Properly constructed steel structures provide long-term durability. As far as steel durability goes, there are four main factors, namely- Corrosion resistance, Mold Resistance, Vermin Resistance, and Dimensional Stability.
- Corrosion Resistance: when steel structures are exposed to oxygen and water, it speeds up the corrosion process. To avoid that process, barrier coatings such as painting galvanizing can be applied. But for severe exposure conditions higher performance coatings are available.
- Mold Resistance: Building structure gets stronger and more resilient since the framing members are dimensionally straight and connected mechanically. Due to the inorganic properties of steel energy, efficiency is maintained.
- Vermin Resistance: Termites causes more damage than natural disasters to structures. Since steel framing does not provide a food source for them, building with steel allows owners to avoid costly problems.
- Dimensional Stability: Building with dimensionally-stable materials such as steel can help you avoid dimensional stability problems because steel does not expand or contract with moisture nor does it warp, split, crack, creep. It provides long-term consistent performance.
- Structural Integrity: Steel structures are widely used in buildings where special security and a physical protection are required because of the special qualities of the steel and the effectiveness in blast-resistant applications.
- Wind and Earthquake Resistance: Reserve strength and the ductility are special qualities that steel has to prevent from natural disasters. To ensure the better quality steel, Quality Control/Quality Assurance (QC/QA) can be considered.
- Resilience: Ability to meet extreme natural and man-made challenges with minimal disruption to occupants and functions is defined as Resilience. Non-combustibility, reserve strength, ductility of steel provides resistance against to the forces caused by natural and artificial activities.
Fire Safety and Energy Efficiency
- Steel does not contribute to ignition of fire or spread of fire so steel structures reduce the risk to occupants, firefighters and property owners.
- Buildings consume energy and electricity generated, so steel can be used to reduce those energy consumptions. For example, cool metal roofs can reduce 30% of heat gain through the roof and the steel roofing can achieve solar reflectance of over 70%. So steel structures are very helpful to designers or building owners to avoid excessive costs for energy usage.
- Design Flexibility: Qualities such as versatility, long lasting and the flexibility that steel has are very helpful for designers and building owners to achieve their designs as they wish. Steel cladding and framing systems provides curves and other creative features, steel roof and wall systems are available in a variety of color and styles. It makes designers more comfortable working with steel products.
- Construction Cycle Time: Steel provides shorter construction times and it results in earlier occupancies and lower financing costs. And panelized construction can minimize weather delays by offering a more predictable schedule.
- Insurance Savings: Buildings with steel structures reduce the risk of property loss during and after the construction period. This helps builders and owners to lower the insurance premiums.