Steel and Skyscrapers: A Partnership Through Time

Bashar Kassab
Director - HFM
Emaar Properties, Dubai

Steel and the skyscraper have a partnership that spans more than a century. Most notably, in combination with various advances in building technologies, steel enabled the 1930s surge in high-rise construction and high-strength steel led to its 1970s renaissance. Through the development of innovative structural steel solutions, ArcelorMittal Luxembourg has been integral to this pairing with the supply of steel shapes in more than 2,500 high-rise buildings worldwide.

Tall buildings are revolutionizing the urban landscape and living and working in a skyscraper has become the norm; however, society’s ever-growing concern for sustainable development and conflicting messages on the affordability, safety and environmental impact of steel have resulted in confusion about its place in high-rise construction.

Advances in the production of different types of steel over the last few decades, with yield strength currently up to 80 ksi (550 MPa) and super Jumbos wide flange beams with a footweight up to 925 lbs/ft (1377 kg/m), have furthered steel’s impact on design efficiency, adaptability, and most importantly sustainability. The latest innovations in specifications, design methods, and evaluation ideologies can create cost effective, optimized buildings for the future.

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