Concrete and steel are one of the most building materials and it is used in many building projects for their underlying structure. The world architecture used wood, adobe, thatch and caves for making their residence before modern engineering and use of steel and concrete.

We see many buildings around us including skyscrapers and even we live in a building made up of steel or concrete mostly now. We see two types of buildings like steel building and concrete building. But do you know the differences between them? Which building materials are the best for making buildings or projects? Which building gives us more safety and also at a low cost? And why are we using steel and concrete? Maybe you don’t know the answer. Today I will discuss the differences between steel building and concrete building. Let’s discuss about them.


Concrete: Concrete building is safer and concrete builds a strong structure which can prevent fire, wind and suffocating damage. Though concrete structure is so strong but it can crack and crumble by strong earthquakes. The weight of concrete structures is very high which causes injuries or death when building collapse.

Concrete doesn’t need additional fireprofting treatment to meet stringent fire code and it performs good after disasters. Concrete buildings can resist winds of more than 200 miles per hour and well perform if flying debris is hit.

With proper design, construction and engineering concrete building can be safer. The performance of any building during an earthquake is more a matter of design than the materials used in construction, said by Skokie, IL-based portland cement Association.

Steel: Steel buildings are strong and safer. It can protect from fires, lighting, high winds, heavy snows, mold and termites.

Steel buildings get extra advantage than concrete buildings during earthquakes. The steel structure doesn't separate and collapse easily because steel connections allow slight rotation at the joint during vibrating pressure.

Steel buildings become safer and strong with proper design and construction. Steel framing works very well under high load because it is flexible. Because of its flexibility, it can bend without breaking and can absorb that kind of energy.


Concrete: It’s true that the price of construction materials has gone up. However, the price of ready mixed concrete has remained relatively stable. Reinforced concrete tends to be an expensive alternative to structural steel.

According to Ed Alsamsam, PCA’s manager of building and special structure says, ‘concrete prices remain very stable despite fluctuations and significant increases in the prices of other building materials.

Insurance companies also give the owners and developers of class-A save nearly 25 percent annually on the cost of property insurance for cast-in-place reinforced frame office towers.

Steel: steel is cheaper and quicker to erect than concrete but it comes with longer duration. The insurance premiums tend to be higher for steel structure because of its low fire resistance.

The price of steel is increasing day by day and structural steel prices have increased about 50 percent over mill prices since November 2003. Structural steel represents less than 20 percent of all steel used in building construction.

3. Design possibilities:

Concrete: you can build many different shapes by concrete. It is possible to make any shape by concrete. You can make unique aesthetic designs by concrete construction and it will offer you some real advantages.

You can make high-rise office buildings by using cast-in-place reinforced concrete and you will get more rentable space because of lower floor-to-floor heights.

It is expensive and sometimes problematic for creating cantilevers for overhangs or balconies with concrete. With proper construction and engineering, concrete buildings become more aesthetic, strong and safer.

Steel: The most economical shape for steel building is rectangle. Though, you can make complicated and aesthetic designs by steel. The greatest design for steel structure is, it has the ability to span at long distances without interfering columns and for this reason, aircraft hangers choose steel framing.

Steel structure is flexible and you can make a design what you want. Steel building looks aesthetic and steel building is becoming popular for making buildings in the world.

4. Materials Availability:

Concrete: Structural materials consisting of hard, chemically inert particles, known as aggregates (usually sand and gravel), bound together with cement and water. The main elements for the concrete structure are sand, gravel, cement, and water. The concrete elements are available in the world and prices are so inexpensive.

Many companies and project developers are using concrete frame buildings because of stable pricing and materials available regionally. Concrete can be unavailable after major hurricanes, earthquakes, or other natural disasters because of greater construction demand.

However, concrete materials are always available anywhere in the world.

Steel: The demand for steel construction materials is increasing day by day. Many companies are making steel buildings for their projects or offices. Although there is a lot of demand, there is no shortage of steel.

U.S. steel companies produce 7.2 million tons of structural steel per year. It currently operates more than 2300 fabrication shops throughout the year, with a maximum capacity of 9 million tons per year. As a result, U.S. steel companies will be able to meet the demand for all steel.

5. Sustainability:

Concrete: Sustainability is important for human development and the growth of society. Concrete is the most used construction material in the world.

Sustainable concrete should have very low underlying energy requirements, should be produced with little waste, should be made from the world's most abundant source, should have a durable structure, should have a very high heat mass, and should be made with recycled materials. The developers use "green" materials for making sustainable building which has low energy consumption, high durability, low maintenance requirements and large amounts of recyclable or recyclable materials.[3]

Steel: There are some environmental benefits of steel when we use it in construction. Steel is 100% recyclable. Do you know? Any steel you buy today has at least some recyclable steel. There is no need to be financially enthusiastic to ensure that scrap steel is so valuable that it is recyclable rather than being replaced by a landfill.