According to some observers of the construction industry, steel may be the building material of choice in the near future, quickly replacing traditional wood construction material. The reason for this is because a steel framed property is seen to offer more potential and advantages to builders, architects and prospective owners than properties built on the basis of wood.
When comparing steel beam to a wooden beam of the same length, it is clearly shown that a steel beam is strong enough to withstand stress and strain applied from a heavy load greatly than a wood beam. This is one clear advantage and justification for the claim that steel may replace wooden construction materials in the near future.
In constructing new buildings, ceiling beams are inserted into the ceiling of a new property to provide support for the weight of the roof. When the ceiling beams used are made of wood, several wooden ceiling beams are required in comparison to steel beams because individually, wooden beams are relatively more weaker than steel beams, hence steel beams provide stability to the overall property structure. Because of this, buildings which use steel building materials tend to have far fewer ceiling beams than properties that use wooden beam ceilings allowing the builders and architect the option to maximise this new, free space with insulation.
Fig.1: An example of a steel ceiling beam
Steel Beams in Walls
When using building material to add structural support to the walls of the new property, steel beams are seen to have the most benefits than wooden beams. These benefits being that since steel beams are more robust than wooden beams, less steel beams are required to add structural support to the property walls, hence less space is used up. This saved space can be used to accomodate insulation, electrical wiring, plumbing, heating, cooling ducts etc. Additionally, steel beams are not affected greatly by the environment compared to wood e.g wood swells and warps shape due to moisture, splinters when fractured, rots when micro-organisms are growing on it like mould, consumed by termites etc. These do not occur in steel beams.
Fig.2: An example of steel wall beams
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