At Red Leaf Development we not only specialise in concrete construction such as retaining walls and specialist concrete foundations, but we also design, manufacture and install a range of bespoke steel frames for buildings. From agricultural and industrial warehouses to car parks and exhibition halls.

We work with two main types of steel framing configurations, the skeleton frame and the long span or portal frame. Each has its own unique set of applications and considerations, but what are they and what types of buildings are they suitable for?

Skeleton Frames

Steel framed structure erected by Red Leaf Group

Skeleton frames are not as spooky as they sound! Skeleton frames are made up of a collection of horizontal and vertical steel beams and columns, connected using proper weight bearing connections. Often, spandrel beams are attached to the external beams on a project to support masonry walls or other outer skin materials.

This frame type creates a skeleton-like frame of the building, bearing the gravity load of the walls and floors once they’re installed and feeding this load down through to the foundations. Because of this load bearing capacity skeleton frames are used heavily in multi-storey buildings, such as carparks and high-rise office buildings. They usually feature non-load bearing masonry walls or prefabricated concrete panels, but occasionally are covered heavily in glazing.

Long Span or Portal Frames

Concrete retaining wall and barn roof steels by Red Leaf Group

There are a number of types of long span, or portal frames, including girder, truss and arch style frames. All these frames have the same basic benefit of construction: they allow for a tall and open space internally. These frames are used where there is a requirement for tall height clearances or where large open internal spaces are needed. Long span, or portal frames are made of sections of girders, trusses and arches, that make up a cross section of the building walls and roof, these sections are then placed in a row equidistantly apart and additional steel beams are then added to tie these frame sections together.

As long span/portal framed buildings usually require no or less internal columns and provide an open roof space, they’re used in a wide range of building projects such as agricultural and industrial warehouses and factories, where maximising space and height availability is important for maximising production, to theatres and exhibition spaces that require uninterrupted space for seating and a stage or maximum floor space for stands and events.

Choosing the right steel frame

We recommend leaving your steel frame design up to experts who can take your requirements and produce a structural design that meets your requirements along with ensuring the frame is able to take the loadings of internal floors, walls and equipment.

At Red Leaf Development, our years of experience allow us to pick the most suitable frame combination for your construction project. We can design, manufacture and install bespoke skeleton frames, portal frames or a combination of framing styles to meet complex project requirements.

If you have a construction project that would benefit from an expert design, manufacture and installation service, get in touch with our team today and we’ll be happy to discuss your requirements

Get in touch today to discuss your project