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Cold Formed Steel Benefits

What are Cold-Formed Steel Buildings?

Because cold-formed steel (CFS) buildings are light weight, extremely strong, noncombustible, and relatively easy to install, it has dominated the market for interior, non-loadbearing partition walls in commercial construction. Now, with advanced technological developments like pre-fabricated systems, the building community is using CFS for structural applications in a range of Domestic, Commercial and Industrial buildings.

In fact, cold-formed steel buildings are rapidly becoming the material of choice for construction across the country where prudent developers are interested in maximising their return on investment.

What is Cold-Formed Steel?

Cold-formed steel (CFS) members are made from structural quality sheet steel that are formed into C-sections and other shapes by roll forming the steel through a series of dies. No heat is required to form the shapes (unlike hot-rolled steel), hence the name cold-formed steel. A variety of steel thicknesses are available to meet a wide range of structural and non-structural applications.



Value-Benefit of Steel

CFS as a construction material has many advantages as outlined below:

1 – Cost-Effective

CFS framing has a proven track record of providing cost-effective benefits over the entire construction cycle due to lower insurance rates, shorter project cycles, predictability and accuracy of steel components, and improved design efficiency.

Reduced Groundworks Costs

There are direct cost savings for the project with 25% less concrete in foundations and post install anchor bolts. Our CFS buildings are built on raft slabs with integral footings for each stanchion, rather than load bearing walls with ring beam foundations to the entire perimeter.

Earlier project completion and budget savings

Steel’s shorter construction cycle means equipment can move on and off the job site faster. This lowers plant costs and reduces plant rental times, for example.

Shorter project cycles

The predictability and accuracy of steel components speed up the process and allow follow­on trades to get to work sooner. The shorter construction timeframe reduces interim financing costs for projects. It also narrows the window of construction-related liability and allows for earlier building occupancy.

Off-Site Fabrication

Fabrication and putting g together main components of CFS buildings off-site reduces on-site labour costs and construction waste. It cuts the total project cycle time and improves quality control, since CFS components can be created to exact measurements.

High strength-to-weight ratio

Steel Building strength-to-weight ratio significantly exceeds that of wood or concrete. Being strong and relatively lightweight, CFS systems reduce a building’s total load which, in turn, allows the owner to save costs beginning at the foundation but also extending to the number of prime members (Stanchions and Rafters).

2 – Durable

The durability of cold-formed steel, including its resistance to corrosion, mould, and vermin, gives it a longevity that few building materials can rival. One of the major material advantages of cold-formed steel (CFS) framing is that it is impervious to the environmental factors that typically threaten the integrity, lifespan and stability of other framing materials. The material’s resistance to corrosion, mould and vermin, plus its dimensional stability, helps give it a longevity that few other building materials can rival. Read on to learn more about cold-formed steel’s many durable attributes.

Corrosion Resistances

Properly designed and constructed steel structures provide long-term durability and demonstrate excellent service life. Building codes and industry standards require that steel-framed structures be designed to tolerate corrosion or be protected against it where corrosion may impair strength or serviceability. Steel framing may be protected by barrier paints or other coatings applied on site or during manufacture, or by galvanizing (coating with zinc), depending on the severity of exposure conditions.

Zinc-coated steel — which is standard for cold-formed steel framing — will last far beyond the life of a building when properly installed and insulated. The zinc coating protects the underlying steel by “sacrificially” corroding over any area where the underlying metal becomes exposed. Because of its corrosion resistance, CFS is especially appropriate for use in the high-demand structural configurations of configurations featured in mid-rise construction.

Mould Resistance

Steel framing is inorganic, which means it offers no food source for mould to grow upon. Moreover, steel framing also can help resist the onset and growth of mould since its framing members are dimensionally straight and connected mechanically with screws rather than nails, providing a tight structural envelope with no nail pops or drywall cracks. Moisture does not seep into steel studs, substantially eliminating the expansion and contraction of construction materials around windows and doors, where leaks can occur.

Vermin Resistance

Termites cause more damage to wood structures than fire, floods and storms combined. And that destruction is rarely covered by insurance.

Even the most formidable termite doesn’t affect cold-formed steel. That’s why building regulations recognize CFS as one of the methods for complying with all requirements for termite-resistant construction. The use of CFS also creates a healthier structure by eliminating the need for annual chemical termite treatments or pressure-treated timber and its associated emissions.

Dimensional Stability

Framing systems are designed with an eye to structural integrity and stability. The taller the structure, the more important these considerations are. Unintended structural movement can have expensive and potentially disastrous consequences on a building’s structural, mechanical and finish systems.

CFS framing is dimensionally stable and it is not subject to moisture-related expansion and contraction, or predisposed to shrink, split, warp, crack or creep.

Steel also is isotropic — meaning it has the same dimensional properties in all directions, with the same strength up and down a member, side-to-side, and in all loading directions.

The tighter envelope provided by CFS framing also enhances the structure’s overall energy efficiency, reducing long-term maintenance and repair costs that often result from framing with less stable materials.

