Concrete vs. steel
This article needs more work. To help develop this article, click 'Edit this article'.
Concrete has some advantages; waste materials can be included within the mix such as GGBS (Ground Granulated Blast-Furnace Slag) and PFA (Pulverised Fuel Ash). In addition, moves are being made to assess the potential of using recycled concrete, however, issues such as moisture content and material variability dictate that it is economically unviable.
Steel, while having a high lead time, is known for its fast erection on site. However, steel needs fire protection whereas within concrete this is inherent. Prefabrication of steel can allow thin film intumescent coatings to be applied offsite.
Efficiency within concrete construction is being improved by the adoption of hybrid solutions and innovations in formwork such as self-climbing forms. The use of precast concrete construction can also help to significantly reduce build time particularly where vertical elements are considered to be the main limitation.
Sacrificial probes can be integrated within concrete to provide strength determination at an early age and this is likely to help further improve construction methodologies.
The construction of a steel framework is comparatively lightweight, as much as sixty percent lighter than a comparable reinforced concrete frame solution which might allow for a less expensive foundation system. In addition, modification to the building can sometimes be facilitated by simple removal of a structural steel member.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Architectural concrete.
- Concrete-steel composite structures.
- Galvanised steel.
- Metal fabrication.
- Precast concrete.
- Prestressed concrete.
- Reinforced concrete.
- Stainless steel.
- Stainless steel vs. galvanised steel.
- Structural steelwork.
- Structural systems for offices.
- Thermal mass.
 External references.
Featured articles and news
It was the tallest structure in the world for 3,800 years, but to this day the exact construction techniques are a mystery.
Shortlist for the industry's most coveted award announced.
Government responds to Mark Farmer's review of industry, rejecting the call for a levy on clients.
Peter Hansford to examine what wider lessons can be learned from the fire.
Every project is subject to uncertainty. How can construction better understand uncertainty for performance improvement?
MAD Architects reveal their designs for a futuristic campus for electric car manufacturer.
Homebuyers could borrow more with better forecasting of energy bills, according to industry consortium's new report.
Read our introductory article on carbon capture and storage.
Have a look at Frank Gehry's Binoculars Building in Los Angeles.
BRE publish new Loss Prevention Standard seeking to minimise fire risk from ducting.
How do we tell which infrastructure projects will work?
CIAT announce the establishment of a Working Group in light of Grenfell and call for contributions.
In 1900, 15% of global population lived in cities. Now it’s over 50%. Which is why we need ‘hydroinformatics’ to consume smarter.
Have a look at these competition-winning designs for a new residential development in Eindhoven.