Why are Steel Structures Used in Most Construction?

 

 

Did you know that steel is a high-strength grade of construction material?

Steel, known for its reliability and cost efficiency, is considered the go-to material for construction purposes. How are steel structures cost-effective while at the same time being the go-to material? Steel requires fewer raw materials, is lower-maintenance and inexpensive to manufacture, and steel structures are generally more durable than those constructed from other materials because the alloy can endure severe weather conditions. It also staves off rust and mold accumulation, giving the material a longer lifespan. For all these reasons, using steel is widely considered a great long-term investment.

Modern contractors and designers use the material for all types of structural engineering work. Steel can be shaped to accommodate each project’s unique specifications – some of the potential forms it can assume include round tube (HSS), plate, an angle, and wide flange, among others. Its flexibility allows engineers and architects to bring their beautiful designs to life. So, if you’ve ever passed a modern bridge, building, or tower that caught your attention and wondered what it was made of, the answer is probably, at least partially, steel!

If you are curious about buildings and/or bridges built with steel, here are three famous examples:
1. The Empire State Building, located in New York City, was constructed in 1931. The Empire State Building once held the record for being the world’s tallest building. It was designed by William F. Lamb, who drew inspiration from art deco aesthetics.

2. The Brooklyn Bridge, also located in New York City, was constructed in 1883. It is known for being the first steel-wire suspension bridge built in the world. The original designer was John Augustus Roebling, who sadly succumbed to injuries he obtained from an accident he had on the bridge. His son, Washington Roebling, continued his work, but also suffered an accident that led to him developing a sickness, and his wife Emily Warren Roebling subsequently stepped in to help him finish the bridge.

3. The Burj Khalifa, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was constructed in 2006. This building is currently the tallest in the world. It was designed by Adrian Smith, and according to the ruler of Dubai, the inspiration that led to its construction struck him during a previous visit to the Empire State Building.


Infrastructure Week, Day 5: Roads

In the U.S., roads are typically an unavoidable part of our everyday lives. Many use roadways daily to travel to and from work, school, social engagements, and more. As the years go by, American metropolitan areas are increasingly stymied by traffic congestion. The average American spends 97 hours a year stuck in traffic. That’s over 12 full workdays! Meanwhile, suburban and rural areas are forced to contend with deteriorating road conditions as well as outdated and dangerous traffic configurations.

At KC Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C. (KC), maintaining and upgrading roads remains an important priority. Our civil engineers are skilled in parking lot and roadway design, and along with our traffic engineers they effectively and efficiently plan, design, and oversee the construction of intersection improvements, parking facilities, maintenance and protection of traffic (MPT) plans, highways, utility relocations, site lighting, driveways and other roadways, curbs, and sidewalks so that the outcomes not only provide for smooth transitions but also for economically functional results.

With projects like Cross Westchester Expressway (I-287) Exit 8E Reconstruction, 5th Avenue Reconstruction, DeLavergne Avenue Reconstruction, and Milling and Resurfacing of Federal Aid Roads, KC strives to maintain the safety and commutability of area roads, because at KC we recognize the vital importance of roadway infrastructure.


Infrastructure Week, Day 3: Transit

Public transit is a staple of our nation that continues to grow yearly despite the fact that it remains neglected and radically underfunded. American transit systems carry billions of people a year via trains, commuter buses, ridesharing services, and more. These systems mainly provide transportation in urban areas and are also vital in many rural areas across the county. In the past few years, we’ve seen major train derailments, non-passengers killed in transit-related accidents, and damaged infrastructure as a result of natural disasters. The resilience of outdated, unreliable infrastructure is tested each day.

For us to receive the full functionality of national transit systems, we need not only transit vehicles, but sufficient infrastructure like traffic signals, train tracks, and roadways to successfully carry and guide these vehicles. However, with lack of funding, years of deferred maintenance, and aging infrastructure, our public transit systems continue to suffer.

At KC Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C. (KC), our civil engineering services include roadway and highway design, traffic engineering, lighting design, and other services that are utilized to maintain and improve transit operations. KC has provided construction inspection with a wide variety of tasks, including replacement of bridge and mounting tube railings, design assessment for rehabilitation of railroad bridges, and traffic calming and street lighting design near transit facilities.