Common Steel Components Required for Construction Projects

Common Steel Components of Construction Projects Building designs vary depending on their intended application and the creative whims of the architect drawing up the plans. No matter what the design looks like, however, there are key structural steel components that are needed for buildings of every variety. Let’s take a look at primary framing and secondary framing, two structural elements of a typical building.

Primary Framing

The primary frame acts as the skeleton of a building, supporting its weight and offering resistance against stressors like seismic activity and high winds. Examples of primary framing include:

  • Rigid frames – The tapered columns of rigid-frame systems, also called moment-resisting frames, eliminate the need for interior columns, which can otherwise take up space in the inside.
  • Multi-span frames – Featuring multiple columns and beams, multi-span systems create large interior spaces that can be used for myriad applications.
  • Lean-tos – Used as a cost-effective way to expand the square footage of a building without having to make major architectural changes to the existing structure, lean-tos feature a single-slope system that requires minimal horizontal reinforcements.
  • Single-slopes – Single-slope framing structures have a roof surface that acts as the sole method for drainage of rain and snow.

Secondary Framing

While the primary frame serves as the building’s “backbone,” secondary framing supports interior rooms, doors, windows, and wall panels. Here are some components that are commonly used in secondary framing systems:

  • Cold-formed steel – Cold-formed steel (CFS) refers to steel materials that are rolled, pressed, stamped, or bent into shape at room temperature. Popular components that are made from CFS include columns, beams, studs, and joists.
  • Girts and purlins – Both of these vital structural steel parts have a Z shape, but each supports a different part of the building—girts support wall panels and purlins support the roof.
  • Eave struts – Working in conjunction with girts and purlins, eave struts have a C shape and also support the walls and roof.


Of course, all these components of structural steel require fasteners to hold everything together. Fasteners can include bolts, inserts, weld studs, construction screws, and threaded studs.

Fabricating Structural Steel

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Learn More About BeamCut

With the power of BeamCut, you can process nearly any component that’s needed in the building plans with an 80% reduction in production time. And because BeamCut comes with free and unlimited support for life, our specialists will be available any time you need us.

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