If you are planning to construct a building, you will have various building materials to choose from. The advancements in technology have increased the options of building materials. Research is crucial if you want to make well-informed decisions. It gives you insight into the pros and cons of building materials. Several factors can be considered when deciding which material is better for construction between steel and wood.
Strength and Durability
Steel and wood are dependable building materials. Since time immemorial, people have used wood to construct stable structures. In this digital era, people still use wood despite the ever-advancing building materials. It is because wood is highly durable. Before settling for a specific wood, it is vital to seek an expert’s opinion. The durability of wood varies based on the species of trees you use. Also, the climate of your area affects the wood’s longevity.
Besides, wood is convenient for building because of its strength when you compress it. For basements and foundations, wood is a less popular choice. However, many people have found a way around this by using permanent wood foundations (PWF). For PWF, architects only use wood for foundation walls. They reinforce the strength of the wood using a concrete slab.
Also, wood is susceptible to various factors. For instance, it rots because of dampness. Further, tragic events like fire and seismic activity cause severe damage to wood. Suffice to say; steel is not susceptible to such conditions. You can install steel in any environment as well.
On the other hand, steel is preferable to engineers and architects because of its strength. You can attribute its power to its composition. If you compare steel and other metals, it is more fracture-resistant. Builders prefer using stainless steel because its corrosion resistance is very high. If you want to mitigate the decline in steel, proper installment and maintenance are vital. Due to its strength, engineers use it during the construction of tall buildings. Therefore, you can use steel and wood for construction, but steel is more durable.
Fabrication and Installation
The fabrication process for steel and wood is different. After harvesting lumber, you have to mill it and take it to places where it can undergo fabrication. Steel fabrication produces various metal structures. Notably, fabrication of both materials is not done on the construction site.
The installation process of both building materials is easy. You do not need experts’ services to install steel. But, wood installation is quite complex because accuracy is vital. It is, therefore, essential to seek the services of an expert.
Maintenance and Upkeep
It is vital to maintain your building, no matter the building materials used. That is the first step in enhancing the life of the building. However, wood is more prone to various conditions. Without proper maintenance, it is susceptible to various factors. Therefore, the constant re-painting of wood is vital.
On the other hand, steel is not prone to corrosion because of its makeup. If steel buildings face water damage, the steel can withstand corrosion. Therefore, steel is more dependable because it requires little or no maintenance.
The cost of various building materials varies depending on certain market factors. When you compare steel to other metals, its price is higher. But, in normal circumstances, timber use is more economical.
Insulation is a significant factor for commercial and residential premises. Wood provides insulation better than steel. Buildings made of wood are therefore warmer compared to the latter. Steel transfers heat while wood does not.
Environmental Impact and Concerns
Wood and steel influence the environment in different ways. Using wood to build requires cutting down trees. It can lead to deforestation, which causes the drying up of rivers. However, it is a renewable resource when the masses harvest timber well. On the contrary, steel is recyclable. You can continuously recycle it. Recycling steel can lead to environmental degradation. Therefore, both building materials can cause environmental degradation.
The decision to use steel or wood is solely based on individual preferences. While both materials are ideal, architects and engineers use them to contribute to success during construction. Cost, durability, and aesthetics are primary considerations on which building material is fit.