Steel is used in the underlying structure of buildings. Structural sections of buildings are made from the material, which provides a strong, rigid frame for the building. Structural steel makes up 25% of the material used in buildings.
Reinforcing bars are used to add tensile strength to concrete floors and walls. Steel reinforcing bars use 44% of the steel contained in most common buildings. Steel is used more than any other material because it forms strong bonds with concrete and enjoys a similar thermal resistance.
Reinforced concrete is used a lot in foundations and is currently the world’s number one building material.
Steel sheets are used in roofing, walls, ceiling, cladding and insulation. This application makes up 31% of the steel used in buildings.
Internal augmentations, such as fixtures and fittings are also commonly made of steel.
Steel is needed to build bridges, tunnels, railroad and in the construction of transport hubs. Rebar steel (steel rods) make up 60% of all steel use. The remainder is steel sections, steel plates and steel rail track.
Utility providers make heavy use of steel in their underground pipelines that provide water and gas to and from housing. Over 50% of steel is used for piping. The other 50% is mainly rebar steel used in power stations and other supply channels.
The Benefits of Using Steel
Steel has many benefits, some of which are listed at the beginning of this blog post. Steel is endlessly recyclable and therefore sustainable. Steel usually contains at least 25% recycled materials.
Steel’s strength opens up space within buildings and its light weight requires less foundations. Both of these factors entail the use of less resources and therefore less environmental impact. Steel is also flexible and very durable, providing a long lifecycle for any building.