One of the biggest questions that arises when embarking on a new construction project is whether to use concrete or steel. There are benefits to both materials, as well as many other factors. A major issue is safety, as you will want the new structure to withstand natural disasters, such as floods or storms. The building will need to stand against fire and maintain its structural integrity.
A concrete building’s main benefit is that it can resist fire for a long time without falling apart. This thick material has a lack of ductility that safeguards it from burning down. The concrete walls can also tolerate high temperatures without forming any cracks. In fact, concrete constructions can potentially block explosions.
Concrete partitions make it possible for firefighters to contain a fire as they are split into compartments. This material is generally less expensive to insure because of its fire-resisting attributes. Steel buildings on the other hand, almost always need additional fireproofing in order to comply with fire codes and regulations. Steel in its most basic form won’t protect the building against explosions, earthquakes, or fire when compared with concrete. There is no denying that concrete offers many safety advantages over steel.
Unlike steel buildings, it is possible to pre-fabricate large sections of structures off site. This is a great advantage for the developer, as they would not need to pay contractors more money than necessary as the construction time is speeded up. The repairs on concrete also tend to be a lot quicker and cheaper than steel constructions. The only other major difference between these two materials is that the price of steel can fluctuate, thus insuring the building will be higher.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of steel is that it can significantly reduce the impact of building activities, especially in inner city regions where commercial buildings are constructed close to residential areas. Steel constructions minimise dust and reduce the waste that is generated during the project. All in all, the disruption in the area can be kept to a minimum as the material is delivered in a timely manner.
The durable type of steel construction offers better flexibility, thus allowing the individual offices, meeting rooms, and other internal layouts to be configured appropriately. The internal walls can easily be repositioned to suit the changing needs of their residents. Steel frames are much easier to modify than concrete, however; as reinforced concrete resists high temperatures, it is less likely to disintegrate during an explosion.
The design possibilities for concrete are endless as it can take on numerous forms and shapes. Aside from its multi-design possibilities, there is more leasable space because of lower floor heights. Most steel frames typically require decking that lays on joists and beams, which mean the floor will be very thick, whereas concrete only needs 8 inches of decking. But apart from its many design possibilities, concrete buildings offer more options to construction companies. In the end, your building’s own requirements will determine whether you should opt for steel or concrete.
All Mix Concrete are one of the leading providers of high quality concrete for all manner of construction work. With ready mix and volumetric mix options available, you can be sure that our team can provide the concrete delivery service most suited to your needs and budget.