Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Steel Framed: Construction of Wall

Although steel is traditionally associated with large commercial and industrial buildings, light gauge steel (cold-formed steel section) are being used in house construction. The sections of steel are used in a similar way to timber. The rolled steel sections can be assembled using either sticks, panel or balloon construction. When using stick construction the individual members are delivered to site pre-cut, pre-punched for holes to be cut or self-tapping screws to be used. Advantages of stick-build construction are:

  • Slight modifications on site can be accommodated
  • Adjustments can be made so that site tolerances can be achieved.
  • The structural members can be packed and transported in small tightly packed loads.

Stick build construction is labor intensive and is not therefore widely used.
The panel construction has the advantages that the wall subframes, panels, floors, and roof trusses are prefabricated and delivered to site ready assembled. The subframes and panels are connected on the site using bolts or self-tapping screws. The main advantages of panel construction are:

  • Large prefabricated sections- saving labor time
  • Speed of erection
  • Good quality control achieved in factory production.
  • Accuracy of the components and panels and make them easy to assemble on site.

In balloon construction the panels are much larger, floor to the roof, but the components are much the same as panel frame construction. Because the steel frame is a good conductor of heat it is important that the insulation is not placed between the metal frame, but is applied to the inside of the cavity.

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