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Innovation in Steel Structure Building Techniques Over the Years


Ever since the first steel skeleton commercial buildings emerged in the late 19th century, structural steel construction has continued evolving through innovative design approaches and new technologies. Companies at the forefront like Lida Group have driven improvements unlocking higher performing projects over successive generations.

Early Developments

Prior to computers, mental visualization was key for I-beam configurations. Standard components bolted together simplistically. But advancements like monumental welded moment connections enabling loftier uninterrupted spans revolutionized potential building heights and floorplates.

Proliferation of technical data also grew, facilitating standardized connection designs across regions. New connection patenting drove healthy competition benefiting constructors. Large-scale welding supplanted riveting for rapid fabrication.

Computer-Aided Design

When CAD arrived, frame modeling saved considerable drafting labor. Members were scheduled and quantified with new precision. Shop drawings compiled electronically accelerated reviews. Digital information sharing streamlined fabrication remotely.

Finite Element Analysis

FEA modeling validated insufficiencies of assumed standard loading cases. Site-specific dynamic analysis optimized steel selection minimizing material. Non-linear topology optimization reshaped steel into lighter efficient forms.


Off-site prefabrication matured with modularization. Entire building envelopes were pre-assembled and transported for rapid on-site erection. This afforded tighter construction programs importantly for Lida's industrial clients.


Proprietary H frames from Lida condensed multiple members into robust single units, cutting connection counts by over 30%. Proprietary welded and bolted connections increased strength 25% with reduced steel usage.

New Steel Grades

Advanced high strength steels opened new structural possibilities. Longer spans leveraged steel grades up to 80 ksi, yet reduced self-weight. Hydroformed sections produced complex geometries eliminating joints.


Design for disassembly promotes material circularity at building lifecycles’ end. Steel structures’ ability to be deconstructed and recycled maximizes sustainability which clients increasingly demand across sectors served by Lida.

These ongoing innovations see structural steel continuously evolving to deliver optimized performance benefitting industry, while challenging established procedures driving the specialty field forward with each new generation. Lida maintains expertise at the forefront of such progress underpinning their leadership in the field worldwide.

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