Steel Framing Walls
Light steel framing is extensively used due to its good thermal and structural behaviour. Heat loss reduction and thermal comfort have been the main driving forces defining the design of these frames.
With this form of construction it is important that some insulation is placed inside or outside the steel frame to provide a thermal break and avoid condensation. There are two major construction types:
- Warm frame construction where all the insulation is outside the steel frame. However, this technique does not make use of any possible insulation benefit by not utilising the space between the steel frame studs.
- Hybrid construction, where insulation is included both inside or outside the steel structure and in between the steel components. This method is better for insulation purposed, and becoming increasingly popular both in standard 2-3 storey housing and high rise apartments alike.
Steel frame construction has many of the attributes of timber frame construction:
- Off-side prefabrication delivers a quality engineered product
- Quick erection of the structural frame
- No interruption to progress from wet weather
- Lightweight structure reduced the load on foundations
In addition, steel has a higher strength to weight ratio than timber, enabling more flexibility in design and clear floor spans over 7m. Although steel does not have the sustainability credentials of timber, it is fully recyclable and steel manufactured in the UK usually contains approximately 20% recycled content.
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