Steel structures are lighter than reinforced concrete, but heavier than aluminum. Due to the high mechanical characteristics and homogeneity of the structure steel is used in large-span and high-rise buildings and where the high loads are.

Various grades of steelwork are used for the production of steel structures. It can be low-carbon or low-alloy steel. Mechanical characteristics and instructions for the use of various steels for structures of buildings and structures, depending on the type given in SNiP II-23-81.

Steel bearing structures are used in single-storey industrial buildings. These include: truss steel structures with spans of 12 m or more; column height of more than 18m in a crane-independent climbing buildings; columns for weights overhead cranes 50 tons or more or with a heavier mode operation; single-storey buildings for various purposes (light lattice supporting structures when the grid columns not less than 18х18м); engineering structures (crane flyovers, silos for materials stored in concrete tanks is not allowed). Ground tanks for storage of petroleum products and liquefied gases, bridges, supports of power lines. Lightweight steel building structures are used for the construction of buildings and structures with light roofs and walls with the use of light insulation such as foam (with a mass of 1 cubic meter), while the consumption of steel is significantly reduced. Lightweight structures, as a rule, are made on automatic production lines of steel plants, so the complexity of their manufacture is quite low. They are delivered to the construction site in a complete set (bearing and enclosing elements) and quickly mounted in large blocks.

The main steelwork disadvantage, the corrosion, is eliminated by galvanizing or applying a polymer coating.