Over Australia’s long construction history steel structures have withstood the test of time. Whether it’s the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge or the less well-known BHP House (142 William Street Melbourne), the material has been used in the construction industry for over a century to make structures that have well and truly withstood the test of time. When you consider the effects that inclement weather, or other external factors have had on historical buildings constructed from other materials, it truly shows just as sound and impressive these structures are.This is exactly why home construction with steel is now becoming more common place, so depending on whether it’s your location, the cost benefit, or environmental impact, the benefits of steel cannot be undersold.
It’s a known fact that steel framed homes are stronger. It has a higher density than timber or concrete so you ultimately may need less of it to carry the weight of your multiple floors, roof and walls. The material is also lighter, up to 50% compared with wood. Steel does not crack or split over time, nor does it warp, rot or expand, meaning it is ideal for properties situated close to rivers or beaches, or even in higher humidity locations. Risk of total property loss in a bushfire is also reduced when compared with wood.
Sustainability is a key criteria in an age of tracing our resource footprint. With wood, the impact of logging or deforestation is becoming a major cause of concern for commercial and residential builds. Steel can easily be recycled for re-use, and it is also more variable in terms of size and cutting so your home will use only what is necessary.It can also speed up part of the build process as it is created off site, as opposed to wood which needs to be cut down as it is used.
Cost effectiveness always requires major consideration when constructing your dwelling and there are distinct advantages which steel frames can offer. Firstly, by using computer assisted off-site manufacturing the build will have reduced material costs and much less labour on site. Commercial industry applications now allow features like bolted connections and floor plates, as well as other major frame components, to be easily adopted and utilised in residential steel homes. Reduced construction time on site can have a flow on effect with other costs reduced as well. An example of this can be seen with slow-downs due to weather interruptions, which can sometimes be minimised or avoided.
Some cities in Australia have a major risk of termite damage, as well as risk of damage from other insects and animals. Unlike wood, steel frame homes will not expose your property to wood boring termites. Also, if you consider wood rot and other factors, there is less risk of deterioration over the long term, so animals like rats, birds or even possums nesting in your walls or roof will be reduced.
Steel frame home construction is a modern housing component that will withstand many critical factors affecting Australian housing. If you are considering the location of the property, the environmental footprint, or the cost of materials rising along with market inflation, steel is an excellent match for your needs as a builder or home-owner, and advances in technology in commercial construction can now be utilised in your private builds.