We have all seen the tall network of steel beams stretching up above a building site, forming the internal skeleton of the buildings we live in, work in, and pass through in our daily lives. If you ever get the chance to watch a steel-frame building being constructed, it is a fascinating and enlightening experience. Even stopping by each day to check on progress is interesting. Taking a picture each day and then seeing them shown in rapid succession shows clearly how the structure takes shape, first with the foundations and steel internal structure, then the internal features and cladding.
The process isn’t much different than it is when children build something out of sticks or certain kinds of blocks. Learn about perforated metal panels here. Strong beams are linked together to form frameworks with each part supporting and reinforcing the others. The beams themselves are moved onto the site on large trucks, and lifted into place by those tall cranes that tower over building sites, moving slowly around like the necks of mechanical dinosaurs. Vertical trusses bracket horizontal girders, level by level, as the structure slowly grows from the ground to – in some cases – truly breath-taking heights.
Arranging Architectural Layers
The foundation is, of course, foundational to the structural integrity of any building, but the second key feature is the steel infrastructure. Think of your body without any kind of skeleton and you get the idea: even if the floor is good, you’d still be just a bag of fluids and organs without the rigidity afforded by your bones. The steel is the skeleton of a building.
Steel erection virtuosity is the core of a structure. Fastening and binding technology, both state-of-the-art and more traditional, are both employed to lock components into place. Engineering technology and complex maths ensure that the techniques used are more than adequate to perform the job in each instance. It all comes together to form a solid, reliable, and functional structure for the purpose.
Future of Building Technology
The boundaries and limits of today’s building technology are being pushed and advanced by daring civil engineering and construction projects. Asymmetrical combinations, prefabricated panels, and new techniques and understanding mean that buildings are getting taller – MUCH taller – can withstand seismic activity (earthquakes) better, can be shaped into giant leaning structures, wedges of glass, bent shapes with wide tops and narrow bottoms that, to the untrained eye, look as if they shouldn’t be standing at all, never mind being a solid, well-constructed piece of architecture. Not only do these techniques allow for a wider variety of shapes and heights, but also improve the speed with which buildings can be assembled on-site. The prefabricated components mean that sections of the building can be built off-site, moved in on trucks, and set into place in slabs or pods, saving days, weeks, or even months of on-site construction. That can mean substantial savings in both time and money – not to mention the reduction in inconvenience for those living and working around construction zones (UK gov regulation here).
And the key to it all is the steel lattice structure.