The Advantages of Steel Framing
Many people want to know why we feel that using light-gauge steel (or cold-formed steel) in all our buildings is a better option than wood framing. Though light-gauge steel is common in commercial building, we think it works better for residential building as well. Here’s why.
- You need less—Though cold-formed steel is more expensive than wood (about three times the cost), you don’t need as much as with wood framing. Three wood studs are required to do the job of one steel stud.
- Environmental improvements—Just like the wood industry, which is making improvements in environmental practices, steel production is changing to decrease the amount of CO2 emitted during manufacture, the energy used to produce it, and establishing other management practices like replanting the areas that have been mined.
- It’s Recyclable—You can regrow wood, but it takes some time, and wood can’t be recycled for structural purposes. Steel is recyclable, and can be used again for structural intent. In addition, steel produced for our uses includes considerable recycled content already.
- It’s durable—Because steel is not organic, it can’t be consumed by termites, mold, or fungus. We used galvanized steel, which does not absorb moisture or rust.
- It holds up to natural disasters—Unlike wood, steel won’t twist during aging, which can erode structural integrity and cause problems during earthquakes. It also won’t burn, maintaining integrity to much higher temperatures than wood.
The benefits of steel for durability, structural integrity and speed of build, outweigh the benefits of building with wood. So at our company, steel is the winner!
Steel Framing Alliance [http://www.steelframing.org ]
Forest Stewardship Council [http://us.fsc.org/]