Medical facilities house thousands of patients and employees daily. These buildingsâ€™ structure, design, and durability are paramount to keeping those inside safe and secure. Patients and families are concerned with the reason they are in the facility in the first place. Medical staff are hustling about, making sure patients receive the care they need. Other medical facility employees are making sure everything is running smoothly and efficiently. The last concern should be the building they spend their day in. That is why medical facilities constructed from steel have numerous advantages over those built using other materials. Letâ€™s talk about why steel is the most reliable substance and why other materials, such as concrete and wood, just donâ€™t measure up.
Tensile is the ability to be drawn out or stretched. Tensile strength is the amount of stress the material can hold. Materials undergo tensile testing, which determines their tensile strength. Steel has high tensile strength, which means it can endure a large amount of weight applied to it; for example, it is 8 times stronger than concrete. It can also be pulled and stretched, making it pliable, flexible, and longer lasting before reaching its breaking point. Steel has structural integrity - a very important aspect when constructing any building, let alone a medical facility.
This might seem like a no-brainer if youâ€™ve read the paragraph above, but what wasnâ€™t mentioned is the materialâ€™s ability to withstand harsh weather conditions: earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and large amounts of rain and snowfall. Its ability to withstand intense pressure and its load-bearing capabilities lend itself to being one of the safest options to choose when building a medical facility.
Steelâ€™s flexibility also goes back to its capacity to be stretched, pulled, and molded into different forms. This is a benefit because steel buildings can be constructed and designed to your specifications. Medical facility construction must follow many codes, standards, and guidelines to ensure the utmost safety and convenience of its occupants.The design and layout of the medical facility must adhere to these codes and guidelines. Steel allows this to happen due to its flexible nature.
When comparing steel to wood and concrete, steel is cheaper than both at different stages of construction. From the start, steel costs less than concrete. However, in regards to wood, the startup cost is slightly higher. Steel itself costs more, and it must be treated using a spray-applied-fire-resistive substance in order to be made fire-resistant. That being said, steel is still more cost-effective in the long run due to its low maintenance years later. Wood can rot, warp, and attract pests, whereas steel does not. Medical facilities need to be long-lasting with minimal upkeep. Steel provides that.
Most steel today is made from recycled materials. This is good for the budget, construction timeline, and the environment. Since it is able to be mass-produced, the cost is lower, especially if a large quantity is needed. The more you buy, the lower the cost per sheet and beam. Mass production also means there is no wait time for materials, so construction can begin as soon as possible. Steel buildings are quick and easy to assemble, especially if provided through an already put-together kit. As for steel being made from recycled materials, this is an added perk for the environment, providing sustainability and lowering the amount of content thrown in a landfill.
As mentioned above, steel must be fire-proofed upon construction. However, steel is still considered a fire-resistant and non-combustible material. It can resist heat up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit before starting to lose its strength. In comparison, if a wood building were to catch fire, it would consume the building, destroying the entire structure.
Steel medical buildings are easier to maintain and keep clean. They are more energy efficient, providing comfort by being well-ventilated and easy to insulate. Steel buildings can also be more aesthetically pleasing, providing a sleek, modern look. This last advantage may seem frivolous, but letâ€™s be honest: no person wants to be at a medical facility unless it is their job. Even then, working in a building that isnâ€™t drab and dreary can play a role in a personâ€™s mental well-being. A light, cheery, clean atmosphere is more conducive to a patient and employeeâ€™s happiness and health.
Medical facilities will always be needed; therefore, the construction of these buildings needs to focus on permanence, durability, and the ability to be maintained. The comfort, care, and safety of a facilityâ€™s occupants are of the utmost importance. Keeping these key factors in mind, the advantages of steel as a building material cannot be ignored. Make a lasting impact on your community with a steel medical facility that society can feel secure and comfortable supporting and trusting in with their medical needs.
About the Author
Amanda Stockwell is a freelance writer, knowledgeable in many subjects, particularly start-up businesses, specifically steel buildings. She has an MFA from Stephens College, is a mother to two, and wife to an Air Force pilot. When she is not writing and editing, she can be found reading or baking.