Light Gauge Steel Frame Load Bearing Systems
Light gauge steel construction offers many of the same benefits as fast-track construction methods and the same ease of handling. LGSF is also a highly sustainable method of construction. The raw materials are all optimized to provide an efficient building, and the lightness of the completed structure means that less extensive foundations are needed, thus saving on materials required for the support structure. Fewer vehicles to site delivering concrete and steel used to form the foundations
Light gauge steel load bearing wall framing is used in construction to partially or completely replace more traditional forms of construction and in modular construction. It is used to support floor loads or loads from walls above, and to resist against lateral wind loads. Steel-framed buildings are braced for maximum stability. Load bearing wall and frame structure uses vertical C sections, so both internal and external walls can be load bearing.
Wall panels in buildings made with light gauge steel frames are generally pre-fabricated in storey-high units or they can be assembled from C sections that are delivered to the site already cut to length, although this is not as common.
There are lots of advantages to load bearing walls, including the durability of the finished structure, the lightweight materials used, and the speed at which they can be put up.
Brick and Block
One of the most common traditional construction methods is brick and block. Brick and block is an outer skin of brick, a block inner skin, and a cavity in between that is filled with insulation. The two walls are connected together with ties. The whole thing is supported on concrete foundations. In this type of construction the load bearing, internal walls are also made with blocks.
Above the first floor, timber floor joints or a pre-cast concrete floor are put in before work continues to the roof.
There are some variations to this system where cut stone is used instead or building blocks are used with cladding.
Why Use Light Gauge Steel Frame Load Bearing Systems?
Steel frame constructions offer many advantages over the traditional brick and block constructions.
Strength and Durability
Light gauge steel is lighter and stronger than wood or concrete. This makes a steel frame construction much stronger, and much more durable than traditional alternatives.
Easy Fabrication in Different Sizes
Steel studs come in a variety of different sizes, all of which can be fabricated to order. This variety means that the studs can be easily customised in order to be able to bear a specific load in any kind of building.
Steel is very resistant to fire – it does not burn or support combustion, so the finished building will be a much lower fire risk. In the unlikely event of a fire, the spread would be much slower in a steel frame construction. Special flame retardant coatings can be used to increase this property too as well as utilising building boards (internal and external) of a non-combustible or limited combustible nature.
Pest and Insect Resistant
LGSF load bearing won’t be affected by burrowing insects or mammals, which can be a big problem for buildings using a wooden framework.
Moisture and Weather Resistance
Steel is resistant to moisture, depending on its carbon content. To reduce the likelihood of rusting, a zinc coating is used, making the steel even more immune to the negative effects of water. This is important to think about for any components exposed to the elements. There are even enhanced levels of zinc coating for use in areas that are considered to be vulnerable to contact with moisture.
Enhance Your Construction Projects with Frameclad’s LGSF Load Bearing Solution
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