9 Ways Cold-Formed Steel Can Save You Money On Total Construction Costs
As the construction industry evolves, innovative materials and practices are constantly introduced to improve building efficiency and cost-effectiveness. This article will explore nine ways cold-formed steel (CFS) can reduce your total construction costs while maintaining quality and structural integrity on your next mid-rise project.
Get to Know Cold-Formed Steel
Cold-Formed Steel is a lightweight material that has become popular in construction. It allows for the quicker erection of structures, and its outstanding strength-to-weight ratio helps satisfy building codes and regulations. But its popularity is also based on another key factor most builders consider in construction projects: saving money!
Lower Framing Material Costs
On construction project after construction project, cold-formed steel framing continues to demonstrate its capacity to deliver cost-effective and eco-friendly advantages for mid-rise buildings. Steel framing created by CFS doesn’t require intensive labor or specialized tools, providing greater project cost control.
In addition, cold-formed steel framing and steel studs, unlike wood, maintain dimensional stability preventing warping, splitting, cracking, or creeping when subjected to stresses and environmental factors.
Using cold-formed steel on mid-rise buildings makes it possible to utilize fewer materials to support identical structural loads. Consequently, steel framing systems can reduce overall construction expenses, promote less waste, and allow buildings to be erected quickly, speeding up your construction schedule.
In short, when evaluating the total cost of construction, cold-formed steel framing provides substantial financial advantages over competing building materials, including hot-rolled steel materials.
Lower Labor Costs
Cold-formed steel framing components are prefabricated off-site and assembled at the job site, reducing labor costs.
By manufacturing steel members off-site, the need for highly skilled (and, therefore, highly paid) labor can be reduced at the construction site. Also reduced is the need for heavy, specialized equipment, and the many men and women operating it can be eliminated, significantly reducing the need for on-site construction labor.
It’s worth repeating cold-formed steel’s high strength-to-weight ratio again, as this particular quality allows it to carry the same structural loads as other materials, especially when establishing load-bearing walls. And yet, because cold-formed steel is lighter and easier to install, fewer workers are required.
CFS Scalability and Adaptability
Another area in which cold-formed steel excels is its exceptional scalability and cost savings for mid-rise construction projects. CFS framing systems can be used for buildings up to 12 stories, with the potential to build even higher with the right engineering, demonstrating the versatility of this material in various types of mid-rise structures.
CFS allows for an efficient assembly process that minimizes disruptions on the job site, expedites scheduling, and ultimately shortens the construction time frame.
But another critical aspect of CFS’s value proposition is its inherent design flexibility. CFS can be used in combination with other materials like concrete or masonry to build mixed-structure mid-rise constructions through a process known as composite design. This combination approach allows architects and engineers to capitalize on each material’s strengths while minimizing weaknesses.
Its adaptability to various building designs and compatibility with other materials contributes to the growing popularity of CFS in contemporary construction practices.
Long-Term Savings and Sustainability
Cold-formed steel is the best material to consider for midrise construction. According to the Steel Framing Industry Association, this is largely due to its sustainability and superior long-term cost-saving potential arising from reduced maintenance requirements. BuildSteel.org highlights the numerous advantages of CFS framing systems, which contribute to their lower maintenance needs than traditional building materials.
Firstly, CFS framing systems are highly resistant to fire, pests, mold, and rot. Wood, by contrast, is vulnerable to termites, moisture damage, and decay over time. Consequently, structures made with CFS framing systems require less frequent repairs and treatments related to these issues.
Secondly, CFS is designed to withstand warping or splitting problems that often plague other materials such as wood.
Furthermore, CFS framing systems are often more durable than traditional materials due to their inherent strength and flexibility. This allows them to better bear the load of a building without any significant degradation over time. As a result, the building’s lifespan is extended, with fewer repairs being necessary along the way.
Using cold-formed steel (CFS) in mid-rise construction projects can significantly lower insurance premiums for builders and property owners. There are numerous reasons for this, including:
1. Fire resistance: CFS framing systems are designed with fire resistance in mind because they are made from non-combustible materials. As a result, these systems can help prevent fire spread within a structure, reducing the likelihood of extensive fire-related damage. This feature can lead insurance companies to offer lower premiums due to the decreased risk of costly fire-related claims.
2. Resistance to pests and rot: One advantage of utilizing CFS framing systems is their inherent resistance to common building hazards such as pests and rot. These issues often lead to structural damage that requires repairs or even reconstruction. Property owners can minimize the risk of these types of damage by constructing with CFS framing systems, leading insurers to offer more favorable premiums.
3. Structural integrity: CFS framing systems provide superb structural stability due to their resistance to warping or splitting. CFS structures maintain their shape and strength over time, even under considerable stress from external forces like high winds or heavy snowfall. As a result, insurance companies may lower premiums since better structural integrity can mitigate the risk of damage caused by extreme weather events.
CFS is not only an environmentally friendly building material, but it also offers substantial savings on energy costs. One primary reason for this eco-friendly characteristic is that CFS framing systems are made from recycled materials. Using these recycled materials lessens the need for mining raw ores, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint.
Moreover, cold-formed steel framing systems can easily be recycled at the end of their useful life, helping to minimize construction waste and lessen the impact on landfills. The inherent recyclability of CFS materials contributes to a sustainable building approach that supports circular economy principles.
In addition to its environmentally friendly aspects, CFS framing systems can be designed to provide thermal insulation, which plays a crucial role in minimizing energy consumption.
By offering superior insulation properties, CFS frames effectively maintain interior temperatures, keeping buildings warm during winter and comfortably cool in summer. This energy efficiency consequently leads to decreased heating and cooling expenses and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Reach Out to The CFS Pros at All Steel Mid-Rise
Cold-formed steel can save you money on total construction costs in many ways. These framing systems are cost-effective and can help reduce labor costs by being easy to install.
In addition, CFS framing systems have a high strength-to-weight ratio, which means they can be used in mid-rise construction projects without adding extra weight to the building. This can help reduce foundation costs and other costs associated with heavier buildings.
CFS framing systems are also resistant to fire, pests, and rot, requiring less maintenance than other materials. This can help reduce long-term maintenance costs and insurance premiums. CFS framing systems are also environmentally friendly and can save money on energy costs by providing thermal insulation.
To learn more about how CFS framing systems can save you money on construction costs, contact our team of experts at All Steel Mid-Rise. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about cold-formed steel framing systems.
How Using Cold-Formed Steel Can Help You Value Engineer Your Next Project
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