The use of Steel in Residential Buildings

Using steel in residential buildings has become a common practice because it is both practical and lightweight. The characteristics of steel minimises load on the foundations, which saves money when it comes to substructure costs.

Various steel building technologies can be used in residential buildings, such as structural steel frames which is a building technique using a ‘skeleton frame’ of vertical steel columns and horizontal I-beams, constructed in a rectangular grid to support the floors, roof and walls of a building, which are attached to the steel frame.

For housing and residential construction, steel is a most effective solution in that it is energy efficient, noncombustible, durable, fast to construct and offers high quality.

Breaking down the Benefits of using Steel in residential buildings

Steel structures are lightweight and generally weigh less than half of an equivalent concrete structure. Modular systems weigh even less. Foundations and supporting podium costs are thus much reduced, as are man-hours.

Steel is easier to transport to the construction site, than timber or brick. It is also more straightforward to work with and assemble, which means shorter construction periods because all steel construction uses prefabricated components which can be more rapidly installed while still safely preserving the integrity of the finished product. It also minimises the disturbance to properties which surround the construction site.

The use of steel in residential buildings allows builders to more easily approximate the number of components required, which means there is a less chance of ending up with an excess of building materials as is prone to happen when using timber and brick.

Steel-framed systems that use infill and separating walls are flexible. They can also be changed in the future should there be new demands. Modular systems have an advantage in that they can be dismantled and moved, while still maintaining a building’s asset value.

Steel components built off-site are controlled by the manufacturer, which reduces dependency on weather and off-site trades. Off-site prefabrication reduces site activity by up to 75% and is a much safer practice.

Prefabrication also takes the element of human error out of the equation by reducing the amount of time spent assembling something, only to find it needs to be re-measured or cut again.

The connections between prefabricated steel parts are so exact, that with the addition of adequate insulation, they are air-tight and ensure the building has an energy efficient sealed envelope.

Steel structures are 100% recyclable with no degradation such as rot, or distortion. In parts of the world where climate issues exist, such as areas prone to hurricanes, cyclones and earthquakes, using steel in residential buildings has become a progressive practice due to the steadiness and durability of the material which lessens the risk of irreparable impairment or the necessity for a total rebuild.

Steel is so durable that it requires little maintenance, which saves building owners on repairs and replacements over the course of time.

The use of steel constructs also preserves the look of a property as the frame can be enclosed in customary materials to suit the owner’s needs.

In a nutshell, the use of steel in residential buildings saves so much time, money and man-hours, who wouldn’t want to use it?

Steelmor is the leading supplier and manufacturer of stainless steel in South Africa and is dedicated to supplying cost effective quality products on time. Give us a call to find out how we can help you.

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