Reinforced concrete skeleton construction - alternative to solid construction


The skeleton construction is not a new invention, it was already used in old half-timbered houses. But it still enjoys great popularity. Today, mainly steel and reinforced concrete are used as materials. Read more here.

Construction principle in reinforced concrete skeleton construction

In skeleton construction, a structure is constructed from different elements. In modern buildings, this steel is usually used. The skeleton fulfills the supporting function, in particular the vertical components carry the load into the foundation.

The skeleton is then clothed with a shell, in the interior, however, there are only more non-supporting walls. This is the main difference to the solid construction.

In order to bridge even larger spans, reinforced concrete is usually used for the outer skin of the building. It is the building material most commonly used in Germany in modern buildings. Its strength and load capacity make it ideally suited for use in reinforced concrete skeleton construction.

History of steel skeleton construction

The basic principles of steel skeleton construction were developed as early as the 19th century. The stability of many buildings constructed in bombing during the Second World War made this architecture popular after the war. The first steel skeleton construction was already planned and built in 1884. The design principles have not changed significantly since then.

Advantages of the skeleton construction

The skeleton construction with steel structures and reinforced concrete has some advantages. It not only offers tremendous stability and load-bearing capacity, even in large buildings, but also enables a very rapid construction progress. In addition, this construction method is cheaper in many cases compared to solid construction.

Construction of the steel skeleton

The steel skeleton consists of individual steel elements. The so-called main structure form supports and beams. They can be linked together in different ways. Usual are rivets, but also screws. Welding is another way of securely and stably connecting the main structure.

In high-rise buildings and skyscrapers, which are built with this construction, the structure is often specially adapted in its shape. The large height of these buildings creates enormous loads that can only be safely removed by specially designed structures.

Walls and ceilings in reinforced concrete skeleton construction

For the walls and ceilings, which are inserted into the framework, there are several possibilities. For example, the following options are possible for the ceiling construction:

  • Precast concrete ceiling
  • Semi-finished slabs with individual elements
  • composite floor

One possibility for even more cost-effective construction could be the use of steel fiber reinforced concrete, which will probably take place much more frequently in the future. It is a building material that has only spread since the beginning of the millennium.

The use of steel fiber reinforced concrete no longer needed, parts could be produced inexpensively in a single operation as a high-strength finished parts. This can once again achieve a cost reduction.

Tips & Tricks

Another alternative could be a combination of steel skeleton construction and wood-concrete. This building material is considered very ecological and forward-looking and could also be used in precast.


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