An astonishing 12.5 million metric tons — that’s how much steel Canada produces each year. Of that amount, the Great White North exported 5.8 million metric tons to 130 countries.
That should give you some idea of how massive the country’s steel industry is. So much so that it has become a $6.1 billion-sector.
Some of the essential uses of steel are in the construction industry. Steel for buildings, after all, has many advantages over materials like cast iron. It also bests wood-based components, such as timber, in terms of durability.
Ready to learn more about the perks of using steel building materials? Then keep reading, as we’ve rounded up five of the primary benefits of this alloy!
1. Long-Lasting and Durable
Steel was the primary material used in constructing the world’s first-ever “skyscraper.” This was none other than Chicago’s Home Insurance Building built back in 1885. It stood loud and proud for 46 years.
However, the only reason it’s no longer around is that it got demolished in 1931. It went down to make way for another steel-clad building. If it weren’t for this, the Home Insurance Building could have lasted for many more decades.
Some scientists say that steel used in buildings lasts for an average of 52 years. That means that they can live for a hundred years or longer. That’s how long-lasting this alloy is, and why it’s an excellent building material.
One reason behind steel’s longevity is its impressive dimensional stability. It has a much higher strength-to-weight ratio compared to wood. It isn’t prone to warping, nor will it creep, split, expand, or contract due to moisture.
Termites are among the world’s most destructive pests, and they’re all over Canada. There are at least 30 areas in Southern Ontario with infestations, as well as Toronto and Ottawa. What’s even worse is that termite treatments for average-sized homes alone cost at least $3,500.
As you might have guessed, these insects feed mostly on wood and organic materials. Yes, they’re the same materials often used to support the weight and bear the load of buildings.
Termites aren’t your only enemy though — the same goes for woodworm, beetles, and sawflies. If these pests find their way into your property, they will be difficult to exterminate.
Steel doesn’t have the same propensity as wood when it comes to termite damages. Since it’s an alloy made of metals, termites (and other pests) wouldn’t feed on it.
Moreover, steel’s resistance to water won’t make it decay due to dampness. Unlike wood, it won’t turn all spongy or soft when exposed to moisture.
That makes steel one of the best materials for your construction project, be it a steel workshop or a garage. By using this alloy, you can make your building less prone to pest infestations.
3. Resilient and Non-Combustible
Of all materials used in non-metal and metal buildings, steel is still the most resilient. Its impressive resilience gives it the ability to withstand external shocks. Such shocks can result from earthquakes, blasts, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.
Also, steel is non-combustible, unlike wood, which is 100% burnable. It also doesn’t melt at the typical temperatures that structural fires often create. Since it doesn’t burn or melt, it won’t provide a source of ignition, nor would it serve as a fuel load.
With that said, if a fire does start in a steel-clad building, the alloy won’t contribute to its spread. It can also act as a barrier for fires, or at the very least, slow the flame’s transfer rate.
In these ways, structural steel also helps boost the overall safety of buildings.
4. Lower Associated Costs
Manufacturers and suppliers offer pre-fabricated steel components. As such, the materials come from a facility specifically designed for steel production.
Since you can get them in fabricated form, buying steel can reduce on-site labor. In addition, getting pre-fab materials helps reduce construction waste. With fewer waste materials on-site, there would also be less clean-up to do.
Furthermore, there are steel building accessories designed with energy-efficiency in mind. Insulation and roll-up doors, for instance, help prevent energy losses and gains. As a bonus, they help block external noise from permeating into your building.
All these then contribute to lower overhead building expenditures. Besides, the durability itself of steel means that you won’t need to replace them in just a few short years.
5. A Green and Sustainable Material
Steel isn’t something made for consumption — only utilization. Once produced, you can use it over and over again, whether as-is or in a repurposed form. This alloy is the only true cradle-to-grave-to-cradle type of recycled material.
That’s because steel is 100% recyclable. No matter how many times it goes through recycling, it won’t suffer from integrity loss. Meaning, you can recycle old steel beams and turn them into new steel beams.
That makes steel among the world’s most sustainable building components. It’s also why this alloy has become the most recycled material around the globe. By using steel in buildings, you can take a step closer to creating a green structure.
Few other materials, if there’s any at all, can compare to these sustainable features of steel.
Wood, for instance, usually only has a single-use as a building component. It’s recyclable, but once it goes through the process, it can never go back to serving its original purpose. For example, if you recycle an old wood beam, you wouldn’t be able to use the recycled material to create a new beam.
Use Steel for Buildings to Create Longer-Lasting Structures
There you have it, five of the primary advantages and benefits of steel for buildings. As you can see, it’s no doubt one of, if not the best material for constructing structures. With this alloy, you can enjoy a building that will last for decades, and if properly cared for, even a hundred years.
Ready to get that steel building up and ready for occupancy or use as soon as possible? We here at Global Steel Buildings Canada can help! Please don’t hesitate to request your free steel building quote from us now.