Why use steel?

The benefits of steel framing and building materials over traditional products, such as lumber, are quite substantial.

Quality

  • Because steel is a processed material rather than organic, it is straight, uniform and consistent in quality.
  • Steel will not shrink, split or warp, resulting in fewer call-backs for nail pops or split seams in gypsum board.
  • Steel is non-combustible, will not add fuel to a fire and may contribute to lower insurance rates.
  • Steel buildings are lightning resistant because they provide paths directly to the ground.
  • Properly engineered steel framing can meet the highest seismic and wind load specifications.
  • High strength to weight ratio can mean fewer framing members, lowering material and labor costs.

Versatility

  • Steel can work independently or easily combine with other structural systems.
  • Equivalent steel framing sticks can weigh up to 50% less than wood.
  • Steel framing lightens structures, which can reduce the foundation requirements.

Environmental

  • Steel is 100% recyclable.
  • Steel is an environmentally friendly alternative to wood.
  • The average wood-frame home produces significantly more landfill waste compared to steel framing.

The traditional framing method is to construct the frame on site using lumber in a piece-by-piece fashion. This method is often referred to as “stick built”. Light gauge steel, which has been primarily used only in commercial applications, is gaining increasing acceptance in residential markets.

While steel is a superior building material to wood (strength to weight ratio, durability, etc.), the construction method for steel is quite similar. That is, steel framed structures are stick built on site. Accordingly, the labor costs associated with the construction process are equivalent.

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