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10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Steel Beams

steel beamsSupport beams are absolutely essential for a building’s stability, and it is crucial that builders ensure that they purchase high-quality steel beams from a leading supplier, in order to ensure a building’s structural safety. Steel beams may seem like a small part of an overall build but they have a big responsibility; to support and hold together the entire building.

Steel beams come in a variety of shapes and sizes dependent on their position in the build’s ceilings, walls or floors. It’s imperative when purchasing steel beams that you select the right one for the job – here’s why to use steel beams:-

1.    Steel Beams have strength, beauty, design freedom
Steel offers architects more design freedom in colour, texture and shape. Its combination of strength, durability, beauty, precision and malleability gives architects  broader parameters to explore ideas and develop fresh solutions.  Steel’s long spanning ability gives rise to large open spaces, free of intermediate columns or load bearing walls. Its capacity to bend to a certain radius, creating segmented curves or free-form combinations for facades, arches or domes sets it apart. Factory-finished to the most exacting specifications under highly controlled conditions, steel’s final outcome is more predictable and repeatable, eliminating the risk of on-site variability.

2.    Fast, efficient, resourceful
Steel can always be assembled quickly and efficiently. Components are pre-manufactured off site with minimal on-site labour. For single dwellings, on more challenging sites, steel often allows less points of contact with the earth, reducing the amount of excavation required. Structural steel’s lighter weight relative to other framing materials such as concrete enables a smaller, simpler foundation. These efficiencies translate to considerable resource efficiencies and economic benefits.

3.    Adaptable and accessible
These days, a building’s function can change dramatically and rapidly. A tenant may want to make changes that increase floor loads significantly. Walls may need to be repositioned to create new interior layouts.  Steel-built structures can cater for such changes. Non-composite steel beams can be made composite with the existing floor slab, cover plates added to the beams for increased strength, steel beams and girders easily reinforced and supplemented with additional framing or even relocated to support changed loads.

4.    Steel Beams mean less columns, more open space
Steel sections provide elegant, cost-effective methods of spanning distances. Extended steel spans can create large, open plan, column free internal spaces. In single storey buildings, rolled steel beams provide clear spans of over 50m. Minimising the number of columns makes it easier to subdivide and customise spaces.

5.    Endlessly recyclable
When a steel-framed building is demolished, its components can be reused recycled for melt down and repurposing. Steel can be recycled endlessly with no detrimental effect. Nothing is wasted. Steel saves on the use of natural raw resources since in the UK around 94% of today’s new steel is already being made from recycled steel.

6.    Added fire resistance
Extensive testing has provided the industry with a thorough understanding of how steel buildings respond to fire. Advanced design and analysis techniques allow precise specification of fire protection requirements of steel-framed buildings, often resulting in significant reductions in the amount of fire protection required.

7.    Aesthetics and finishes, meet function
Steel’s slender framing creates buildings with a sense of openness, and transparency. Its flexibility and malleability inspire architects to pursue and achieve their aims in terms of exploring distinctive shapes and textures.  There are now a range of finishes available too; galvanised for external or Industrial look / use, very fashionable at the moment to leave beams exposed as a feature; primer finish for people to be able to apply a gloss or emulsion paint finish to powder coat finish for high quality external use. These aesthetic and finish qualities are complemented by steel’s functional characteristics.

8.    More usable space, less material
Steel’s ability to maximise space and internal width with the thinnest shell possible means thinner, smaller structural elements are achievable. Steel beam depths are around half that of timber beams, offering greater usable space, less materials and lower costs. Wall thicknesses can be thinner because steel’s strength and excellent spanning capacity means there’s no need to build solid, space-consuming brick walls.

9.    Lighter and less impacting on the environment
Steel structures can be significantly lighter than concrete equivalents and require less extensive foundations, reducing the environmental impact of the build. Less and lighter materials means they are easier to move around. Steel is also energy efficient, as heat radiates quickly from steel roofing, creating a cooler home environment in hot climate areas. In cold climates, double steel panel walls can be well insulated to better contain the heat.

10.    Calculating your steel beam
Are you a Building Surveyor, Building Designer, Architectural Technician, Architect or Engineer that needs a more efficient way to design steel beams?

The link to the online steel beam calculator will enable you to design steel beams quickly and easily.


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