Steel is synonymous with strength; Superman, the most powerful superhero, isn’t called “The Man of Steel” for nothing. So it’s no surprise that steel construction is also widely recognized as one of the strongest options thanks to its safe, sturdy natural fire-resistant nature. In addition to strength, steel is often used in high-rise and industrial buildings because of its low weight, speed of construction, and ability to create large spans. Here are three reasons why we know steel construction is safer:
Steel is more likely to bend or deform when exposed to extreme pressures rather than suddenly crack and break. Because of this, steel buildings rarely collapse as they can flex in extreme wind or an earthquake. Steel buildings can be designed to withstand a 160 mph sustained wind and are often recommended for places even with the highest seismic rankings.
Fire & Lightning Resistance
Steel is a fire-resistant material so, unlike in a wood structure, fire spreads slowly through a steel building. While you can burn a conventional building down with one match, steel is virtually flame retardant. This is especially important if the building is a medical facility, office, retail space, workshop or any other public space. Though steel doesn’t attract lightning, if lightning does strike the roof, it gets quickly transferred to the ground because of steel’s low resistivity (the measurement of the resisting power of material to the flow of electric current).
Steel buildings are almost half the weight of a comparable wooden structure because steel has a higher strength to weight ratio than wood. This makes steel buildings stronger and more durable than wood, brick or concrete, despite their light weight. This ratio is essential in areas prone to tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
In addition to all of these, steel is also safer for the environment. It is the most recycled material in the world with more than 80 million tons reused per year. Because you can weld “offcuts” together to do smaller jobs, there’s less waste associated with steel construction compared to wood. Pieces that are not needed for your structure can be used in another because no matter how many times it is reused or recycled, steel doesn’t lose quality.
Steel is a material that can withstand time, the elements, and can reduce harmful effects on the environment. It should be your number one building choice when considering your next project for the time and money it will save your company. If you’re interested in learning more about how steel can benefit your next project, please get in touch with one of our Steel experts today.