What size of steel beam do I need?

structural beam calculations

Choosing the right size of steel beam is essential when it comes to construction projects, as steel beams will form an integral component of your building. So, choosing the correct size of beam to support the structure is imperative.

The decision will be based on three principal factors:

– The length of the steel beam
– The load/weight that the steel beam is required to support
– What the beam is supporting

Other considerations besides the size of steel beam

These are the key factors in preparing calculations as to the appropriate size of the steel beam, but there are other considerations to be made. A structural engineer should look at how the beam will be used, and the type of loads that it will be used to support. When looking at domestic properties, in particular, the steel could be used to support a range of distinct structural elements, such as roofs, floor joists, masonry walls and existing structural elements.

In addition, it is important to analyse how the weight will be distributed over the beam when the structure is completed. Is the load uniformly distributed, partially uniformly distributed or is it a point load? Is it applied centrally on the beam? How wide is the wall/element above? All these factors should be considered when it comes to structural calculations which are used to size steel beams.

Other factors that should be considered include deflection, what will be under the beam, existing masonry conditions and foundations.