Definitive Guide: Types Of Structures In Civil Construction

The structure of a building is one of the fundamental elements that make up the work, after all, it is it who will guarantee the work’s safety, durability and functionality.

Therefore, it is also a stage that has a great impact on the costs of a project, requiring highly trained professionals to balance quality with cost.

The 3 most common types of structures in Civil Construction are: metallic structures, reinforced concrete and wood, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages in the engineering market .

There are also hybrid or mixed structural systems that combine integrated solutions in more than one of the aforementioned materials.

To know which is the best option for the work, the professional needs to take some points into account, such as the type of foundation soil, construction size, type of work, environmental conditions and, of course, the budget available for the construction.

All these points will directly influence the performance of the chosen material!

Interested in knowing more about the types of structures in civil construction ?

To help you, we developed this guide. We will cover all the details and applications of the 3 most common types of structures in civil construction. 

3 Types of Structures in Civil Construction

Structure 1# Metallic Structure

Being one of the most famous construction methods in the United States, the metallic structure, emerged in the metallurgical sector.

With the end of World War II, steel became an abundant material in the market and targeted for use in works, mainly in the construction of homes.

This type of structure in civil construction refers to a dry construction , that is, less resources are used, such as raw material, water and labor, thus providing great gains in the rationalization of processes and sustainability.

What impacts positively on the environment , in addition to promoting savings for construction.

The metallic structure also allows the other systems that make up the building to be designed with a high level of rationalization, as they can be designed and installed with excellent precision and low waste rate, such as:

  • use of seals by gypsum composite board systems;
  • cement plates;
  • synthetic materials among others more.

The use of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) , panels produced with layers of overlapping wood and cementitious boards, is very common in metallic structures.

The metallic structure system can be applied in:

residential constructions (from popular houses to high-end condominiums);

  • industrial buildings;
  • large standardized enterprises;
  • gyms;
  • sports and event pavilions;
  • educational institutions;
  • hospital units;
  • construction site and accommodation and other projects. 

The buildings in steel frame allow a 75% reduction in costs . As it is a dry construction, all the materials used in the closing, covering and thermo-acoustic insulation processes come ready-made from the factory, ensuring high productivity at the end of the work, as well as a very low level of waste.

Its modular structure is easy to handle and it is only necessary to remove the cement slab for maintenance, placing it later in the same place. The system avoids mess and costs generated with the exchange of piping, electrical and hydraulic installations that we are so used to in traditional construction with masonry seals.

Another positive point is the ability to present excellent thermal insulation, which keeps the internal temperature warmer, and reduces the transmission of sounds inside the property if properly designed. 

Structure 2# Reinforced Concrete

Reinforced concrete, a combination of concrete with steel bars, is one of the most common types of structures in civil construction for construction, due to its effectiveness, durability and executive flexibility. 

Concrete is produced from the joining of cement, aggregates and water . However, there are different types of concrete, in which more components can be added or the proportion of each element changed.

Among the main features of reinforced concrete are:

  • Inputs can be found easily at any construction shop;
  • greater cost-effectiveness in labor;
  • concrete adapts to all shapes.

Reinforced concrete requires longer curing time , with that some parts of the work are paralyzed. The building can be carried out on site and requires multiple materials, which can result in higher purchase costs. However, there are more rational alternatives with the use of precast.

Shipowners, carpenters, bricklayers, electricians and assistants are needed to build the reinforced concrete structure , which requires more time to complete the project, especially if it is on a large scale.

However, if the work is small and simple, the cost will be low and the construction may be more agile. However, if the project is a high architecture, the cost-benefit tends to be higher.

3# Wood Structure 

The wooden structure is used in any construction, even in weather conditions. Besides being one of the oldest and most used materials in the world.

The application of this structure is quite common in building roofs, roofs, formwork structures, contemporary constructions etc. 

The wood has a high mechanical resistance to weight ratio , being more modelable and quite stable. It is a raw material, used for thermal and acoustic insulation, ensuring less energy expenditure after construction. 

The most suitable types of wood for the types of structures in civil construction are:

floors: peroba-rosa, angico-preto, aroeira, macacaúba, pau-amarelo, pau-de-arco and ipê;

structure: peroba-rosa, rosadinho, itaúba, angico-preto, eucalyptus and rammed earth.

In March 2009, a program called “Madeira é Legal” was created in the state of São Paulo. The project arose from the need to prevent uncontrolled consumption of natural resources for raw material for construction. 

The certification of wood, in addition to incorporating licenses, has solid verification and guarantees the sustainability of forests, communities and regional areas.

In addition to wood certification, there is environmental licensing, which only regulates extraction, without considering the social, economic and labor aspects of the region. Because there is no rigidity in inspection, environmental licensing facilitates some illegal practices , increasing deforestation.