Steel is an answer to the growing demand for buildings with a long economic lifespan: flexible layouts which can be modified to fit other uses, other users, and new functions.
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A steel structure facilitates changes to floorplans, installations, and facades at any given moment, without significant investments. In the short term, the investment in a steel building is quickly recouped due to the limited use of construction personnel, building materials, auxiliary supporting structures, transport, the high construction speed, and a faster handover.
• Steel components are prefabricated in construction workshops. The work on-site is limited to the assembly of these pre-fab components, saving time, money, construction waste, and disturbance to the environment.
• Steel components are lightweight and compact, reducing the number of transport movements to the construction site, as well as investments in transportation and infrastructure. The structure’s relatively low weight saves foundation costs.
Building is assembling
• Building with steel is “dry construction”. The dimensionally stable components are assembled used bolted or welded joints. The construction process is not affected by weather and is not delayed by curing times.
• Steel allows for optimal use of scarce construction space. For example, the parking lot could be built on the roof, partially underground, or entirely below ground, which can save considerable amounts in land costs.
Building with steel is more productive
• When building with steel, various building activities can take place simultaneously. While the construction team is assembling the structure on the 12th floor, the façade can be installed on the 6th floor and the wiring and piping can be installed on the 9th floor. The various project partners never get in each other’s way, resulting in a significant reduction of the total construction time.
• A steel substructure can save on the costs of building, installation, and technical services, which are a multiple of the costs of the structure itself. The dimensional stability of a steel frame allows for a reduction in the construction and installation costs of the façade. Installation of the façade is also expedited, as façade components can be lifted by crane and fastened from the inside. As the height of the building increases, the savings on the façade construction also increase.
Responding to flexible demand
• When building with steel, aspects such as the functional layout can be modified, even just before the handover, without delaying the construction process, and without additional construction costs. For instance, one or more floor slabs could be removed to add an extra mezzanine or stairwell in a late stage of the construction, as long as the floor in question is not part of the main supporting structure.
• During extensive modifications and renovations with steel in one part of a building, business operations can proceed unimpeded in the rest of the building. The inconvenience caused by noise and dust is minimal.
Minimal structure, maximum space
• A steel structure does not take up a lot of space. The combination of slim columns and beams, large floor spans, ample story height, and well-considered architectural layout provides a relatively large amount of useable floor space; a favorable ratio between gross and net square meters.
• A steel structure is easy to modify. The skeleton frame facilitates moving inner walls, replacing wiring and piping, renewing façade components, and even joining floors and installing elevators or stairwells at a later stage.
• A reduced floor height is the result of the partial or full integration of steel beams in the floor. The reduced floor height also results in a reduced gross story height, making it possible to add an extra story within the maximum construction height.
• The installation costs are lower for a floor construction with integrated beams. The integration means that the underside of the floor is flat, allowing wiring and plumbing installers to work freely and flexibly.