Why Cold Formed Steel is the Best Choice to Use for Prefabrication
Cold formed steel (CFS) is a material that is rapidly gaining popularity. It has several advantages over traditional construction techniques involving hot-formed steel and hot-rolled steel. Many of the firms and contractors in the construction industry are using cold formed steel, or CFS, as part of their prefabrication process will be able to reap rewards including cost savings, increased efficiency and expediency, heightened productivity, shorter construction time, lower environmental impact, and reduced risk.
But what is cold formed steel and how can it transform your prefabrication processes? In this blog, we’ll explore the fundamentals of cold formed steel and why CFS is an important part of the process of prefabrication.
What is cold formed steel construction?
Cold formed steel (CFS) is the term used for steel products that have been manufactured using cold working processes. This usually involves rolling and shaping steel at close to room temperature, as opposed to other common methods that require high levels of heat. These techniques have been standard in the construction industry since the mid-twentieth century, and their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years.
Prefabricated construction of cold formed steel involves taking these cold-rolled members and assembling them off-site in a controlled environment into sections such as wall panels, then transporting them to construction sites. Skilled workers experienced in CFS will erect these panels into the appropriate framing structures and put them in their place. This off-site fabrication stands in opposition to alternative methods in the construction market, where traditional buildings are constructed piece by piece (or stick framed) on site.
Cold formed steel framing can be used in almost any building, from offices, to multi-use apartments with retail stores in the lower levels, and even for residential homes. The pre-engineered material is incredibly lightweight and easy to install, while also being extremely strong and non-combustible. These properties combined with the lower cost and greater efficiency of production mean CFS is the material of choice for developers who wish to maximize their return on investment.
What are the benefits of cold formed steel for prefabricated construction?
There are so many factors that give cold formed steel a huge advantage when it comes to the construction of a prefabricated building. Some of these benefits include:
Building with prefabricated cold formed steel reduces the amount of activity that takes place on the construction site. Although there are safety regulations and procedures in place, accidents do occur over the course of many projects, but prefabrication lowers the risk to construction teams.
Assembly of CFS is easy, which reduces injuries and other disruptions that can occur onsite. Overall management of the construction project is easier and increases the likelihood of success.
CFS framing can significantly increase productivity. One of the main benefits of using cold formed steel as part of the construction process is that, when partnered with prefabrication, it dramatically shortens a project’s schedule. The prefabricated wall panels are shipped to the jobsite on a flatbed trailer, ready to be picked and set right from the truck, with no on-site modifications required.
This means projects will be completed much faster compared to stick framed construction, saving all parties valuable time and money. Both construction contractors and management can be more efficient and productive throughout the entire process.
Versatility, Flexibility, and Sustainability
The prefabricated construction of cold formed steel components generally occurs with the aid of computer engineering, well before building begins on the job site. The prefabricated elements are measured and cut with complete precision before they are assembled, leaving no room for error.
This allows for an almost endless array of possibilities when it comes to design, making it one of the most versatile and flexible processes in construction technology. By designing the prefabricated portions of a building ahead of time, and with the proper coordination, the need for last minute design changes is gone, unlike with a stick framed structure, where each piece is individually cut and installed on site.
Also, cold formed steel is environmentally sustainable with each piece containing no less than 25% recycled materials. All CFS is 100% recyclable which makes it better for the environment than some other materials. CFS uses less energy to make, and it can be recycled more easily. That means it’s good for the planet.
Cold formed steel prefabrication allows for an incredibly high degree of accuracy and precision within a project. It relies on state-of-the-art computer software and information modeling that allow the steel components to be created to exact specifications depending on the parameters of the project. The prefabricated structures are subject to stringent quality control, saving time and resulting in improved quality.
All risk of error is completely eliminated from the outset, allowing developers to avoid costly mistakes and minimize the amount of construction waste produced.
All of the benefits listed above contribute to the cost effectiveness of CFS in prefabrication and its superiority over alternative construction methods. Such factors mean developers can reduce the total cost of the entire construction project.
A project that is more expedient means contractors complete work faster and vacate job sites sooner. This lowers labor costs, transportation costs, as well as the expense involved in purchasing raw materials and other components. This necessitates a far smaller budget, while the shorter cycle also reduces the likelihood of costly errors and obstacles holding up the process.
Additionally, manufacturing the prefabricated materials offsite reduces both the costs of onsite construction and labor, as well as and the quantity of waste produced.
Find out how CFS prefabricated steel can help your project
In conclusion, CFS prefabrication techniques are cheaper, quicker, stronger, and lead to shorter construction times. If you would like to learn more about cold formed steel engineering and how it can aid prefabrication and construction, we can help.
Get in touch now with All Steel Mid-Rise for information on the cold formed steel solutions we provide for developers and contractors.
How Using Cold-Formed Steel Can Help You Value Engineer Your Next Project
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