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The Advantages Of Steel Frame Construction

As a construction company specialising in steel & timber frame construction, we have an interest in steel frame constructions. However, steel may not always be the best method for every building. With various highly effective construction technologies available, we’re going to go through the key advantages of steel frame construction. As well as this, we’ll also find out when you shouldn’t use it and should opt for a different method instead.

What Is Steel Frame Construction?

Steel frame construction was once reserved for huge, straightforward structures like garages, vast agricultural buildings and warehouses, as well as high-rise skyscrapers. However, steel frame construction is also used for offices, factories, schools, public buildings and some residential dwellings.

Three key reasons why steel frame construction is used over other methods are:

Structural steel components can be produced off-site quickly, then delivered to the construction site as needed. This decreases onsite labour needs and reduces the risk of your project being delayed by variables like inclement weather.

The Benefits Of Steel Frame Construction

Durable & Strong

Weight-bearing wood or concrete items are heavier and weaker than structural steel components. A typical weight-bearing steel fabrication is 30% to 50% lighter than a hardwood counterpart. As a result, steel frame construction is significantly more robust and sturdier than traditional wood frame options.

Weather & Moisture Resistance

Depending on its carbon content, structural steel can have good moisture resistance. A structural steel component with a hot zinc coating and additional powder treatments for rust resistance will be even more durable. This is crucial for components that will be exposed to the elements. 

Resistant To Fires

Steel frame constructions are fire resistant, minimising the danger of a building catching fire and slowing the spread of a fire if one does occur. This feature of structural steel is enhanced by special flame retardant coatings.

Despite all of the advantages to using steel frames when building, there may be times when it isn’t the most suitable material. Other methods may be more appropriate.

Large complex steel building frame

The Drawbacks Of Steel Frame Construction

Reduced Flexibility Of The Project

The capacity to alter wooden structural components on-site is one of the advantages of timber. A component can be sized down, nails hammered in to strengthen the joint, and so on. With steel, this is impossible. Because steel fabrications are brought to site in their full shape ready to be fitted to the building, the measures of steel must be determined in advance.

Of course, this is one of the major benefits of steel, but if the fabrication results in an incorrectly sized component, the project may be delayed while the framework is returned to the workshop for adjustments. It’s important that the measurements are taken accurately before fabrication, to ensure that adjustments are minimal or not needed at all.

Thermal Conductivity

Due to its high efficiency in transferring heat, steel is not noted for its warmth. When heat is carried away through steel studs, the insulating value of walls can be lowered by as much as half, which is bad news for energy retention in a building. Insulation measures must be put in place where steel frame construction is used to counterbalance steel’s thermal conductivity.

Supporting Structures

Steel frame structures are rarely self-contained. They typically require drywall, sheathing, insulation and additional wooden components to complete a structure. Some construction companies argue that the lengthier building time is a justification against steel frame constructions. However, in most cases the time savings outweigh any on-site alterations.

If you’re planning steel or timber frame construction for your property build in Tiverton or a surrounding area, contact A.D Plant & Construction. Our expert team will be able to advise you on the very latest building techniques and best methods of construction to suit your needs.

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