The advantages that steel offers to the construction sector have long been recognised by designers and specifiers. The versatility of steel gives architects the freedom to achieve their most ambitious visions. Steel is one of the most sustainable construction materials. Its strength and durability coupled with its ability to be recycled, again and again, without ever losing quality make it truly compatible with long term sustainable development.
Steel structures can be erected speedily. The predictability and accuracy of steel components speeds up the process and allows follow-on trades to get to work sooner. This deliver time saves in the build programme compared to a concrete frame. In fact, speed of erection is often one of the main criteria for selecting steel. Short construction periods leads to savings in site preliminaries, earlier return on investment and reduced interest charges.
Huge productivity advances have been achieved throughout the steel supply chain and the cost saving benefits shared with customers. One of the best guarantees of a competitive price is the large number of steelwork contractors that can tender for projects. A competitive sector ensures that customers get value for money.
Steel-framed structures are highly durable and do not age or decay as quickly as other construction materials, lasting longer before refurbishment is required. Buildings that can be easily adapted avoid costly and environmentally harmful demolition and redevelopment. Steel's inherent adaptability and flexibility also means that future changes or extensions – even vertically – can be carried out with minimal disruption and cost.
Health and safety is a key business driver in construction. Offsite fabrication of components and rapid on-site assembly by skilled personnel make steel an inherently safe construction material. Industry surveys consistently demonstrate that steel is the safest material choice.