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What are the different types of building structures?

October 3, 2023


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What is a Building Structure?

Ever wondered what it is that keeps a building standing and helps it withstand structural and external loads? 

The answer, is building structures. 

 Building structures are the backbone of any construction, providing stability, support, and safety to the edifice. They are made up of various elements that work together to withstand loads and forces, ensuring the integrity of the building.  

 There are different types of building structures, designed to cater to specific needs, architectural styles, and construction requirements. The choice of building structure is important in determining the building’s strength, durability, and overall performance.  Let’s explore some common types of building structures. 

Development of Eco-Friendly Building Products

The key to sustainable construction lies in the materials used. Traditional construction, which uses cement and brick walls, weighs heavily on the environment. It is resource-intensive and has a high carbon footprint, due to the process used in manufacturing bricks. 

To address this, Everest has invested significant research and development in creating a range of eco-friendly construction materials that minimise environmental impact without compromising on quality or performance. For example, Everest boards have up to 35% fly ash content, making them a green product. 60% of the material used in these boards can be salvaged and recycled. They are also Green Pro certified and a member of IGBC (Indian Green Building Council). 

Types of Building Structure

Building structures can be broadly categorised into several types based on their design and load-bearing capabilities. Here are some of the most prevalent types: 

1. Load Bearing Wall Structure

A load-bearing structure is one in which the walls themselves bear the weight of the building. These walls carry and transfer the loads from the roof and floors to the foundation. Load-bearing walls structures are commonly found in traditional buildings where the walls are thick and sturdy enough to support the entire structure. 

2. Truss Structure

Truss structures consist of interconnected triangular elements designed to distribute loads efficiently. They are often made of steel or timber and commonly used for bridges, roofs, and industrial buildings. Truss structures are known for their strength and ability to span long distances without the need for internal supports. 

3. Framed Structure

This type of building structure uses a combination of columns and beams to support the building’s weight. These structures are flexible and allow for versatile floor plans. Reinforced concrete and steel are frequently used in framed structures, providing excellent strength and load-carrying capacity. 

4. Shell Structure

Shell structures are curved, thin, and lightweight, with the ability to resist compressive and tensile forces. They derive their strength from their shape rather than their mass. Sports stadiums are one, common example of shell structures. 

5. Cables and Arch Structure

Cable and arch structures rely on tensioned cables or curved arches to support the load. These structures are often used in long-span bridges, canopies, and roofs, providing an elegant and aesthetically pleasing design. 

6. Composite Structure

 Composite structures are a type of building structure that combine different materials to leverage the strengths of each. For instance, a combination of steel and concrete can be used to create stronger and more efficient structures, allowing for innovative and sustainable construction solutions. 

7. Pre-Engineered Structure

Pre-engineered buildings (PEB) are structures that are manufactured and designed off-site, then assembled on-site. These buildings, often made of steel structures, offer cost-effectiveness, faster construction timelines, and customisation options. Customisability is the major advantage of prefabricated steel structures, as they can be designed to suit the specific need of any project. Usually used in industrial and commercial applications, PEB steel buildings have gained popularity due to their durability, sustainability, and versatility. 

8. Tension Structures

Tension structures are characterised by tensioned membranes or cables that carry the load. They are lightweight and flexible, making them ideal for creating unique shapes and covering large areas, like in tents, canopies, and fabric-covered buildings. 

9. Mass Structure

 Mass structures use the building’s mass itself to resist and distribute loads. These structures are commonly seen in ancient buildings made of stone or earth, where the sheer weight of the materials provides stability. 

What is the Difference between Pre-Engineered and Conventional Steel Building?

The primary difference between pre-engineered and conventional steel buildings lies in their design and construction process. Conventional steel buildings are typically constructed on-site, with every component fabricated and assembled from scratch.  

 On the other hand, pre-engineered steel buildings are manufactured in a factory, with all components cut, welded, and bolted in a controlled facility. This allows for a more efficient and streamlined construction process, reducing both time and labor costs. Additionally, prefabricated steel structure buildings offer greater flexibility in terms of customisation and expansion. 


In conclusion, building structures come in various types, each serving specific purposes and requirements. From the load-bearing traditional structures to the modern and efficient pre-engineered steel buildings, the choice of building structure significantly impacts a construction project. Understanding the different types of building structures helps in making informed decisions, ensuring safety, durability, and functionality in any architectural endeavor. 

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