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Steel building: Wikis


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A steel building is a metal structure fabricated with steel for the internal support and, commonly but not exclusively, for exterior cladding. Such buildings are used for a variety of purposes including storage, office space and living space. They have evolved into specific types depending on how they are used.



They first gained popularity in the early 20th century. Their use became more widespread during World War II and significantly expanded after the war when steel became more available. Steel buildings have been widely accepted, in part due to cost efficiency. The range of application has expanded with improved materials, products and design capabilities with the availability of computer aided design software.[citation needed]


  • High quality, aesthetic[citation needed]
  • Low maintenance costs[citation needed]
  • Steel is Non combustible[citation needed]
  • Environmentally friendly[citation needed]
  • Components can be re-used[citation needed]
  • Strong, durable and stable[citation needed]
  • Dimensionally stable[citation needed]
  • Construction is fast compared to other materials[citation needed]
  • Offers fast construction[citation needed]
  • Resistant to termites and other destructive insects[citation needed]
  • Cost benefits compared to other construction methods[citation needed]
  • Components are functional[citation needed]


  • Heat conductivity. Calculations show that the web of an 18-gauge steel stud is about 31 times thinner than a "two-by" wood stud; however, steel conducts heat 310 times more efficiently than wood. As a net result, a "two-by" steel stud will conduct 10 times more heat than a "two-by" wood stud.[1]
  • Corrosion. Faulty design leads to the corrosion of iron and steel in buildings.[2]


Some common types of steel buildings are "straight-walled" and "arch." Further, the structural type may be classed as "clearspan" or multiple span. A clearspan building does not have structural supports (e.g. columns) in the interior occupied space.

Straight-walled and arch type refer to the outside shape of the building. More generally, these are both structural arch forms if they rely on a rigid frame structure. However, curved roof structures are typically associated with the arch term.

Steel arch buildings may be cost efficient for specific applcations. They are commonly used in the agricultural industry. Straight-walled buildings provide more usable space when compared to arch buildings. They are also easier to blend into existing architecture. Straight-walled buildings are commonly used for commercial, industrial, and many other occupancy types.

Clearspan refers to the internal construction. Clearspan steel buildings utilize large overhead support beams, thus reducing the need for internal supporting columns. Clearspan steel buildings tend to be less cost efficient than structures with interior columns. However, other practical considerations may influence the selection of framing style such as an occupancy where interior structural obstructions are undesireable (e.g. aircraft hangars or sport arenas).[citation needed]


The modern steel building is composed of many individual elements that have evolved over time. Manufacturing efficiencies are derived with mass production of some elements which a manufacturer designs to work in a uniform manner to form a pre-engineered system. With the benefit of Computer Aided Design (CAD) manufacturers have been able to produce more formats and dimensional variations. As a result, the reference to pre-engineered systems is becoming obsolete as more assembly designs are project specific. Building portions that are shop assembled prior to shipment to site are commonly referenced as pre-fabricated. The smaller steel buildings tend to be pre-fabricated or simple enough to be constructed by anyone. The larger steel buildings require professional construction workers to ensure proper assembly.[citation needed]

There are five main types of structural components that make up a steel structure, they are tension members, compression members, bending members, combined force members and their connections. Tension members are usually found as web and chord members in trusses and open web steel joists. Ideally tension members carry tensile forces, or pulling forces, only and its end connections are assumed to be pinned. Pin connections prevent any moment(rotation) or shear forces from being applied to the member. Compression members are also considered as colums, struts, or posts. They are verticle members or web and chord members in trusses and joists that are in compresion or being squished. Bending members are also known as beams, girders, joists, spandrels, purlins, lintels, and girts. Each of these memberws have their own strutural application, but typically bending members will carry bending moments and shear forces as primary loads and axial forces and torsion as secondary loads. Combined force members are commonly known as beam-columns and are subjected to bending and axial compression. Connections are what bring the entire building together. They join these members together and must ensure that they function together as one unit.[3]

See also


External links



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