Environmentally Friendly Homes
Light Gage Steel Framing
California and Florida are ahead of the curve in this area.
Over the last 15 years, steel framing in the residential industry has proven it's value. The reconstitution of old steel products such as scrap cars are used in the manufacturing of steel studs making them a reusable green product. Although steel may cost more than lumber the pay back is well worth the extra cost. Listed below are some benefits.
- There are savings on the cost of insurance because steel is a fire proof material.
- Monthly termite bills are eliminated.
- Steel is light weight which will save you money on field labor
- Can be designed for 140 MPH wind load. Not the standard home which is 90 - MPH
- Steel can be used in any type of home design
- Steel can increase your structural capabilities.
- Steel is light weight and saves on expensive foundations.
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Important Information about Steel.
- Steel does not change size or shape with changes in moisture content – which helps prevent cracks in finishes such as drywall and stucco. When they get wet, both wood and brick will swell. When they dry out and cure, concrete and concrete block will shrink and form shrinkage cracks.
- Steel is isotropic: meaning it has the same dimensional properties in all directions. Since there is no grain, the strength of steel is the same up and down, side-to-side, and in all loading directions.
- Steel does not warp, shrink, or crack in normal loading and framing applications.
- Steel is ductile, and will bend and stretch when overloaded, rather than cracking or breaking like unreinforced concrete or masonry.
- Steel is 100% non-combustible. Therefore, height and area restrictions on combustible materials do not apply to cold-formed steel.
- Modern steel has rapidly become one of the most energy efficient building materials to produce. Between the early 1990s and 2007, the U.S steel industry cut energy use per ton of steel by nearly 1/3.
- Cold-formed steel (CFS) buildings can be some of the highest performing buildings. Steel buildings have been built to Energy Star status, and can meet LEED requirements and other green building programs and standards.
- Whole building design of the energy package using readily available simulation tools will enable code compliant and cost-effective solutions to today’s more stringent energy codes.
Advantages of Light Gage Steel Framing
The reconstitution of old steel products such as scrap cars are used in the manufacturing of steel studs making them a Reusable green product. Although steel may cost more than lumber the pay back is well worth the extra cost.
- Steel is very uniform in strength, light weight & shaped to different sizes.
- Steel is recyclable ( It takes about Six Old Cars to frame a Single home ) Its truly a Green Product.
- There is an insurance savings.
- Steel comes in many different sizes and shapes.
- It is non-combustible. Class A- Fire Rating.
- It is insect & termite resistant.
- Standardization with connectors, fasteners & electric grommets has decreased cost.
- Wind Loads are greater than 90 MPH with basic framing standards, up to and exceeding 140 MPH.
- Steel will not decay or rot.
- Steel is light weight, which will save you money on field labor and expensive foundations.
- Steel is color coded by gage: 20,18,16,14, 12.
Disadvantages in the use of steel:
- Steel requires 1/2" insulation on the exterior service for thermal shock,“Insulation Value".
- Steel is 10% to 15% more. (comparing framing to framing)
- Building industry, many builders are not familiar with the construction methods
- The education in the use of steel is much more sophisticated
- An engineers stamped may be required when using steel. May Increase cost by $.25 to $.75 sq. ft
- Steel takes a longer time for labor because of framing fasteners.
Some Information was obtained from ©2011 Steel Framing Alliance.
For more information on steel framing go to:
©2011 Steel Framing Alliance 1140 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Suite 705
Washington, D.C. 20036 | Tel: +202.785.2022 | Fax: +202.785.3856.