Efficient structure span?

After watching your structure videos, I am trying to understand the impacts of different structure span and how to decide the better one. For example is longer span (I assume less vertical columns but maybe heavier beam which means more tonnage) normally cheaper than the shorter span if both works for planning? Any other impacts?

Thanks!

A general rule of thumb to follow is to think of structural span as a matter of depth. The longer you want to span without columns the deeper the beam must become. If you want to span a shorter distance without columns then the beam can be shallower. In terms of cost remember that a deeper heavier beams weigh more and thus cost more to purchase, additionally you have the cost of installation. Smaller beams and columns can be cheaper since they weigh less (less material) and are easier to install.

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