If you are considering having a commercial office or industrial building designed, it is difficult to pick a better building material than steel. Whether your main concern is durability, cost or future expansion, Houston office building construction is best handled utilizing steel. Additionally, structural steel is a great choice if you are concerned about the environmental impact of your project.
Strength and Durability
One of the main reasons that so many Houston design build firms use steel is because it is head and shoulders above other materials in terms of strength. Even steel reinforced materials are still not as strong as structural steel, which has a rating of 50 kilopounds per square inch. In other words, it takes 50,000 pounds per square inch of pressure to permanently deform or damage structural steel.
Steel buildings are also very durable, so much so that steel is becoming a popular building material for homes as well as commercial buildings. It does not rot or shrink, and it cannot be damaged by termites. Since steel building components are manufactured, they also do not have the potential issues of defects like knots or splits.
Thanks to the manufacturing process and its natural properties, steel is able to stand up well against fires and natural disasters, something that is important in a state that sometimes experiences hurricanes.
Cost is another common concern when considering building materials, right up there with how long a building will last. Steel tends to be the most cost-effective building material because of the stability of steel prices and the speed and ease that it can be used in construction. Unlike field placed materials, steel buildings are pre-fabricated, so parts are created at the factory. This speeds up construction time as well as reducing potential issues with construction tolerances, so labor costs can be kept under control.
Studies show that a structural steel framing system costs around five to seven percent less than a comparable concrete framing system. These comparisons take into account the price of decking and fire protection for a steel frame building.
Customization and Modification
In recent years, technological advancements have added other benefits to steel construction beyond its inherent durability. While steel kit buildings, based on existing plans, are very popular, Building Information Modeling allows you to work with architects to create a building designed to your specifications. 3-D modeling ensures that whatever components you need can be produced, and structural steel sections can even be configured into non-linear formations. Whether you want a commercial building with a basic design or to create something out of the ordinary, steel will allow you to do so.
Once your building is complete, if you decide you want to expand it, there is not a lot that you cannot do. Unlike other buildings, where adjusting the load bearing capacity of support structures is not generally recommended, strengthening columns and beams in steel buildings is commonplace. This allows you to expand both vertically and horizontally; many steel buildings have floors added years after they are constructed.
The effect of construction on the environment has become an increasing concern in the last few years, and steel is an outstanding material for Houston LEED construction projects. Structural steel is recycled at an incredible rate. About 88 percent of what is being used today is made of recycled materials, and it can be reused again without additional processing.
While steel in buildings typically have a recycling rate above 100 percent, other building materials end up in landfills and scrap heaps. It is common for money to be spent to demolish and scrap other building materials, but steel is so reusable that demolition crews often pay to be able to scrap steel buildings.