Steel or wood structure: which wins?

When having a new building constructed, the choice of structure is an important decision. Whether it’s for storage, to accommodate animals, or for any work or leisure activity, wood and steel are the most common options.

What is the best construction material for your building structure? Learn more about their respective properties to make an informed choice.

Resistance and durability

Strength and durability are often the first qualities that people think of before building a structure. You don’t want it to blow away in the wind or collapse at the first opportunity!

Steel is one of the materials with the best strength-to-volume ratio. This makes it a good choice for taller buildings, while wood is more commonly used for lower buildings.

Both light and strong, steel is designed to withstand heavy loads. Wood also offers good tensile strength.

On the other hand, it tends to deteriorate over time, especially with humidity, which can cause mold. What’s more, wood is highly flammable, unlike steel, which is a safer alternative.

As well as being naturally strong and durable, steel can also be treated against corrosion. With our 800 Series products, enjoy the longest-lasting galvanized steel structure.

The service life of a steel structure can easily exceed thirty years!

Value for money

Admittedly, wood is a slightly less expensive material than steel. With the recent shortage of wood, however, the cost of wood has skyrocketed; it’s not as affordable as it used to be!

When we talk about cost, we don’t just mean initial cost, but also value for money. Not only does steel offer exemplary durability, it also requires far less maintenance!

Wood can :

  • Split
  • Inflate
  • Shrink
  • Decompose

While any structure can require maintenance, wood is more capricious, since it’s vulnerable to various external elements.

When it comes to value for money and total cost, including maintenance and treatment, steel is a winning choice.

Speed and efficiency

Let’s move on to the construction and installation stages. What’s the quickest and easiest structure to build? Steel wins hands down.

In fact, when you work with a company like Permo Industries, every piece of steel is custom-built to your building’s specifications. Components are designed to fit perfectly together.

After design and manufacture, you get a perfect, ready-to-assemble package. There’s a reason why you can entrust the installation of a Permodome building to your team and one of our supervisors.

Wood, on the other hand, requires components to be purchased, measured, cut and so on. Cutting may be necessary once on site, as the elements are not made to measure.

All in all, the fabrication and installation of a steel-frame building is faster and less labor-intensive!

Wood, a greener choice?

At first glance, wood may seem a greener alternative. This is because it is an organic material, which decomposes more rapidly in nature when discarded. What’s more, it requires less energy to produce than steel.

However, the following factors must be taken into account:

  • Cutting wood causes a lot of waste during the manufacturing process
  • This waste often ends up in garbage bins
  • Steel is 100% recyclable: scrap is used to create new material

In short, the question of ecology is not so simple, but wood is not without its faults!

When we talk about green choices, we also need to think about the risk of fungi forming in wood and affecting the health of individuals and animals. This is a risk that does not exist with steel.

In short, buildings with a steel structure have several strengths that make them an excellent choice over wood. For its tensile strength and durability, the height it allows and the efficiency of its installation, it’s a sensible choice.

Contact Les Industries Permo in Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil, near Longueuil, Chambly, Saint-Hyacinthe and just minutes from Montreal, for a custom project!