The Benefits of Light Gauge Steel Frame
have the experience and inspiration to use light gauge steel frame (LGSF) to its maximum and existing potential.
The dwindling supply of old growth trees traditionally used in construction coupled with population growth and ever the increasing urbanisation has lead to the need for a new construction material light gauge steel frame is the answer.
There is no limit to supply and it is ideal for residential or light commercial construction.
While being significantly stronger it is five times lighter than wood. This not only makes it easier to work with but means that it does not significantly add to the load on foundations when being used in the construction of mansards or extentions.
This is an example of an additional floor built on a flat roof where it was possible to have a balcony. The lightness of the construction allows the designer the flexibility to introduce terraces and balconies at penthouse level.
Not only is it not vulnerable to any sort of fungi or organism it is also not combustible and totally fire resistant.
A good example of how a small shop/office could be delivered complete, even finished internally!
Light gauge steel frame can even be used to build a staircase!
Light Gauge Steel Frame and its Chameleon qualities
Light gauge steel frame does not even have to look modern and stand out from its more traditionally fabricated surroundings.
Light gauge steel frame can be clad in any material externally in order to seamlessly blend in with its surroundings; brick, tiles, stone, render or timber boarding. The cladding is purely cosmetic and therefore does not need to be relied on for the structural integrity of the building.
A project in Greece, where the local surroundings were not disturbed despite using a highly, modern and efficient construction process. You suddenly begin to realise that this can really be used, virtually anywhere.
Another example of the chameleon qualities of light gauge steel frame, a timber building blending in perfectly (but so much better insulated and stronger) with it’s neighbouring houses; some over one hundred years old, in New Zealand Auckland.
Superior Construction Material
It has the highest strength to weight ratio of any building material; a man can carry a 5m fabricated panel with ease.
Steel is inorganic and so will not rot, warp, crack, or creep and is dimensionally stable, therefore not expanding or contracting with moisture content.
Last but certainly not least in this day and age, particularly in London, it is 100% recyclable!
Benefits to the developer
1. Cutting edge technology:
It is the future, green and very environmentally friendly and there is very little waste (negligible), all steel is cut to fit
2. Higher Strength:
Therefore safer structures and less maintenance.
3. Less pressure on foundations:
More flexible ideal for mansards or extensions etc or that penthouse on a flat roof!
Construction time can be cut down dramatically, everything can be prepared off site like Lego blocks and even pre
drilled for services.
5. Human Error:
Can be dramatically reduced as light gauge steel frame is very easy to assemble – the project discussed earlier
in Doha Qatar, was put together by, on site trained, Nepalese farmers, that were specially flown in.
Costs can be controlled and reduced which is music to the ears of most developers.
Benefits to the Architect
1. Easy to use and flexible;
2. Cutting edge technology;
3. Green and highly energy efficient.
4. But most importantly of all – happy and content clients, the entire event is completed faster and with controlled costs.The construction is free from movement and therefore cracking due to shrinkage. The carbon footprint is very low and the icing on the cake, significantly reduced heating bills due to its very good thermal values and airtight structure.
Two pictures of a test house illustrating the speed with which a typical two storey family dwelling can be constructed; three days to manufacture the steel ‘lego’ sections and five days to install – fantastic!
What are the Negatives of light gauge steel frame?
The only possible disadvantage is the need, for accurate preplanning.
Unlike with timber, on site alterations, on a large scale are difficult.
But we hear you say “Is this a disadvantage or an advantage?”
This necessity leads to a marked reduction in construction time on site and therefore the risk of the following occurring.
The favourite, most common and in fact infamous, bad experience builder story – “over running construction times and spiralling costs.”
If you are an architect who prides themselves on precision, a developer who needs to control costs (is there any other kind?) or simply a client who wants things done on time and for the cost you have been lead to believe, light gauge steel frame is definitely for you!