Cold-formed steel should be your first choice when it comes to framing components. It’s strong, environmentally friend and easy to use. Read on to find out more.
Per the Steel Framing Alliance: Steel is one of the most sustainable building materials in the world. The industry has embraced the common sense approach that reducing its impact on the environment is not only the right thing to do, but it makes economic sense.
Since the early 1990s, the steel industry has reduced its energy use to produce a ton of steel by approximately 1/3.
More than 95% of the water used in the steel making process is recycled and returned – often cleaner than when it was taken from the source.
Every piece of steel used in construction contains recycled content. Further, all steel can be recovered and recycled again and again into new high quality products.
Steel is durable, safe, and strong. It is not susceptible to rot, termites, or mold. Steel used for framing will last from hundreds to over a thousand years due to its zinc coating, a natural element. Steel structures require less material (both reduced weight and reduced volume) to carry the same loads as concrete or masonry or wood structures.
Steel is dimensionally stable: it will not warp, split, or creep – making it durable and built to last. Don’t waste time and dollars on costly call backs. Minimize cracking and pops in drywall and other finishes with CFS framing.
Because cold-formed steel has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any building material, it is by nature a superior construction material and offers numerous solutions to problems builders face all over the U.S. and Canada. Cold-formed steel is highly durable, noncombustible and will not contribute fuel to a fire.
Furthermore, its galvanized zinc coating (a natural element) prevents corrosion. This means the life of a steel-framed structure can last hundreds of years, which also reduces the need for future building resources (NAHB Research Center Study).
Steel is inorganic and therefore does not rot, warp, split, crack or creep and will not expand or contract with moisture content. It is also resistant to termites and other wood-eating pests. And since a steel-framed building or home will always have straight walls and square corners, owners will be relieved to find no aggravating nail pops or drywall cracks. Steel framing’s versatility can also take popular finishes like brick, stucco, stone or siding.
Structures built with steel look better, perform better and provide a safer environment for inhabitants. Steel-framed structures have a much lower probability of sustaining foundation problems, earthquake and high wind damage, and produce far less job-site waste (2% for steel vs. 20% for lumber).
Steel is a non-combustible, fire resistant material and will not feed a fire.
On average, wood structural members or framing rank third as the first-ignited material in home fires according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Building with steel can reduce cost of construction insurance as well as homeowners insurance premiums
Of the more than 126 million housing units and commercial buildings in the U.S. (U.S. Census Bureau report), almost all are at some point likely to experience some form of excessive indoor dampness such as a water leak or flood. And when there is excessive moisture as well as a sufficient food source, mold can grow and lead to poor indoor air quality and resultant serious respiratory ailments.
Today’s steel framing construction technology can help mitigate the growth of mold in building homes and non-residential buildings. Cold-formed steel-framed structures are stronger, more resilient and offer a tighter building envelope since members are dimensionally straight and connected mechanically (screwed vs. nailed). This means no nail pops or drywall cracks (e.g. where the roof meets the walls).
Ventilation is efficiently built into the design, and energy efficiency is maintained or increased due to steels inorganic properties. Moisture does not get into steel studs, substantially eliminating the expansion and contraction of construction materials around windows and doors, where leaks can occur. And steel does not provide a food source for mold to grow.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) termites cause an estimated $5 billion dollars of damage a year in the United States.
Termites cause more damage than fire, floods, and storms combined.
The Formosan termite is one of the most destructive termite species in the world and now infests more than 14 states according to the USDA. Originally limited to Hawaii, the Formosan termite is now well established throughout the southern states in and around the Gulf Coast, and spreading rapidly.
Cold-formed steel (CFS) is one of the recognized methods for compliance with the termite-resistant construction requirements of the International Residential Code. Choose CFS and do away with the worries about exclusions in the fine print of warranties for treated wood or the presence of chemical treatments in your building or soil.
CFS is inorganic and does not provide a food source for termites.
There is no need for annual termite treatments with steel.
CFS provides a healthy building with no off-gassing from chemical termite treatments, or pressure treated lumber.
Termite damage is rarely covered by insurance. Build it right and avoid costly problems later.
A 2009 survey of homeowners in Hawaii, where the Formosan Termite has radically changed construction practices, indicates that homeowners on Oahu prefer CFS framing by a 2 to 1 margin over treated wood or concrete (see resources to right for full report).
For additional technical information, visit the Steel Framing Alliance website.
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