Steel Vs Concrete buildings

Architectural freedoms

The high strength capacity of steel in relation to its weight as well as the ability to form trusses can meet any architectural need for larger spans eliminating columns, overhanging cantilevers, etc.

Architectural options

The wide range in geometry of the available profiles (I, U, H, etc.) combined with the relatively simple steel processes (bending, castellated, special sections shaping), offer a huge variety of choices in architectural creation.

Flexibility in modifications

The ease of cutting and welding of steel together with the bolted connections usually applied; allow disassembly and reassembly of a structure along with the possibility of any addition, removal or even replacement members.

Antiseismic behaviour

A steel load bearing structure offers increased flexibility and durability; thereby implying structures with long-term seismic protection.

Speed of completion

Given the easy and automated steel processing on one hand and the simple process of erection of steel structures on the other, the time of completion of a project is significantly reduced.

Quality assurance

A steel structure consists of beams and columns of standard profiles with high quality assurance and with minimum error margin, unlike the members of a conventional concrete construction built on site.

Reduced weight

The steel columns and beams have a lower dead weight than the equivalent of reinforced concrete, thus providing the possibility of storey addition on existing “old” buildings, but also make use of shallow foundation.

Substainable investment

By taking the advantage of steel’s flexibility as mentioned above, it is possible to change the building’s use and therefore extending its life cycle. Nevertheless, with a simple and economic maintenance procedure using painting systems available, the life cycle of a structure becomes practically unlimited. All this, combined with the ability of steel to be recycled and reused, provide an ecological and sustainable feature in construction.

Adequacy of scientific knowledge

Despite all these advantages of steel buildings, some people are sceptical towards steel due to the lack of necessary expertise in the industry. However, a series of regulations and codes ensure the quality of structures, while the vast relevant literature together with modern analysis software are powerful tools for engineers to carry out safe and effective analysis.

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