What is XL structural steel?

Steel is commonly associated with large-scale commercial applications. You can observe its application almost every day. From the Auckland Harbour Bridge to reinforcing concrete, the strength of steel enables large-scale structures to go the distance.

When it comes to buildings, the application of structural steel opens up a whole new level of possibilities.

What is structural steel? That is a good question as not all steel is created equal. Structural steel is a generic name that covers a lot of steel you see all around you every day - in bridges, towers and of course buildings. Some of the structural steel beam types you would have heard before e.g. Universal Beams (UB), I beams, H beams, RSJ beams, square sections, round sections - and Rectangular Hollow Sections.

Rectangular Hollow Sections (RHS) are predominantly what the XL structural team use to construct our main portals. Some of the reasons for this are:

  • Strength - the wall thickness and lateral strength of the section makes a very strong design. This coupled with our innovative design teams mean there is a massive amount of design flexibility. Need 30m clear openings and a design that can support 12 ton gantries? Not a problem.

  • Enclosed section - because the RHS is a closed box without open sides or flanges it eliminates places for birds to perch and makes it easily wipeable; which is very beneficial in food processing situations.

  • Aesthetics - the profile and clean smart lines make a very smart design that gives the building an impressive feel.

Other steel you will often see in buildings is high tensile roll formed C sections or beams around 1-2mm thick. Because of a lot of durability issues we have seen over the years we feel this type of steel is only suitable for purlins and girts - not main structural portals.

As experts in structural steel building production, we've outlined a few of the most popular uses for industrial steel buildings below with a couple of our favourite projects in each.


Commercial warehouse building

One of our favourite large-scale steel building projects was this logistics and warehousing facility in Cromwell. The main structure is a 30m x 65m long fully-enclosed building used for warehousing with a 20m wide unloading canopy out the side. With the office attachment, this facility is a high-performing warehouse and distribution centre.

Produce storage building NZ

The Hinemoa processing facility can handle 2,000 tonnes of onions a year. The business, based in Pukekohe, stores and loads their produce within the shed, making it an operational hub.

Commercial Workshops and Manufacturing BUILDINGs

Commercial building new zealand

Structural steel buildings are ideal for workshop and manufacturing facilities as the wide, clear span enables wider spaces with great clearance for machinery and production lines.

One key strength of the XL design is the ability to design the buildings to support large scale gantries. For our clients this has been a game changer and added huge efficiencies to their operation. 

These buildings offer the added peace of mind of protection in high-wind and tornado-prone environments. Even under extreme snow and wind these buildings still stand strong.

Large-scale aircraft hangars

Large aircraft hangar nz

The added strength of structural steel buildings lends itself well to airports and commercial aviation businesses as they can be wide enough, and tall enough to fit all manner of aircraft while easily withstanding the high winds that airports are often battered by.

Able to achieve Clearspan of up to 40m and easily fitted with custom hangar doors these structures are ideal for keeping your most prized assets safe and secure.

Commercial steel buildings

With steel offering almost limitless possibilities for large-scale commercial applications, there is a long list of potential applications for XL Structural Steel buildings. But there are a few extra benefits to choosing us to provide you with your next structural steel building when it comes to your ongoing expansion.

1 - In-house design team

We place a lot of emphasis on the fact our design team works extremely closely with our sales team and operations. This means your plans can be turned into reality using our extensive experience with tweaks and amends dealt with and turned around quickly. 

2 - Hot-dip galvanised (after welding)

We offer hot-dip galvanised and hot zinc spray coating for maximum durability. The hot-dip galv process we offer as an option results in a coating that is 2.5 times thicker than cold-formed steel which is electroplated before forming.

3 - Building consents included

We get the building consent you need. Having worked with councils across New Zealand to process hundreds of consents, we can ensure all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed while saving you the time and hassle of getting consents yourself.

4 - No knee or apex bracing

The strength and design of our structural steel buildings mean there is no knee and apex braces. The benefit of this is, access isn't hindered by unnecessary additional braces and you receive clear entry and egress points for your building.

If you need a large, commercial building without cutting corners then you need XL Structural. If you need it to be strong, make it XL.

Download an XL Structural brochure