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Modular Offices Completely Remove Hidden Costs and Delays
Fitting Out a New Office
Tunnelling Techniques Used To Create Tunnels
Ready to Kiss the Sky Once Again!
What Is a CDM Co-Ordinator And Why Are They Important?
The Effect Of The Recession On The Construction Industry
Five Things Wrong with Commercial Rooftop HVAC Ductwork
Great Advantages of Steel Buildings
Use Your Commercial Building as a Rain Water Collection System
Bollards: What Functions Are Top Priority?
Save Money and Time Using Modular Office Buildings
Cambridge, Massachusetts Community Preservation Fund
HUD Secretary Tours Indian Reservation
Housing Affordability in San Diego
Case Study of Energy Savings for 2 Bank Buildings
California City Reduces Affordable Housing Fees
Asheville, NC May Ease Affordable Housing Zoning Laws
India Races Ahead With F1 Track
Corruption at Delhi Commonwealth Games
Commercial Construction - Why We Build in South Florida the Way We Do
Modular Church Buildings Offer Affordable Expansions
Modular Offices - Easy, Quick, and Affordable
Structural Insulated Panels or SIPs and Seismic Performance
5 Things to Remember When Picking a Land Surveyor
  Commercial Construction - Why We Build in South Florida the Way We Do
Anyone who comes from another area of the country is usually puzzled by the way we build in South Florida. Most commercial buildings in the north of the country are steel structures and use as little concrete as possible. South Florida, on the other hand, tries to minimize the use of steel and uses concrete much of the time. Why do this?

Concrete is a wonderful material. It is also a very forgiving material. What I mean by this is that once it is poured all the connections are solid. For example, there are no joints between beams and columns which could come apart during a hurricane. Unlike a steel system, which must have perfect connections between beams, floor decking, and columns in order to survive a hurricane, concrete, once it hardens, is very difficult to take apart, if the steel reinforcing was designed correctly. In addition, concrete is a natural fire-retardant.

While steel joist systems must be fire protected, concrete joists are naturally fire-proofed. In precast systems such as double-T's, PSI's, etc., the concrete is the fire protection for the reinforcing steel. In the case of steel joists, for standard buildings such as schools, offices, retail stores, the steel roof structure must be fire-protected, so some kind of fire-protecting drop ceiling must be provided or a fire-proofing material must be sprayed on the structural steel members.

Another reason South Florida uses concrete instead of steel systems is that we have few steel plants where steel joints, beams, and columns are fabricated. On the other hand, concrete trucks are available from a number of local providers. Also, the workers in the concrete trades are very knowledgeable as they work in this medium every day.

As a practicing architect I saw the difference between steel and concrete up close after Hurricane Andrew. Although today we have additional requirements for making sure steel structural connections are done correctly, at the time of Hurricane Andrew the contractor was often allowed to design his own connections. As a result of this practice, I did not see any standing metal framed buildings (they were mostly gas stations) south of Kendall Drive after the hurricane.

Steel buildings can be well designed and stay standing through a hurricane. But for this to happen, all connections must be designed and installed correctly. For me, there are no more solid connections than concrete beams and columns poured together.


Temporary Classroom Buildings: The Need Of The Hour
How To Conserve Space With Modular School Buildings
When To Consider A Temporary Classroom Building
Modular School Buildings: Versatile In Their Utility
Demountable Classrooms Are Becoming A Viable Alternative
Temporary Classrooms Are The Way To Go To Carry Education To The Masses
Mobile Classrooms: Taking Education To the Masses
Accommodate For Renovations With A Temporary Classroom
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Temporary Classrooms Are A Necessity Today
Structural Steel Buildings
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Considerations When Setting Up Demountable Classrooms
Demountable Classrooms Fulfill A Great Social Cause
Modular School Buildings Are The Need Of The Hour
The Many Pluses Of Modular School Buildings
The Many Advantages Of Mobile Classrooms
Budget Cuts Forcing Housing Authority Consolidations
Weather Protection for SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels)
Dubai and the Pearl Project, a Landmark
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Metal Building Kit
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