5 Reasons Cold-Formed Steel Framing is the Preferred Choice for New Construction
Beloit, WI — Our team at Corporate Contractors, Inc. (CCI) is committed to doing everything we can to make each project in our community as environmentally-friendly as possible. In honor of Earth Day, we’d like to take the opportunity to discuss one of the most sustainable strategies that companies across Southeastern Wisconsin are using: cold-formed steel framing.
What is cold-formed steel framing?
According to the Steel Framing Industry Association, “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.”
When compared to wood framing — which can be renewable in many cases — steel framing is even more eco-friendly. Why? Steel is the only building material that can be infinitely recycled, and it is widely recognized as a green building material. Cold-formed steel framing can also earn credits for green building ratings such as LEED and similar programs, and generates far less material waste than traditional wood framing.
Termites, rot, and mold have long been enemies of traditional wooden frames. Because steel is inorganic, it is not susceptible to any of these costly and damaging threats. Also, its protective coating provides enhanced long-term durability. In fact, studies have demonstrated that steel can withstand the elements for hundreds of years without any signs of deterioration.
Thanks to its consistent chemistry, steel behaves in a highly predictable manner. This is especially valuable when buildings are subjected to the structural loads and stresses imposed by high wind and seismic forces. Steel also cannot absorb moisture, which eliminates the risk of expansion, cracks, warps, and other defects in both internal and external finishes.
One of the biggest risks of wood framing is flammability. Cold-formed steel does not burn, and will not contribute to the spread or intensity of a fire. Because of this, cold-formed steel projects can easily be designed to meet fire code rating requirements.
Non-combustible structures (like those built with cold-formed steel framing) have a better loss history than combustible wood framing. This often translates into lower costs, and broader coverages for many types of construction insurance.
On top of these unparalleled advantages, panelized cold-formed steel construction methods produce shorter construction cycles. This allows builders to complete construction projects several months quicker when compared to other framing materials.
Two cold-formed steel projects that we’ve completed in the area include the Holiday Inn (Beloit) and the Wright and Wagner Lofts. Both owners opted to use a cold-formed steel panelized flooring and wall system.
If you are considering the use of cold-formed steel framing for your upcoming construction project, reach out to our experienced team at CCI for more info.