Steel’s Use in Building and Infrastructure

By superadmin on June 16, 2020 in Blog

High-density construction is happening all over Sydney. As the need for infrastructure continues to grow, understanding how more efficient steel is used is crucial to ensure future sustainability. Building construction currently accounts for 11% of global CO2 emission. Reducing the environmental impact of steel is only possible when the current methods of use are understood. Only then can construction managers and engineers work to improve the efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of the material.

Australian steel is affordable, readily available and safe. It’s fundamental strength, versatility, durability and recyclability properties provide grounds for strong environmental performance across the life cycle of buildings. Steel is also used in offshore oil rigs, bridges, rail carriages, pressure vessels and hydroelectric plants.

The use of steel in building and infrastructure is very common. There are many applications of the material in this sector. A few uses are listed below:

Steel Buildings

  • 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 Infrastructure

  • 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.

Mascot Steel are Sydney’s premium supplier of all steel prefabrications. Contact us today for a quote or for more information about any of our stock, supply chain or manufacturing processes.