For a construction project that needs to be up and running quickly, such as a business, a steel building is ideal because it means faster, less complicated construction and a shorter construction time. This can be especially helpful if the business needs to have its building up and running by a certain date.

Once you know that you want to use steel for your next building, you’ll need to decide what style you’d like and discuss this with the construction crew. Here’s a quick guide on choosing the right steel building frame.

Types of Building Steel Framework

There are numerous types of steel mainframes that can be used in building construction. The most common types are:

I-Beam Frame – An I-beam frame is one of the most common types of steel mainframes in use today. You can recognize an I-beam frame by its inverted “I” shaped profile. When you build a building with an I-beam steel frame, you’ll end up with a structure that is quite sturdy, very strong, and versatile.

There are three main types of I-beam frames:

  • Flat Top I-Beam Frame
  • Full Depth I-Beam Frame
  • Semi-Beam Frame

Open Web Frame or Truss Frame – The second type of frame commonly used for construction projects is a truss frame or open web frame. Steel trusses are used to provide support for flooring or roofs and make the weight of the building bear on the pillars and beams in the building’s structure.

Functionally, this is more challenging to fabricate, but it offers an economical solution for buildings with large spans of 300 feet or more. This solution allows for wiring, sprinkler, and HVAC to be integrated into the trusses. Buildings with an open column-free interior are commonly designed using this option.

Specialized Steel Building Frames

Aside from those two common frames, there are also more specialized frames to choose from that are used for very specific applications. Here are a few:

Tapered Beam

Tapered beams are prefabricated steel frames used for small structures because they provide optimal efficiency of interior space. The frames are used to create partition walls on interior bays, and they can even be used to create a small crane support system.

Rigid Frame Clear Span Framework

This is a perimeter frame structure that has an open web or I-beam structure. It is called “open-wide” because each of the beams in the structure is connected to both the beams on either side of it, creating a more open area.

Additionally, since it lacks structural support and beams are not connected on three sides, you can use the space as a room or add walls to divide it into rooms. You can rearrange the structure as you wish since no wall bears any of the load and there are no columns to hold it up; instead, it relies on cantilevers and trusses.

Lean-To Framework

A Lean-To Framework is a prefabricated, perimeter frame structure that is usually used to create an extension on an existing building. It can be used for buildings that are only one story high. The Lean-To frame structure will consist of a roof, two sidewalls, and one end wall. The end wall is also called a braced wall. The roof and sidewalls create the Lean-To structure, and the braced wall can be added if desired.

This type of framework is ideal for businesses that do not need a lot of extra space but do need additional space for storage. This can be especially helpful for businesses that need space for temporary storage.


Building a steel structure is not only quick and easy, but it is also cost-effective. As long as you know what frame is going to work for you and you have an understanding of the building process, you’ll be well on your way to building the steel building of your dreams.

For your next project, consider working with one of Nashville’s leading steel distributors and service centers. KGS Steel is a family-owned and operated steel distribution company and service center that’s been serving clients since 1985. We offer a full line of carbon steel products and processing facilities. Contact KGS Steel and work with a metal supplier you can trust!