Why use steel in residential construction?
As the planet’s populations continue to grow and urban areas must accommodate them, the pressure on the residential construction sector is only set to increase.
Steel offers a range of benefits when deployed in residential building projects and its use in this sector has been steadily increasing due to a greater understanding of the construction advantages offered by this highly flexible material.
One of the major benefits is the enabling of offsite construction processes, which hold particular relevance for urban and mixed-use buildings. The ability to part-manufacture steel-built buildings improves the final quality and speed of their construction, which also impacts on efficiency and safety for workers. The modular nature of offsite construction also offers economies of scale that lower the costs for large residential building projects.
Steel is also relatively lightweight thereby lowering load pressures on foundations. These advantages can be particularly relevant for infill or brownfield sites and the building of extensions that can be more common in residential projects.
Mixed-use residential buildings that must make best use of available space can also benefit from deploying steel in their construction. This is mainly in multi-storey residential buildings, where floor grid compatibility between levels for different uses is more readily achievable using steel.
Steel offers a number of sustainability benefits when deployed in the residential sector. It can be used to create energy efficient building envelopes, it has high flexibility in long term use, does not rot or shrink, can be easily extended, adapted and can be completely refurbished and recycled once its initial service life is concluded.
The wide variety of steel-built technologies that can meet a number of construction needs, combined with its strong supply chain into the residential building market, make steel an ideal material for use in this sector.