Steel frame is typically consisting of vertical column and horizontal beams which are riveted, bolted or welded together in a rectilinear grid. Steel beams are horizontal structural members that resist loads applied laterally to their axis. Columns are vertical structural members that transfer compressive loads. It can be used to form the skeleton of a building.

Structural steel framing is typically designed, fabricated and erected in accordance with applicable standards for instance American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and Canadian Standard Association (CSA).

In this article, different aspects of steel frame structure building construction will be highlighted.

Types of Steel Frame Construction

There are various types of steel frame construction which include:

1. Conventional Steel Fabrication

Conventional steel fabrication involves cutting steel members to the correct length and welding them to build the final structure.

This construction process may be executed on site entirely which require massive manpower.

Alternatively, for best results it can be done in a workshop partially to provide better working conditions and reduce work-time.

Conventional Steel Fabrication

Fig. 1: Conventional Steel Fabrication

2. Bolted Steel Construction

In this technique, all structural steel members are fabricated and painted off-site, then delivered to the construction site, and finally bolted in place.

The size of the steel structural members is controlled by the size of the truck or trailer used to deliver steel elements. Commonly, the maximum length of 6m m is acceptable for normal truck and 12m for long trailer.

Bolted steel construction is substantially fast because lifting the steel members into place and bolting are all the works that need to be executed on construction site.

It is considered to be the most preferred construction approach because the most of the fabrication can be done in workshops, with the right machinery, lighting, and work conditions.

Bolted steel construction

Fig. 2: Bolted steel construction

3. Light Gauge Steel Construction

Light gauge steel is a thin sheet (commonly range between 1-3mm) of steel which has been bent into shape to form C-sections or Z-sections.

It is broadly common and used for the construction of residential and small buildings. Benefits that light gauge steel construction provide include design flexibility, high construction speed, strong, lightweight, easy to remodel, Recyclable, good Quality (durable and low in maintenance).

Light gauge steel frame construction

Fig. 3: Light gauge steel frame construction

Applications of Steel Frame Structure 

Steel frame structure is considerably suitable option for the construction of various buildings and skyscrapers due to its strength, low weigh, speed of construction, large spans construction capability. steel frame structure can be used in the construction of the following structures:

  • High rise buildings, Fig. 4
  • Industrial buildings, Fig. 5
  • Warehouse buildings, Fig. 6
  • Residential buildings, Fig. 7
  • Temporary Structures, Fig. 8
High rise buildings

Fig. 4: High rise buildings

Industrial steel buildings (Chemical plant)

Fig. 5: Industrial steel buildings (Chemical plant)

Warehouse building

Fig. 6: Warehouse building

Residential building

Fig. 7: Residential building

Temporary steel building

Fig. 8: Temporary steel building

Advantages of Steel Frame Structural Construction

  • Incredibly versatile
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Sustainable
  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Erect quickly and easily
  • High strength
  • Relatively low weight
  • Ability to span large distances
  • Adaptability to any kind of shape
  • Ductility; when subjected to great force, it will not suddenly crack like glass, but slowly bend out of shape.

Read more:

Types of Structural Steel Frames for Buildings and Their Applications

Types of Floors Systems for Multi-Storey Steel Structure Construction

What are Types of Bracing Systems Used in Multi-Storey Steel Structures?

Types of Steel Beam Connections and their Details