3 – Sustainable

Cold-formed steel framing always contains at least 25% recycled steel (and often more than 70% recycled steel) and meets the highest sustainability requirements of all major green building standards and rating programs. Steel Build Masters fully embrace the need to be eco-friendly and forward thinking, with consideration for how our actions will affect future generations. We are committed to improving overall energy efficiency and demonstrate our commitment to the environment through innovative technologies, materials and processes.

A few interesting facts about CFS:

  • 88% of steel can be recycled over and over with no loss of performance. No other building material can boast anywhere near this level of sustainability.
  • Since the 1990s, the steel industry has reduced energy intensity by more than 32% and CO2 emissions are down more than 42%.
  • More than 10 million tonnes of steel are recycled each year in the UK.
  • Recycling 1 Tonne of steel conserves approximately 1,135kg of Iron Ore, 650kg od Coal and 62kg of Limestone.
  • Over 99% of steel from scrap cars is recycled.
  • 94% of structural steel is recycled or re-used when a building is demolished in the UK.
  • In Europe, over 70% of steel packaging is recycled – far more than any other packaging material.
  • Construction of 600sqm building can be built from approximately 6 scrapped vehicles.
  • Pre-engineered and fabricated steel frame buildings create less waste than any other construction method.

4 – Non-Combustible and Resilient

Cold-formed steel framing is non-combustible, resistant to extreme environmental and seismic loads, blast threats, and ballistic penetration, making it one of the most resilient building materials available.

Know the Facts About the Resiliency of Cold-Formed Steel Framing Resiliency is associated with a building’s robustness, resourcefulness, and recovery. It encompasses safety, security, durability, energy conservation, environmental friendliness. The concept of resiliency can also be applied to individual building materials, including cold-formed steel (CFS) framing. How well does CFS framing perform as a resilient material? Explore the statistics below to find out:

SAFETY

Ability to withstand a natural hazard and continue to function as designed

STRENGTH

CFS framing has up to a 7x greater strength-to-weight ratio than wood — the highest of all commonly used construction materials.

FIRE RESISTANCE

CFS framing is fire resistant, with assemblies that have ratings up to 4 hours

ENVIRONMENTAL LOADS

CFS framing resists extreme environmental loads. There are CFS designs for wind, snow, and seismic loads up to 190 mph, 70 psf, Seismic Design Category E

SECURITY

Ability to resist a man-made event and continue to function as designed

ENERGY CONSERVATION

Ability to contribute to efficient energy use over the life of the building

ENVIRONMENT FOOTPRINT

Ability to use less energy and other resources initially, then reduce other environmental impacts over the life of the building

5 – Easy to install

Cold-formed steel is light, making it easy to ship, handle, and assemble. CFS wall, floor, and roof sections can also be assembled off-site in a controlled environment, which can minimize costly weather delays and ensure greater quality control.

CFS also provides numerous advantages in terms of the construction process itself. CFS is light making it easy to ship, handle and assemble. Moreover, greater strength means less material. The individual components are bolted together on-site or prior to delivery to site to shorten on-site construction. The entire system is Weld-Free to eliminate the possibility of a welding failure and the need for certified coded welders on site.

Weight Saving On-Site

The overall weight saving makes CFS physically easy to build, no heavy lugging of components and reduced plant requirements for lifting on site. In fact many single storey smaller buildings require very little plant at all to construct safely.

Reduced second fix services

CFS building doesn’t require the complexity of service-heavy follow-up trades by taking advantage of large pre-cut service and wiring openings.

Work during all weather

A CFS building can be erected when temperatures reach as low as -10 degrees Celsius due to the stability of CFS as a structural material where other traditional materials would not be possible. Equally, the British weather will not affect the construction of a CFS building where block or brick would be severely delayed due to bad weather.

Reduce scaffolding

The weight saving and fast construction of a CFS building means that it can be erected without the need for scaffolding by using standard plant to lift and work at heights faster. Because the walls are non-load bearing a wall can be built from the inside in situations where access is limited.

Pre-Engineered Technology

Precise and accurate components, no cutting to length on site. The list goes on. Every component is designed and fabricated to the millimetre to speed up on site construction and improve overall accuracy.



Cold-formed steel's fire-resistant properties offer superior safety for wall and floor construction

The benefits of light cold rolled steel construction in relation to fire safety are:

  • Steel is non-combustible; it does not add to the fire load of the building.
  • Fire protection for light steel framing is typically provided by the external cladding and optional boards used for internal lining, e.g. gypsum-based boards.
  • Fire resistance periods of up to 120 minutes are readily achievable.
  • The amount of combustible material in a light steel framed building is much lower than in other forms of construction.
  • Steel wall cladding is non-combustible and easily repairable after cosmetic damage from small fires.
  • The fire risk during construction is much lower for light steel framing than for some forms of construction due to prefabricated of all materials to reduce on-site cutting.

Call our expert team on 0800 368 9100 or email support@steelbuildmasters.co.uk to discuss your requirements.