Light Steel Frame Construction, Alternative Building

Light Gauge Steel Frame Design and Construction

Do steel frame homes attract lightning? What happens if my home is hit by lightning?

Steel frame homes are no more susceptible to lightning strikes than any other home. In fact, a steel frame home is safer when it comes to lightning strikes. This is due to the fact that there is so much steel in the structure that the energy of the lightning is diffused throughout the steel in the home and the energy has multiple pathways to the ground.

Will steel framing interfere with my radio and television reception?

Steel frame homes will not interfere with any electronic devices performance. This is a commonly held myth that has no justification.

Will anyone be able to tell my home is a steel frame home from looking at it inside or outside?

No. Steel frame homes can be finished on the inside and outside with all of the same finishing materials as a wood frame home. This means the outside of the home can be brick, stucco, vinyl siding, etc. The inside can be plaster, drywall, paneling, etc.

Since steel is a better conductor of heat and cold, will I lose more energy with a steel frame home?

Steel is a good conductor of heat and cold and the process of this transmission is called ‘Thermal Conductivity’. The prevention and reduction of this energy loss is strongly due to the knowledge of your framing crew and steel frame design. The thicker the steel, the greater the transference. The more steel, the greater the transference. Thus, the steel used must be minimized to what is necessary to reduce the loss of energy through it. Within the wall cavity insulation will be used to reduce thermal conductivity even further.

Because of thermal conductivity, will my energy costs be more expensive?

No. If the thermal conductivity is handled adequately as explained above, then the transference of energy will be minute. In fact, with a steel frame home you should save money in energy costs because you can insulate far more of your wall cavity space than in a brick home.

Does the steel frame rust?

No. With light gauge structures the steel is galvanized or ZincAlum and therefore will not rust. Now if one allows the steel to sit uncovered for years in the elements some surface rust might appear. But even this would not be structurally damaging. The point is that there is no problem with rust forming or structural integrity loss due to rust.

Does it take longer to frame a steel frame home?

No. with a good team a 200 m² home can be erected in approximately 4 days using a team of 3.

I have a set of plans from my local architect. Will these work for building a steel frame home?

Probably. In most cases standard plans purchased from an architect, home plan company etc. contain only floor plans and elevations. The plans can be converted to steel frame home plans. When this is completed, you should have not only a floor plan and elevations but also structural details, construction details, material and fastener details, connection details and other necessary structural information included in your plans.

Are steel frame homes cheaper to insure?

Yes. Insurance premiums are generally based on a replacement value, and because steel framed buildings are cheaper to erect, premiums are consequently lower.