Steel sits at the core of the construction industry, and with good reason. It is able to be deployed quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. It is incredibly sustainable, as shown by its near infinite recyclability.
On top of this, it is accessible, adaptable and has a high strength-to-weight ratio that offers great flexibility of design. There are many reasons steel enjoys a high market share in certain sections of the construction industry.
Steel is perfectly suited for design. From iconic municipal buildings, to venues whose scope and scale increase the drama and excitement of the concert or sporting event they are playing host to, steel has been enabling architects and designers to push the boundaries of their imagination.
Steel solutions mean reliable materials, precision off-site manufacture, as well software and design guides and the ability to create expansive, column-free and flexible floorspaces. This combination of factors gives designers the luxury of dreaming big while being able to relay on the high-performance that steel can bring.
When viewed from a life cycle perspective, it becomes obvious that steel is a unique resource. Highly durable and adaptable, steel buildings have a long service life and can be easily repurposed if required. Able to be near-totally recovered from demolition sites after a building’s service life has ended, steel-built structures can be nearly fully recycled, and demounted, relocated and rebuilt. In a world with a growing population and a growing need for housing and infrastructure, use of steel can seriously limit the environmental impacts of the construction sector.
Thanks to the efforts of the steel industry, the environmental impact of steel production is also improving over time, with energy consumption and emissions significantly improved over the past 50 years.
Lighter foundations and offsite prefabrication contribute towards the speed at which steel structures can be erected. Subsequently less materials are required on site, reducing transport requirements.
The varied and enduring qualities of this ubiquitous construction material have led to its recognition by architects, engineers, developers and other specifiers. An essential aspect of many structures, from smaller scale residential buildings to massive stadiums and infrastructure projects, steel’s versatility is another of its key strengths.