An industrial building must offer more than just an attractive visual appeal; its strength and functionality are crucial. If the foundation, walls, roofing, and stairways cannot withstand extreme weather conditions or seismic activities, the building is rendered useless. Consequently, most contractors prefer using steel, primarily for its large strength-to-weight ratio that ensures the durability of the building. Despite this, a bunch of myths surrounds the use of steel to construct an industrial building.
In this blog, we will debunk some of the most common misconceptions about the steel used in industrial building construction, allowing commercial building buyers to understand the benefits of choosing steel.
1. Steel Contraction and Expansion Cannot be Controlled
As temperature rises, steel expands from 0.05 to 0.07 percent due to the changes that temperature instills in its atomic structure. However, unlike wood and plasterboard, steel does not crack in response to exposure and can withstand the operating temperature of 870 degrees Celsius. Its expansion can be controlled by:
- Incorporating thermal breaks, which are low thermal conductivity materials between the property’s interior and exterior that prevent the flow of thermal energy.
- Installing expansion joints at the end of long spans or between different sections to help accommodate expansion without causing structural damage.
- Ensuring proper ventilation systems to regulate temperature and humidity levels within the buildings will reduce the potential for expansion.
- Using flexible connections or adjusting the spacing of structural members can help minimize expansion effects.
2. An Industrial Building Made with Steel will Rust
This is one of the most common myths in the construction industry. Note that steel is resistant to corrosion due to thin and invisible layers of oxides that form on its surface as a result of the reaction between metal and oxygen in the surroundings. This allows the steel to maintain its form for years, so it does not rust as quickly and requires minimal maintenance. In contrast, wood and concrete are susceptible to fire, wind, and pest damage and may contain toxic chemicals like asbestos that could lead to health problems if released into the air.
3. A Steel Building Is Not Attractive
Using steel to construct industrial buildings is an excellent way to create openness and ensure optimal lighting that makes your steel building stand out. You can customize your steel building by adding windows, doors, and shutters, so it does not look like a boxy warehouse. Incorporating steel-building accessories available in the market can also enhance your industrial building’s architectural appeal.
4. Industrial Buildings Made Out of Steel Are Expensive
A lot of people think that steel buildings are expensive, however, steel is a sustainable material that can be reused many times, making it a cost-effective option. A steel industrial building can cost you as low as $6 and as high as $120 per square foot. Statistics reveal that the construction industry uses around 40 million tons to build industrial buildings. If steel was excessively costly, business owners would not use such a significant amount of steel in their industrial buildings.
Steel’s durability against harsh climates and earthquakes, can save you money on maintenance costs in the long run. On the other hand, alternatives, such as wood, are more susceptible to warping due to weather conditions and termite infestations that may grow on the structure and eat its integrity, resulting in additional costs.
5. Steel Is More Prone to Lightning Strikes
Another common myth about steel is that metal roofs can increase the risk of lightning strikes, however, this is not the case. Metal does not attract the lighting but instead provides a path for it to follow. This means that the presence of steel does not influence where the lighting will strike. Industrial buildings made of steel are beneficial in conducting light to the earth, preventing it from being released destructively within the frame. In contrast, lighting can easily ignite the wood or shatter the concrete as they are poor conductors of electricity.
Steel is a good investment to construct your industrial buildings as they are durable and resistant to corrosion. Additionally, they are a good conductor of electricity to prevent damage caused by lighting. Its reflective surface keeps the building cool the whole year while also enhancing its aesthetic appeal.
If you are considering constructing steel industrial buildings, don’t hesitate to contact Taylor Buildings Inc. With years of experience in the industry, we can offer you a customized solution to meet your specific requirements.