Composite materials, made up of a combination of steel and concrete, have been used to build a variety of structures around the world, such as columns, beams, walls, and floors. They offer a number of benefits over traditional materials, including improved durability, faster construction times, reduced labour costs, and increased fire resistance.

In 2022, the steel-concrete working group (WG) within constructsteel commissioned a study to examine the current state of composite construction systems. The study, conducted by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), looked at real-world examples of high-rise buildings and complex structures from various parts of the world. For instance, a building in Colombia used steel-reinforced concrete columns, while a building in the United States utilised steel sandwich panels filled with concrete to speed up the construction process.

The choice of whether to use composite materials in a construction project depends on a number of factors, including the availability of materials, the capacity of local producers and contractors, and the design codes or regulations in place. Recognising the diversity of conditions and challenges faced by countries and regions around the world, the constructsteel WG has set a goal to create a worldwide database of composite elements and systems as best practices. The project will involve collecting examples of composite structures from around the world and conducting research and development on new construction technologies.

To ensure that the database is comprehensive and inclusive, the constructsteel Global Advisory Committee (GAC) will distribute online surveys to engineers and researchers to gather information on the purpose, problems, and effects of composite systems in regions across Asia, North America, South America, Europe, and the Middle East.

Combining steel and concrete in the most efficient manner is key to maximising their potential in construction. By creating a comprehensive database of composite systems and elements, the constructsteel WG aims to promote the optimal use of these materials in buildings.

If you are interested in learning more about the work we are conducting through the composite steel-concrete working group at constructsteel feel free to contact us for more information at: