What is panelization?
Panelization is the prefabrication of wall, floor and roof sections which are then shipped to the construction job site to be assembled in less time compared to traditional construction methods. By utilizing panelized building systems, owners, developers, and their construction teams all benefit from the quality materials produced in a controlled work environment. Additional benefits include flexibility in design, cost savings, reduced on-site labor, and lower maintenance.
Light Gauge Steel Framing Solutions
Light gauge steel framing, also known as cold-formed steel, is an ideal solution for the quality construction of a structure’s exterior shell. These light gauge framing members are structurally sound and provide an alternative solution to typical block and plank construction. Load bearing walls, flooring systems, and roof assemblies are panelized to allow for a quality exterior shell to be completed quickly and safely, while still generating cost savings. This method of framing is ideal for 4-12 story buildings.
Prefabricated Off-Site, Safely Delivered On-Site
Panelized light gauge steel framing systems are prefabricated off-site. Prefabrication of the system components off-site, in a controlled environment allows for increased quality control and organization. As panels are manufactured, they are closely monitored for quality and labeled to be shipped in order of on-site installation schedule.
Panels arrive on the job site "just-in-time", and each shipment includes the flooring system components. There is a significant reduction in the size of the lay-down area required on the job site. The on-site area where the wall panel trucks can pull-in, turn around and drop off the trailer only requires a 20’x30’ space because the only materials staged are the decking and joists of the flooring system.
The moment the panel trucks arrive on site, a crane offloads the panels in sequence (all panels are loaded off-site onto the trailer in sequence) and sets the panels directly into their place on the structure. The unloaded truck then departs, and a fresh truck immediately assumes the unloading position, allowing for continuous wall panel construction without the need for extensive material storage space. The construction site requires a crane exclusive to the installer for the entire project duration.
- Save Time, Save Money: Crews of 8 erect an average of 6,000 SF per week, allowing other trades to begin work sooner. Expedited building completion reduces financing costs and allows for quicker building occupancy to begin generating revenue. Additionally, builder's risk and property insurance cost savings are often greater than, or equal to, $4/SF less over 10 years for steel relative to wood.
- High Structural Integrity: Cold-formed steel does not rot, mold, or mildew and is non-combustible. Steel does not expand or contract with moisture changes. Steel is also non-combustible nature, thereby helping to reduce the effects of natural disasters. Ultimately, the long-lasting structural integrity of the building increases resale value.
- Flexibility in Design: The framing, flooring, and roof assembly systems are based on the architectural intent of the project, and are typically built for structures between 4-12 stories.
- Reduced On-Site Manpower: Less manpower is required on the job site due to the fact that panels are prefabricated in the panel shop, opposed to on the job site. When the panels arrive on site, only 4 skilled tradespeople are needed to set the panels in place. A second crew is responsible for setting the floor joists and decking.
- Lightweight: Light gauge steel framing is 50% lighter than standard framing. The weight of the building members is reduced, thereby reducing the footprint of the building foundation. Despite being lightweight, the strength-to-weight ratios of steel framing far exceed those of wood or concrete. Furthermore, the reduction in structural load significantly lowers foundation & labor costs.
- Sustainability: Endlessly recyclable content and low to no waste make cold-formed steel framing ideal for sustainable construction; ultimately providing LEED credits. The prefabrication process produces less waste, requires less manpower, and eliminates standard equipment needs.
- Low Maintenance: Increased durability generates significant maintenance cost savings throughout the building's lifecycle. There also is no risk of termite damage or dry rot as with standard wood framing.
Panelization is the ideal solution for the owner, developer, or contractor involved in a mid-rise construction project. Construction techniques and advanced technology combine to successfully and safely complete a project in expedited time. To see how other projects have benefitted from the use of cold-formed steel framing, view our portfolio for detailed case studies.
About All Steel Mid-Rise: All Steel Mid-Rise is an industry leader in innovative wall and floor framing system technology. Offering expert guidance in CFS building frame construction, All Steel separates itself from the typical manufacturer. Expert management along with Design Build & Design Supply make All Steel the ideal partner working towards the successful completion of your project. The All Steel team of professionals have over 40 years of light gauge steel framing experience and are happy to assist with satisfying the client’s individual needs while maintaining the industry building code standards and safety. View the All Steel product’s page to learn how cold-formed steel can be integrated into your next project.