Choosing the Best Structural Material for Your Project

Summary: Both concrete and steel can be great for your structure. Which one would be best depends on your project goals.

Many construction projects require the use of multiple different building materials. These include concrete, clay, structural steel, mortar, wood – the list goes on. Construction teams will use combinations of different materials to create the most effective structure. Most commercial projects are built using either reinforced concrete or structural steel. It is up to the design teams to decide which would suit the project’s needs best.

Costs Are Relative

It is difficult to say which material is more cost efficient, because the price of concrete and steel varies depending where they are sourced. For example, structural steel is priced by its weight. So the structural steel expert is tasked to find the lightest weight per piece, while maintaining structural integrity of the project. On the other hand, the costs of concrete mainly come from the labor put into it, such as the wood to make the frames in which the concrete is poured to shape it. So to reduce the amount spent on concrete, it would be best to use many pieces that are the same size and shape, rather than many unique pieces if possible.


As society puts more and more importance on companies “going green,” or being as environmentally friendly as possible, it is crucial for structural projects to also use sustainable materials. Both concrete and steel can be great for this goal. Over 80% of structural steel already comes from recycled metals. And reinforced concrete is made from naturally occurring materials that are harmless to the environment.

Both materials are great for building structures. It is just a matter of finding the better one for your project. Ask experts for help when choosing your construction materials, such as Lyle Charles Consulting, before you make your decision. You can cut costs while keeping structural integrity and being environmentally friendly.