The Merits of Structural Steelwork
What does the client want?
Value for money
An economic construction material
During design and fabrication
Continuous development in technology
Built in a short construction period
Savings throughout the project
that reflects the clients ambitions
electronic transfer of information
helps to achieve this:
|Value for Money
||AN ECONOMIC CONSTRUCTION
- Increased productivity in steel
manufacture and design, fabrication and erection have made steel a low
cost way of building.
- New low cost approaches to fire and
corrosion protection are available.
- Costs have fallen in real terms
CONTINUOUS DEVELOPMENT IN TECHNOLOGY
- By investment in IT and CAD/CAM technology
for engineering and production
A SHORT CONSTRUCTION PERIOD
- Earlier possession of the building for use
- Lower financing costs
- Better site utilisation
- Earlier access for following trades
SAVINGS THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE PROJECT
- Early involvement of the steelwork
contractor in the design process
- Large unsupported spans
- Smaller site footprint
- A durable form of construction which meets
the building life requirements
- Slender columns resulting in maximising
- An excellent strength to weight ratio so
lower foundation costs
- Offsite fabrication and lower site costs
- Prefabricated therefore greater
independence from the weather
- Low cost and efficient approaches to fire
- Easy integration of services
- Great flexibility in accommodating changes
to the building
- IT and software.
- Steel's excellent strength to weight ratio
creates an attractive and economic use of space when beams and columns
have small profile areas.
- New rolled and prefabricated section
- Economic methods for shaping and curving.
- Standardised solutions for floor systems
- Opportunities to integrate large openings,
for doors and windows
- Fire engineering.
- Complementary structural components can
easily be accommodated curtain walling readily and efficiently connected
to the structure, and other modularised elements such as toilet pods,
dry-casing, M&E items easily fitted.
- Easy adaptation - during the construction
period the client may wish to alter installations and this can readily and
rapidly be achieved.
- Steelwork connections, particularly bolted
ones, can easily be released or re-made in whatever form necessary.
- The client may need to extend, to change
the use of the building, to absorb changes in loading requirements, and to
incorporate new installations.
- Should an increase in loading requirements
occur, then the structural elements can easily be individually
strengthened, or additional members introduced or altered to suit.
- Steel's relative lightness in weight
allows adaptation in the future to be easily accomplished.
- New connections can easily be introduced
by bolting or welding enabling alterations for services or changes of use.
- The construction preparatory phase enables
the structure to be planned and connections to be selected for speed of
- Just-in-Time manufacturing techniques.
- The steel frame is designed and
manufactured from computer models directly linked to the CNC machines thus
ensuring high dimensional accuracy and speed of erection.
- Quick drying coatings technologies.
SHORT CONSTRUCTION PERIOD
- Economical foundations - steel's excellent
strength to weight qualities result in small foundations which then take
minimum time to construct.
- Off-site manufactured elements - ready for
immediate erection upon arrival on site, with no subsequent delays. This
means following trades can carry out their work in parallel.
- New erection techniques, eg use of mobile
||DURING DESIGN AND FABRICATION
- Extensive research and development by the
steel construction industry into accident prevention.
- Wide ranging Health and Safety guidance
documents and procedures
- Off-site manufacture means less site
- Regulatory monitoring of machinery.
- Risk assessments.
- Use of mobile elevating working platforms.
|Quality and Reliability
||DURING THE DESIGN PROCESS
- World Class companies using tried and
- Steel is a homogenous material and is
subject to documented quality control procedures during manufacture and
rolling. The Client can be assured of obtaining reliable and constant
- A wide range of section shapes and sizes
in a range of qualities offers the most efficient and economic solution
for the design requirements.
- Successful use of IT.
- A qualified and trained workforce - in the
fabrication shops staff are permanently employed, often for the whole of
their working lives, and on site erection companies maintain a permanently
employed labour force.
- Independent Certification of in-house
quality systems gives ongoing assurance of procedures and products.
- Improved coatings technologies.
- High quality surface finishes available
for pre-site approval.
- Bolted and welded connections are
generally exposed and therefore are simple to check for quality and
RELATING TO COSTS
- Costs are predictable, which helps with a
meaningful calculation of the investment and risk involved in the project.
- The steel frame is visible for ongoing
- The plastic behaviour of steel provides
additional security in extreme loading situations, such as explosion,
impact, terrorist attack and earthquake.
||COMPETENT AND RESPONSIBLE
- The steel construction industry can give
assistance to the client and his professional team with technical and
budgetary advice at the planning stage of the project.
- Industry standard details in design and
connections offer economy in construction.
- Full design can be carried out where
required by the steelwork contractor.
- Greater co-operation within the project
team through partnering and the consequent improved payment profile result
in benefits for all.
ADVICE AND SUPPORT
- The industry's advisory organisations can
help the client and his team on all aspects of the design, costing,
procurement, fabrication and erection process.
- The Register of Qualified Steelwork
Contractors enables clients to select independently audited companies
appropriate to the project.
- The National Structural Steelwork
Specification can be relied upon to provide industry accepted standards.
- Continual R&D in areas such as fire
design, seismic resistance, health and safety, etc provide the client with
safe structures and a dynamic industry.
INTEGRATED ELECTRONIC TRANSFER OF INFORMATION
- The industry uses software for all aspects
of its processes and engineering modelling tools enable the client and his
professional team to interface directly with the steelwork contractor.
||AT THE CONSTRUCTION STAGE
- Delivery of steelwork is relatively
straightforward - requiring little space, time or inconvenience. The hours
of delivery can be selected in order to reduce public nuisance.
- Because steelwork comprises prefabricated
elements, there is as a result less site disruption with adjoining
- Construction equipment normally used to
erect steelwork is cranes and mobile platforms. These by their nature
require little permanent or temporary space to operate.
- Noise when manufacturing, delivering or
erecting steelwork is not a major problem.
- The speed of steelwork erection means
inconvenience caused is reduced to a minimum period.
- Steel can be easily maintained so that
colour and appearance can always be made to suit a constant or changing
Coatings developed through new technology last longer.
- Steel is basically a clean, user-friendly
material - no dust, no spillage, little waste etc - and consequently no
equipment employed to counteract such problems.
- Steel can be reused, relocated or recycled
once its use has been overtaken by events. Use is therefore responsible in
Steel by its very nature has:
- Clean lines
- Large spanning
- Architectural possibilities
- It appeals to the client and his designer
in terms of attractiveness as well as economy.
- Colour, through paint, can easily and
economically transform a building to satisfy the designer's options.
A STRUCTURE THAT REFLECTS THE CLIENT'S
- Steel has exhibited consistently great
architectural beauty - suspension bridges, tall towers and high buildings,
for example, the world over are magnets for tourism. Many steel structures
worldwide are viewed as amongst the greatest achievements of mankind.