Cold-formed steel – also called light-gauge steel – is practically perfect for most construction projects. If you’ve heard something bad, it could be fake! Read these seven common myths about this versatile steel construction solution, and learn the truths that benefit developers, architects, general contractors, and tenants.
Myth #1: Light-Gauge-Steel Framing is Expensive Flexibility, strength and durability must cost more, right? Not always. In many mid-rise construction projects, light-gauge steel saves money. Using a framing solution like DEEPBLUE SMARTHOUSE LIGHT STEEL FRAMING SYSTEM allows for a smaller installation crew and a shorter installation schedule, in turn lowering costs. So although in some cases upfront costs could be more, significant cost savings will be found throughout the process. Additionally, a light-gauge-steel supplier like DEEPBLUE SMARTHOUSE not only manufactures the product but also cuts project expenses by streamlining the design process with their in-house team.
Myth #2: Light-Gauge Steel Framing is Noisy Noise is the primary complaint about multi-family residential buildings. Think about steel, and you likely envision large, cold structural steel beams that echo and clang together. Light-gauge steel is the opposite of noise. When used properly, light-gauge steel dramatically reduces noise. Take for example DEEPBLUE SMARTHOUSE Joist flooring system. It regularly achieves 60% higher acoustic ratings than precast concrete and over 34% higher acoustic ratings than wood and gypcrete with reduced sound flanking. Neighbors could be amateur rock stars, and it wouldn’t make a difference.
Myth #3: Light-Gauge Steel Framing is Not Load Bearing Light-gauge steel can bear the load of a mid-rise building and even more. In US, some projects reach new heights at 10 storeys of light-gauge steel – that’s also an incredible amount of weight! Like any structure, important load-bearing engineering requires planning, but the limits of this steel are being redefined every year.
Myth #4: Light-Gauge Steel will Rust Galvanized steel provides better rust protection. The reason is that zinc, through its sacrificial galvanic action, can “heal” cuts, scratches and abrasions in the steel. With the rough handling that construction products receive, as well as the cutting, drilling, shearing and fastening of members, the coating gets cut and scraped away. The galvanized coating works better than the enamel at covering areas that are cut or scratched. They’re coated with Alum-zinc that ensures that they will never rust. So even if there is a roof failure and water enters the building, there is no risk of rust, corrosion, or even mold.
Myth #5: Light-Gauge Steel Framing Requires More Work It’s true that light-gauge steel can result in more design work, but that’s only in the best interests of saving time and money in the long run. More time is spent on design so that every component is precisely measured and fabricated prior to the site construction happening. But once construction begins, it is normal for the number of crew members required to be cut in half, since there is no onsite cutting of the structural elements. A small installation crew of eager laborers is all who are needed. In addition to the smaller crew, having each light-gauge steel component produced in advance ensures that there are fewer job site mistakes, delays, and confusion regarding material installation. It’s a smoother, simpler, easier construction process. Myth #6: Light-Gauge Steel Framing Interferes with Mobile Phone Reception We’ve heard this one for at least a decade, and the same myth has been spread regarding WiFi reception and radio signals. Although steel, in general, has the potential to impede signal reception, there is no interference with light-gauge steel since waves can easily diffract around the framing. Myth #7: Light-Gauge Steel Framing is Bad for the Environment The future of construction – and the world we live in – relies on wise use of our precious resources. Steel requires energy to be produced, but it retains that energy, giving it the highest strength to weight ratio. Light-gauge steel doesn’t corrode, rust, decompose or harbor harmful growths. When its use is over after an untold number of years, it is almost 100% recyclable. The Reality is: Cold-Formed Steel Benefits Most Mid-Rise Projects Steel is the future of construction and improves every step of the planning and construction process.