When planning a consultation with a professional engineer to assist you with your projects it is
important that you are able to interpret their proposals. The engineer should be trained to
communicate their ideas in both a drawn format and a written format.
Structural Engineers are trained to design with a wide range of materials, including steel,
masonry, timber, and concrete. When an engineer specifies a steel beam to be used in a
structural system, that element was carefully designed to work in that application. In other
words, the steel beam is bespoke.
However, to create individual steel beams for every client would be very cost to the steel
fabricators and the client buying the steels.
The blue book of steel was developed to list all of the standard sizes for steel beams that the
steel companies produced. The reason why steel beams are produced in standard sizes is to
help speed up the concept design of Built Structures.
The major differences in steel beams are their steel cross sections parameters. The cross
sections themselves are standardized.