and complexity right after steel was used in construction. Many builders and contractors in the local construction markets may tell you to use some other building material giving reasons like cheaper rates, easier availability or lower transportation costs.
If you are pondering over the thought of whether steel for building material is an ideal choice or not, here are a few points which will help you look in the right direction:
1. Strength: The biggest problem when it comes to using other materials in construction projects is their strength or their ability to undergo extreme pressure which will be exerted by the design and other components of the building. The biggest signs of universal acceptability of steel’s strength as a building material are two key statistics:
a. All the buildings that have had the opportunity of being called the ‘tallest building ever’ at least once in their entire lifetime in recent modern history, were all made of steel. Essentially, it was impossible to build skyscrapers without steel; it was only after engineers started using steel in their structures and lifts were invented, that structures going beyond hundred floors became a reality.
Every modern day skyscraper is a testament to the strength steel can provide to a project.
b. If you are using structural steel as the building block of your construction project, you will not face any limits to the heights of the project on the basis of the material’s strength. Structural steel is considered to be the most ideal material to be used for buildings destined to have great heights because of its tested strength.
2. Malleability: For a metal so strong, it may seem paradoxical that malleability is high and one of its key features. Most of the times, people believe that strength is accompanied by rigidity and that rigidity is actually responsible for giving any metal its strength.
The reality is that steel is strong and at the same time highly malleable, meaning it can be shaped into any complex design without compromising on the very fundamental structural integrity. This is where steel beats every other metal and allows architects and designs to come up with more contemporary and complex designs, without worrying about the possibility to build them.
3. Overall Costs: At the surface, if you have compare steel with other building materials, it may seem that using steel would significantly increase your construction costs. That said, if you look closely, a simple analysis of the additional costs over the project and the building’s entire life, you’ll see that steel is more intelligent option.
To start with, it is lighter than most of its counterparts – this way, you save over transportation costs. Furthermore, it occupies less area and offers the same strength, thereby allowing you for better space management.
4. Scope of Modification: Now, when you combine great strength in the building material, along with great malleability, what you get is a huge scope of modifications. With most of the building materials, what has been made once will remain the same until you decide to break the entire thing down and build things ground up again; when steel comes into picture, you have more scope of adding dimensions and rooms.
For instance, if you have used a streel framework for building the rooms, you can add to the same network of frames later when you want to change things. This might not be easily possible if you have other construction materials at use.
Hence, if you are looking to construct a building with structural integrity, lesser costs and greater scope of redesigning in the future – steel is the best option for you.
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