top of page

Steel Costing II: The Main Factors


This is the second installment of our steel costing series, if you didn't read the first article, have a look here. In this article, we explore the main elements that affect our steel construction costing. They can be grouped as building, site, location and risk specific costs. We will explain them further below. However, before diving deeper, It is important to understand the basic costing of our building element, the structural steel frame.

The Components of Structural Frame Cost:

Below is the general distribution of the cost of the structural frame. However, specific projects and frames may vary in the costing elements share.

  1. Raw Materials: covers around 30-40% of the overall cost.

  2. Fabrication: with 30-40% of the cost, it can increase with the complexity of the targeted frame.

  3. Construction and erection process: 10-15%. This depends on the site, location and access.

  4. Fire protection and other requirements: 10-15%. Mainly mandated by the specific state laws. Other requirements can be seismic activity protection.

  5. Engineering: 2%.

  6. Transportation: 1%.

The Main Factors in Steel Project Costing

1-Building usage, sector and height

The various building usages and sectors will utilize the floor space differently. These variations will result in distinct designing considerations, which will affect elements such as clear spans and floor-to-floor heights. For example, a low rise with short spans and repetitive sections (e.g. industrial shed) can have a frame weight of 55 kg/m2. On the other hand, a high rise with complex access and long span can have a frame weight of 110 kg/m2. Another aspect to consider is the clear spans, where longer spans will need heavier steel sections, thus increasing the weight of the frame and the overall cost.

2-The site complexity and conditions

When constructing any building, the site limitations must be considered into the designing aspects. The ground condition as well as the surroundings (i.e. the adjacency of other buildings) may end up resulting in using complex solutions like fabricated beam or other non-standard sections. Such solutions will impact the installation cost and must be evaluated.

3-Project's Location

The location of the project will have an impact on the cost estimates depending on the region and its specific market conditions, which include factors such as permits, workers' wages, equipment rentals etc. Moreover, the location will control the access to the site, thus, greatly affecting the logistical process. Constructing in the downtown, where constrains such as the limited working hours, noise and permits, will increase the time needed to complete the project and affecting the cost as a result.

4-Risk Assessment

The 2020 pandemic taught us a valuable lesson when it comes to economic forecasting, with its unprecedented lockdown measures, which impacted the construction projects worldwide. This illustrates the importance of risk assessment and quantifying it for each project to ensure a smooth project cycle.


In this article, we discussed the main elements of steel costing as well as the cost components in the structural steel frame. You can check our articles here.

CERM-EX is Turkey’s market-leading structural steel company, the home of world-class engineering and design excellence. Feel free to check Our Services or Contact Us to see where can we help you in your next project.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page