Get a Free Catalog

    4 Factors to Consider When Selecting Structural Steel Products for a Construction Project

    4 Factors to Consider When Selecting Structural Steel Products for a Construction Project


    • Structural steel acts as the skeleton of a construction project, providing strength and support for the entire building.
    • Factors to consider when selecting structural steel products include meeting structural requirements such as load-bearing capacity, span requirements, and deflection control.
    • Other considerations include design flexibility, shape and size of steel components, weldability, cost considerations, and sustainability aspects such as recycled content and durability.

    Structural steel acts as the skeleton of a construction project and they provide the crucial strength and support that the entire building is built upon. That is why in choosing one, you must take note of the factors to consider when selecting structural steel products for a construction project

    By carefully assessing these considerations and working closely with experienced professionals like Regan Industrial, you can confidently select the right structural steel products for your construction project, laying a solid foundation for the successful completion of the building.

    Structural Requirements

    Structural Requirements

    When designing a building or any structural element, meeting the structural requirement is important to ensure safety, durability, and functionality. Take note of the following:

    Load-Bearing Capacity

    The load-bearing capacity of a structure refers to its ability to support and transmit loads safely to the foundation without experiencing failure or excessive deformation. To support heavy loads, structural steel needs to have a higher carbon content by weight.

    Manufacturers can adjust carbon levels to achieve desired strength and ductility for specific uses. Construction often uses low-carbon (mild) structural steel, with carbon content between 0.04% and 0.30%. In mechanical engineering, medium- and high-carbon structural steel (0.31% to 1.50% carbon) is preferred for its greater strength and durability.

    Span Requirements

    Span requirements play a crucial role in establishing the maximum distance that a structural element, such as a beam or a slab, can span without the need for additional support.

    In constructing a large industrial warehouse, the roof beam spans are critical to supporting heavy machinery and equipment efficiently. Using high-strength steel beams with appropriate spans optimizes the warehouse layout, creating expansive, unobstructed areas for storage and operations.

    Deflection Control

    Even though steel is very strong, excessive bending can be problematic — that’s where deflection control comes into play to ensure the stability and safety of a structure.

    By carefully calculating and controlling deflection, engineers can prevent issues such as cracking, deformation, or even structural failure. This meticulous approach guarantees that the steel elements perform within acceptable limits, meeting the required performance criteria and ensuring the longevity of the building.

    Design and Flexibility

    Steel’s inherent strength allows for the creation of innovative and efficient structural designs that can span large distances without the need for intermediate support.

    You should also make sure that you check these out of your requirements list:

    Shape and Size

    Steel comes in a toolbox of shapes – think I-beams for floor support, columns for vertical loads, channel sections for lightweight framing, and flat plates for walls or bracing. Each shape excels at specific tasks. For example, an I-beam with its wide flanges distributes weight more efficiently than a solid bar of the same weight, making it ideal for spanning long distances like floors or roofs.

    If a beam is too small, it might bend excessively under heavy loads, causing ceilings to sag or doors to bind. Conversely, an overly large beam might be overkill, adding unnecessary weight and cost to the project.


    Different steel types have varying weldabilities depending on their chemical makeup, thickness, and how the joint is designed. For instance, some steels have a higher heat tolerance, allowing for cleaner welds.

    Thinner steel sections often weld better than thicker ones due to easier heat control. The joint design itself also matters – a simple butt joint is easier to weld than a complex T-joint. By considering these factors and choosing steels with good weldability, construction becomes smoother.

    Cost Considerations

    Cost Considerations

    The total cost of a project includes not only the initial material expenses but also the costs associated with fabrication, transportation, and installation. There are also others that you have to prepare yourself with but here are the two most common ones:

    Material Cost

    Material cost is the most apparent expense when selecting structural steel. This includes the price of the raw steel itself, which can vary based on market conditions, steel grade, and quantity required.

    Additionally, considering the long-term cost implications, such as maintenance and potential savings from choosing higher-quality steel, can result in more cost-effective decision-making over the lifecycle of the structure.

    Fabrication Cost

    Fabrication cost encompasses the expenses incurred in transforming raw steel into finished products ready for installation. This includes cutting, welding, and assembling steel components, which require skilled labor and specialized equipment.

    Optimizing fabrication processes and choosing steel products that align with efficient manufacturing techniques can significantly reduce overall costs and lead to faster project completion.


    Selecting sustainable structural steel products involves evaluating their environmental impact throughout the entire lifecycle, from production to end-of-life disposal. Here’s what you need to know about them:

    Recycled Content

    Recycled content refers to the proportion of recycled materials used in the production of structural steel. Steel is highly recyclable, and using products with a high percentage of recycled content can significantly reduce the environmental impact of construction.

    This practice conserves natural resources, reduces energy consumption, and minimizes greenhouse gas emissions associated with steel production.


    Choosing durable steel products that resist corrosion, wear, and other forms of degradation extends the lifespan of the construction and reduces the need for frequent repairs or replacements.

    This not only lowers long-term costs but also lessens the environmental impact associated with ongoing maintenance activities.

    Key Takeaway

    Selecting the appropriate structural steel products requires a comprehensive evaluation of various factors to consider when selecting structural steel products for a construction project.

    Discover the strength and reliability of structural steel with Regan Industrial, your trusted partner in construction excellence. Whether you’re constructing a high-rise building, bridge, or industrial facility, we provide the steel solutions that ensure your structure stands the test of time. Contact us today to learn more and get started!