STRUCTURAL STEEL CONSTRUCTION Structural steel is the economical construction material for building applications. It offers high ratios of strength to weight and strength to volume. Thus, structural steel has the advantage of permitting long clear spans for horizontal members and requiring less floor space for columns than other common construction materials. It also can be used in combination with reinforced concrete to provide cost-effective building components. For large industrial buildings, where the structural frame can be exposed, it is often the material of choice.