Steel buildings are the most cost-effective and structurally-sound structures in architecture today. To date, it is hard to find an example, besides the World Trade Center Towers, of a steel building that has collapsed. Not only are steel metal buildings cheap to build, but they are also resilient, resisting the elements, termites and even natural disasters like earthquakes. Reinforcing with additions or heating/cooling upgrades is easier than with wood structures too, experts say.
There are many pros to erecting steel buildings, versus traditional wooden edifices. For starters, steel is lighter than wood, concrete and brick. It can't warp, expand, contract, absorb water, feed termites, rust, catch fire or become a breeding ground for fungus. Since most steel is flame-retardant, many insurance companies reduce rates for home owners who choose steel building products. The government also recognizes steel as an energy-efficient, eco-friendly choice, so they reward citizens with tax credits.
As with anything, there are a few cons to steel buildings too. First, not all builders are familiar with building metal structures, let alone constructing to the latest standards, using the most up-to-date computer software. Special tools are required to work with this material, which not every builder will have. They will need to employ very specific designs to brace the steel correctly. Additionally, some metals are coated in oil, which may cause a toxic odor while working with it. The biggest disadvantage of working with steel is that it is an excellent conductor of heat, so in colder areas, the heat can be absorbed into the structure and quickly lost. Mold also has a tendency of growing around steel studs in the winter. To combat the energy issue, home owners can use a double wall system or high efficiency insulation to prevent heat transfer.
Steel buildings can be purchased in large pieces, pre-assembled or as a modular unit deliverable by truck. With Computer Assisted Design, steel building systems have gotten much more reliable and accurate over time, opening the door for many amateur builders to try their hand at building a prefab home, a small steel barn or a pre-engineered shed. Even so, most people prefer to hire a steel building manufacturer to do all the tough work the