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Advantages of Steel Materials

 Steel is tensile. It has a high strength to weight ratio which means it has high strength per unit
mass. So, no matter how large the overall structure is, the steel sections will be small and
lightweight, unlike other building materials.
 Steel can be easily fabricated and produced massively. Steel sections can be produced off-site at
shop floors and then assembled onsite. This saves time and increases the efficiency of the overall
construction process.
 Structural steel is very flexible. You can mold it into any shape, without changing its properties. You
can convert it into sheets or turn it into wires as per the design.
 Structural steel is relatively cheap compared to other building materials.
 It is very durable. Structural steel can withstand external pressures such as earthquakes,
thunderstorms, and cyclones. A well-built steel structure can last up to 30 years if maintained well.
Disadvantages of Steel Materials

 Steel is an alloy of iron. This makes it susceptible to corrosion. This problem can be solved to some
extent using anti-corrosion applications.
 It has high maintenance costs as it has to be painted to make it corrosion-resistant
 There are extensive fireproofing costs involved as steel is not fireproof. In high temperatures, steel
loses its properties.
 Buckling is an issue with steel structures. As the length of the steel column increases the chances of
buckling also increases.
 Steel has a high expansion rate with changing temperatures. This can be detrimental to the overall

Timber is categorized as either ‘softwood’ or ‘hardwood’.
Softwood is obtained from coniferous trees and hardwood comes from broad-leaved trees. Softwood and
hardwood are botanical terms and do not necessarily refer to the density or hardness of the wood.

 Softwood is commonly used for timber structures as it is

readily available, easily worked, of relatively low cost and
its fast rate of growth gives a continuous supply from
regenerated forest areas.
 Hardwoods are typically used for exposed structures and
claddings where durability and particular aesthetic
characteristics, such as color or grain pattern, are

Characteristic strength, stiffness and density properties Early 20th Century timber post and beam and truss
for typical softwoods construction subjected to high wind loads. Model of the
climatology and research station
Timber is a versatile material. It offers several different advantages.
 Excellent insulator: houses they are built out of bricks also known to have outstanding insulating
properties, but timber manages to surpass them
 Timber is an elastic material: At the opposite of brick or concrete walls, timber walls don’t need to
be very thick. A 20m timber wall for example, is strong enough to protect the internal space against
the winter cold, in conjunction with a proper treatment
 Easy and fast to build: a timber construction can be built very easy and fast in contrast to a common
brick or concrete construction
 Sustainable: timber is a renewable resource
 Reusable: timber can be used more than once. It is easy to recycle
 Price: to build a timber house or a timber construction is cheaper than any other common
procedure which has the same requirements or sizes.
 Weight: timber is very light
 Strength: Timber framings are strong in real structural terms
 Aesthetic appeal: timber is a beautiful material for both internal and external appearance

 Shrinking and swelling: Timber has a natural ability to absorb water which is also known as
 Fire resistance: If timber has not passed a special treatment which ensure a special fire rating,
timber is highly combustible
 Discoloration: With the time untreated timber which is exposed to the different weather influences
it discolors turns to a dark and dirty.
 Optic Moldiness: If timber is treated wrong or the installation is not regulated accordingly, timber
has the ability to mold.