steel building is a metal structure fabricated with steel for the internal support and for exterior cladding, as opposed to steel framed buildings which generally use other materials for floors, walls, and external envelope. Steel buildings are used for a variety of purposes including storage, work spaces and living accommodation. They are classified into specific types depending on how they are used.
Steel provides several advantages over other building materials, such as wood:
Steel is a "green" product; it is structurally sound and manufactured to strict specifications and tolerances. It is also energy efficient. Any excess material is 100% recyclable.
Steel does not warp, buckle, twist or bend, and is therefore easy to modify and offers design flexibility. Steel is also easy to install.
Steel is cost effective and rarely fluctuates in price.
Steel allows for improved quality of construction and less maintenance, while offering improved safety and resistance. With the propagation of mold and mildew in residential buildings, using steel minimizes these infestations. Mold needs moist, porous material to grow. Steel studs do not have those problems.
Further, the structural type may be classed as clear span or multiple span. A clear span building does not have structural supports (e.g. columns) in the interior occupied space. Straight-walled and arch type refer to the outside shape of the building. More generally, these are both structural arch forms if they rely on a rigid frame structure. However, curved roof structures are typically associated with the arch term. Steel arch buildings may be cost efficient for specific applications. They are commonly used in the agricultural industry. Straight-walled buildings provide more usable space when compared to arch buildings. They are also easier to blend into existing architecture. Straight-walled buildings are commonly used for commercial, industrial, and many other occupancy types.