Some organizations, consumers, and businesses are attracted to the low costs involved with steel buildings but, still are not quite sure whether it is a feasible option when compared to more conventional construction.
Lumber prices have been extremely strong over the last eight years, turning up in price in early 2009 and making new highs recently. A recent report by Random Lengths has concluded that wood building materials have gone up 45 percent over the past year, a significant increase in so little time. Meanwhile, steel prices have fallen in the past year, making this durable building material even more affordable.
Steel framing can lower construction costs. Warranty call-backs are minimal because steel does not shrink, split, or warp. As a result, there are no nail pops or drywall cracks to fix after the structure is completed.
In terms of design a steel building offers more flexibility than a wood structure due to its ability to span large areas. That can create savings in the building and foundation that can pass to the customers. The extensive lineup of expertly produced pre-engineered steel structures includes warehouses, garages, workshops, mining buildings, truck shops, manufacturing facilities, riding arenas, airplane hangars, recycling facilities, farm buildings, boat yards, logistic hubs, and oilfield buildings, kits and much more.
Metal construction methods have long been the most economical. They are of better quality and durability, produce less waste, and have reduced labor costs compared to wood construction. Consistent quality means that scrap is dramatically reduced, 2% for steel versus 20% for wood. These savings also translate into lower costs for job site culling of wood materials and haul off and disposal of discarded material.
Steel usually contains a minimum of 25% recycled steel and it is 100% recyclable. Once the steel is produced, it becomes a permanent resource because it is 100% recyclable without loss of quality and has a potentially eternal life cycle. Its combination of strength, availability, recyclability, versatility and affordability makes steel unique.
Long-term maintenance costs are reduced because steel is resistant to mold, rot, termite and insect plagues. Good indoor air quality is assured because steel does not emit volatile organic compounds.
In general, in spite of all the fuss of steel versus wood, it is a demonstrated fact that steel is stronger against earthquakes, high winds, rainstorms, hurricanes, heavy snowfall, etc. It is also noncombustible, environmentally safe, does not warp or rot, and can not be damaged by termites.
The use of steel will enhance the quality of the air in the interior. Many environmental organizations recommend the use of steel framing for chemically sensitive homeowners who want the best air quality. There is no need to treat steel for insects and is free of chemicals and resin adhesives that are prevalent in other construction materials. The viability of a steel building for almost any application is unquestioned.