The prices for steel company stocks are dipping, resulting in the question as to if steel is still a suitable material for construction projects. The steel industry was never immune to the effect of recent economic downturn. Steel companies are attempting to control the economic dip just as other businesses, less construction results in fewer production jobs.
Steel is becoming more expensive because of the cost of the raw materials in order to make steel, iron and coal are on the rise. Whilst steel is remaining popular, various construction materials are becoming a preference in terms of cost.
New Building Materials
While there is no alternative when it comes to replacing steel, materials such as engineered timber is becoming common in new construction projects. Timber companies rely on wood as a durable source, and engineered timber is becoming an alternative for steel.
In residential construction, steel is gaining popularity. Previously, builders favoured wood over steel for framing buildings, but the durability of wood had builders choosing steel as an alternative.
The major disadvantage to using steel in construction is price and energy use. Steel is becoming more common, but is still hard to find contractors to create residential builds with steel framing. However, steel offers a higher strength to weight than wood. This means that steel components are stronger without adding more weight. This assists in making steel stronger than wood, which is more attractive in areas prone to earthquakes, tornadoes and other natural disasters. Steel structures are also fire and termite resistant, resulting in being more durable than wood.
Steel Structure Pro’s and Con’s
There are many problems when it comes to using steel in construction. In extreme humid, coastal regions, or moisture, steel will corrode unless extra coatings of anti-corrosives. In order to make a steel building energy efficient, it requires additional insulation.
Green builders utilise steel in environmentally construction projects because of its renewability and durability. Steel lasts for a very long time, and combined with other environmentally building materials, it is used for many green building projects.
Unlike other recyclable materials, such as plastic, steel does not lose quality when it is recycled. There is also less waste with steel construction when compares to wood.
Regardless of a few drawbacks, steel remains the preferred material for framing buildings, and becoming popular for residential construction.
SM Structures is a reputable steel structure design company and has worked on constructing some of the finest steel structures in the country from 100% South African made steel. Some of our projects include aircraft hangars, warehouses, retail spaces and more. Contact us for more information today!