Concrete Structures v/s Steel Structures

August 25, 2016 | 0 comments
Concrete structures

Before technological advancements and modern engineering, the construction material available were woods, clays, leaves, etc. We have definitely come a long way in terms of developing manmade construction material. Today, cities are represented by tall and mighty skyscrapers. Burj Khalifa stands as one of the construction wonders in this modern age. What makes these giant frames sustain? Which material reigns supreme in the world of development today – concrete or steel? While Structural concrete today allows engineers and architects to design and achieve striking establishments that are as robust as they can be. They even hold aesthetic value.

On the other hand, construction of steel structure is on the rise as builders have become more attuned to the advantages of using steel.

The following points should be considered while comparing-


Concrete- Many experts have been always firm on the point that concrete is safer. It can endure very high temperatures for a long time. Concrete requires no additional fireproofing treatments to meet stringent fire norms, and performs well during both natural and manmade disasters. Because of concrete’s inherent heaviness, mass, and strength, buildings can resist winds of more than 200 miles per hour. Ductility is a must for structures that are located in areas which experience seismic activities. Moreover, with proper designing, engineering and construction, buildings can be safeguarded against live volcanoes too.
Steel- Experts acknowledge that steel structure can soften and melt with exposure to extremely high temperatures. However, with the addition of passive fire protection, such as spray-on fireproofing, due to which steel structures can sustain greater temperatures and, therefore, provide additional safety. A steel structure has strength and ductility, and when it’s combined with solid engineering and design, it certainly becomes a safer choice in seismic zones.


Concrete– Concrete prices remain very steady despite the fluctuating and substantial increases in other building material prices. Though investment in concrete is expensive, there are long term benefits of using concrete.
Steel– The price of steel is continually fluctuating based on global supply and demand. Steel can be generally cheaper than concrete. The cost of raw materials has a direct impact on the price of the finished spinning.

Environmental Factor-

Concrete– Concrete is a material that is often locally sourced and thus typically requires minimal energy to transport to building sites. Rebar for concrete is often produced from recycled steel. At the end of life, concrete can be crushed and recycled but the recycled material cannot be used for new building concrete.
SteelBenefit of steel structure is that it can be recycled easily. This process is made easier as magnets are used in the process to sort steel. New steel can be made from scrapped steel. Thus, it does not pose a threat to the environment.

Choosing the right construction material for a building is a dilemma for any contractor, or designer. The right decision can have a positive or negative impact on the success of a project, in terms of cost, schedule and overall quality. Thus, the above factors can be considered while selecting concrete or steel for building structures.

Hence, when steel is fireproofed following the appropriate norms, it proves to be a supreme choice of material for construction. To have detailed knowledge about steel construction, visit our website, or get in touch with our professionals at Northern Weldarc.

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