It seems that one of the things that science and technology brought to the world is the desire of man for perfection when it comes to the material things they create. In the construction industry for instance, gone are days when there was only the wooden house. Today, houses, buildings, and other infrastructure are made from other materials and can even be customized or engineered to create the most durable but cost-effective, functional and aesthetically pleasing structure. One such innovation is the steel building.
A steel building is a metal structure made of steel that is used for internal support and external cladding. This varies from steel framed buildings which incorporate other materials for walls, floors, and cladding.
Earlier applications of steel buildings were confined to industrial and commercial purposes. Today, the application extends to housing projects, churches, hospitals, and office buildings among others.
There are different types of steel buildings but these are generally classified into three categories: arch type, I-beam or clear span, and multiple span.
Arch-type is a prefabricated metal building made of galvanized steel. It can be disassembled and relocated if necessary. Arch types come in the original full-arch style, which forms a semicircle from side to side and the modern style with its straight walls and rounded roof with additional windows and doors. Since these are prefabricated, they can be customized according to the design desired by the client.
Clear span or I-beam is a steel building with straight walls. It has steel trusses of two sidewall sections and two roof sections supported by frames 20 to 30 feet apart. Since the main support frames of the clear span is not limited with width restrictions, this is ideal for structures that need wide spaces such as warehouse storage, airplane hangars, and other industries that utilise large machinery. There is unobstructed space in the buildings interior thus its name, clear span. Owners can modify and upgrade the interior such as create divisions for offices or for storage.
Multiple span is a steel building also with straight walls and I-beam trusses but has internal support columns referred to as column and beam frames. If the need is for large spans but interior columns do not present themselves as obstacles, the multiple span is an ideal structure. This is fitting for office buildings, warehouses, and even churches.
Among the benefits of steel buildings include superior strength, stability and accuracy because these are engineered in with precision and quality control. It is cost-effective since steel is recyclable and the use of steel in construction spares the trees.