5 of the Most Common Uses for Structural Steel


Structural steel has many practical uses that provide the backbone for all types of construction projects, and there are a lot of advantages to using steel during a construction project. For example, steel has an excellent strength to weight ratio; it comes in many efficient shapes; its metal pieces join easily.

Steel comes in many shapes and sizes, like columns, beams, joists, and studs. Despite steel being a ubiquitous construction material, people often don’t realize where and how commonly steel is used, so here are five structural steel uses for construction projects that you may not think about for steel:

  1. Bridges

Bridges Built With Steel

0With millions of cars passing over some of the most significant bridges, the material used in bridge construction must be able to withstand the endured stress. One benefit of using steel is it is a tensile metal or metal with a high strength to weight ratio. This means that engineers can build large bridges that will be able to last for many years. Self Builders can find great structural engineers here.

A testament to steel’s prowess in tensile strength is the Brooklyn Bridge; standing for over 127 years, it is the oldest suspension bridge in the United States and includes steel-wire suspensions. So if you’re looking to build a bridge for your next project, you’ll be sure to get a significant return on investment by putting structural steel cables into your project.

  1. Industrial Buildings

Industrial Building

Industrial buildings are another kind of construction project that could utilize more of steel’s full potential because structural steel is also cost-effective. The reason why steel has become very cost-effective is due to the large variety of ready-made steel sections and architectural frameworks. These pre-made parts are relatively easy to assemble and are easy to ship to a site ready to install immediately.

Steel is also one of the most durable building materials available on the market, as mentioned above, and it is also designed to have a high strength-to-weight ratio. These three factors are what make steel an ideal construction material for industrial buildings, which often require a quick time to complete and a sturdy frame to build.

  1. High Rise Buildings

High Rise Buildings

When building for height, structural steel is necessary to withstand the forces exerted upon the building over time. High-rise buildings are a unique exception in that they are made as high as 20-30 stories or more, so it is imperative that engineers look to steel for assistance.

Structural steel is resistant to many natural external forces like wind and earthquakes because it is a strong, flexible metal. So, if a storm or an earthquake were ever to hit a large high rise building, the steel of that building will not break under that pressure. Instead, it will bend with the forces. Much like the suspension bridges discussed earlier, that flexibility allows the steel to stay strong against high forces.

Another benefit of using steel in tall buildings is the speed of construction possible with steel. High rises can shoot up in the matter of a year, which can be very valuable, especially in the case of a building like the Empire State Building with 60,000 tons of steel in its frame.

  1. Parking Garages

Parking Garages

The next project that structural steel is ideal for is building parking garages. For many of the reasons that steel is useful to a large building, so too is the steel for a parking garage. Steel building material allows construction projects to save time and money, all the while investing in a durable, ready-to-install product.

Parking garages present a challenge to engineers who must be able to figure out how to balance the weight of all the vehicles on each floor of the garage. Another benefit to a parking garage construction project is the strength-to-weight ratio than steel offers to engineers, making it possible to build higher and higher parking garages without compromising the integrity of the parking garage.

  1. Residential Buildings

Residential Building

The last kind of construction project where steel is handy is in residential buildings. Residential buildings utilize a process called light gauge steel, which helps to maximize the strength level in a building’s structure. Light gauge steel construction supports architectures where wood and other construction materials cannot get the job done.

Much like building a wooden support frame, light gauge steel ensures that buildings will last for years and will be finished promptly, which is beneficial for both construction managers and residential building owners. Another reason why light gauge steel construction is so valuable to home construction is resilience.

The greater plasticity and flexibility found in structural steel makes it an all-around better construction material for residential buildings. Especially for buildings located in high-risk zones like near earthquake faults and along the seacoast, light gauge steel design makes a building’s longevity much more reliable than compared to other building materials.

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Preeti Shah is a person who loves checking out different styles and designs of houses. She took interior designing in college and is practicing in the field of home improvement for five years now. In her spare time, she is usually searching the web for interesting and fascinating home designs.


  1. Thanks for helping me learn more about structural steel and its uses. My friend is about to construct his dream home within this year and he’s been curious about how it works after seeing a couple of posters around our area. What you said about how structural steel can help make sure that the home can stand for years is very convenient! I should share this with him so he could ask his contactor to use it for the home. https://www.bettasteel.com.au/steel

  2. It’s great that you mentioned that Industrial buildings are another kind of construction project that could utilize more of steel’s full potential because structural steel is also cost-effective. My dad will start a project constructing these buildings and will need structural steel for the job. I’ll share this with him later while we look for a supplier since these can help him draw designs. Thanks! http://www.carteriron.com/services/

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