Cold-formed steel framing provides multiple benefits over traditional wood framing. While the upfront costs can be higher, cold-formed steel framing generally reduces insurance costs, which can make up for those higher costs in the long run. It’s also easier to install, saving on man-hours, more durable, sustainable, and resilient than traditional wood framing.
Reason #1: Cold-Formed Steel Framing Reduces Your Overall Costs
While the cost of cold-formed steel compared to the wood, pound for pound is far higher, using steel framing actually reduces your overall costs. These cost savings come from lower insurance rates, reduced man-hours, shorter project cycles, and higher accuracy of components. It also can lower the costs during the design phase of the project if you commit to steel framing from the beginning since it provides more structural integrity.
Reason #2: Cold-Formed Steel is Easier to Install
We touched on how steel is easier to install & can help reduce your overall project costs, but it also helps you minimize weather delays and improve quality control. You can assemble steel framing off-site allowing for construction in a controlled environment. This allows your project to progress no matter the weather and provides a more consistent environment to conduct quality control efforts.
Reason #3: Cold-Formed Steel Provides a Higher Level of Durability
When you use cold-formed steel for framing in your construction project, you never need to worry about corrosion, mould, or vermin impacting the integrity of your structure. This can help you reduce maintenance costs with inspections and repairs compared to traditional wood framing. Very few building materials can match the longevity provided by cold-formed steel.
Reason #4: Cold-Formed Steel is a Sustainable Material
Every piece of cold-formed steel contains at least 25% of recycled materials with some products reaching as high as 70% recycled materials. This stems from how easy it is to recycle steel in comparison to wood. With steel, manufacturers can simply melt it down, then reforge it for a new purpose. This method also allows the steel to continuously be recycled after every use with very little degradation of the product. Through these methods, over 65 million tons of steel are recycled each year. So, if you’re trying to meet any green building standards or rating programs, cold-formed steel will help you meet those goals.
Reason #5: Cold-Formed Steel is Highly Resilient
Not only is steel, durable, it’s also an extremely resilient product to a wide range of external factors. It’s completely non-combustible meaning your framing cannot burn down collapsing the entire structure. It can also withstand extreme loads and seismic events, making it the perfect choice for an earthquake or hurricane-prone areas. Cold-formed steel also has an exceptionally high resistance to blast threats and ballistic penetration. This makes it perfect if you plan to perform additional earthwork nearby that requires blasting of heavy stones.
Essentially, cold-formed steel provides you with a stronger building material at a lower cost when compared to traditional wood framing.