What are the Advantages & Disadvantages of Steel Frame Construction?
At Integrity Steel Buildings we’re passionate about the benefits of building with steel – which doesn’t mean to say that we don’t also consider the possible challenges it can present. In this article we look at the advantages and disadvantages of steel frame construction, therefore. We make no apology for the fact that the pros tend to outweigh the cons; in our experience this is the reality as we experience it.
What is Steel Frame Construction?
There are broadly 3 reasons for the rapidly growing popularity of steel as a construction material. It’s strong, cost-effective when compared to other building materials, and it can be endlessly recycled.
A steel structure is made up of prefabricated components which are delivered to the construction site. The process of construction is fast, requires minimal labour, and is unlikely to be knocked off course by weather events.
The Disadvantages of Steel Frame Construction
We thought we would lead off with two disadvantages that steel buildings present in comparison with building materials such as wood or timber:
A steel building will need to be insulated in order to regulate the interior temperature. Otherwise, it will get very cold in the winter! Insulation provides a building envelope to maintain the building’s temperature throughout the year, it reduces the energy requirements for the structure, and it stops rust, mould, corrosion, or mildew.
At Integrity we take great care to ensure that all the measurements are precise and correct before the components are manufactured. This is because it’s not possible to tweak a steel component as you could a piece of timber. In order to fully benefit from the process of prefabrication therefore, you require a supplier with the requisite skills and experience to calculate accurately.
The Advantages of Steel Frame Construction
There are many advantages to using steel for your construction project, all supported by the feedback we get from our clients:
What do you need your steel portal frame building to do? Integrity designers can custom create a structure that fulfils your requirements. We provide a range of options including mezzanine floors, multiple bays, enclosed and open bay areas, dividing walls, roller doors, insulation, personal access doors, and roof ventilation.
Steel is both lighter and stronger than concrete or wood. For example, a steel portal frame building will be 30-50% lighter than its equivalent built with timber. The strength of steel also means that it can carry more load. Which means simplified design, less labour required for construction and a reduced cost of shipping.
The properties of steel ensure that it will not crack like concrete, or rot like timber. If properly maintained, steel will outlast all other building materials.
Steel is a sustainable material thanks to the fact that once made, it can be recycled endlessly. No matter how many times it is re-used steel experiences no downgrading in its quality. This longevity of purpose offsets, therefore, the non-renewable minerals and fossil fuels which are used in its production.
Prefabricated steel components are delivered in a flat-pack format complete with architectural drawings, build manual, and load list. The building is ready for immediate assembly, and clients choose whether to self-build, employ a construction team, or get Integrity to project manage the construction and fit out.
Why Work With Integrity Steel Buildings
Our goal at Integrity is to maximise the many advantages of steel frame construction and provide high-quality solutions to cancel out the minor disadvantages. We’re situated in Bedfordshire, 50 miles north of London, with excellent links across the country. The buildings we deliver are bespoke to our clients’ requirements and they are delivered with a solid steel guarantee and full UKCA marking.
Would you like to speak to one of our engineers about the advantages and disadvantages of steel frame construction? Call Integrity today on – 01234 938150