This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS The Positives of Cold-Formed Steel Framing

Cold-formed steel framing presents designers and contractors with some signifi cant advantages

For the average person, cold-formed steel framing (CFSF) is hardly anything to get excited about. As with most structural prod- ucts, the thought process of the everyday man is sort of “out of sight, out of mind.” Once the frame is covered up, it tends to be forgotten. However, for those of us in the cold-formed industry, CFSF (especially pre-fabricated cold-formed panels and trusses) can be pretty exciting! The tradition-bound world of construction has

always been slow to embrace new technologies. Adoption rates for new products can be measured in decades. Such is the case with cold-formed framing; a product that has taken quite some time to evolve into an everyday material in non- residential construction. However, when compared with other load-bearing materials framing materi- als, such as structural steel, concrete and CMU, cold-formed steel framing presents designers and contractors with some signifi cant advantages. CFSF offers as a tremendous strength-to-

weight ratio, resulting in strong, but light struc- tures. This is especially valuable where existing soil conditions might limit the height/weight of building constructed with traditional materials. CFSF is ideal for low/mid-rise structures requiring non-combustible construction. Cold-

formed load-bearing walls and roof systems are often designed for structures of two to six stories where Type I or II construction is required due to building height, occupancy or end-use. The wide range available of sizes and mil thicknesses of metal framing products offers engineers fl exibility in selecting the proper material. Cold-formed walls can either be “stick framed” or pre-fabricated. Another effi cient means of incorporating CFS

is pre-fabricated components. Factory-built CFS components, such as wall panels and roof trusses, offer numerous advantages.

Speed. With wall panels, each level of a structure can be framed out in the matter of a day or two, versus a week or more with conventional framing. Panelizers can pre-install sheathing, bracing and even doors and windows, further reducing “dry- in” time. The same is true with pre-fabricated roof trusses, which are much faster and safer to install than “stick framing.” The bottom line is: pre- fabricated components are the fastest and most effi cient way to build a building.

Beat the elements. Delays due to inclement weather are much less of an issue with pre- fabricated components. Rain or shine, hot or cold,

climate-controlled fabrication facilities can continue to produce panels and trusses.

Technology. Leading CFS component manufactur- ers (CM) utilize highly sophisticated software tools to model, engineer and fabricate customized framing solutions for literally any construction challenge.

Inspired design. The aforementioned design software utilized by most CMs affords a breath- taking level of design fl exibility, especially in roof systems. Intricate, geometrically complex roof lines can be effi ciently and accurately modeled, with precise engineering of the underlying fram- ing elements (trusses) literally at the fi ngertips of experienced truss designers.

Quality control (QC). The controlled environ- ment of a factory allows for the implementation of rigorous quality control procedures. Many cold- formed CMs utilize sophisticated laser projection systems to help set precise jigging templates. Auto- mated cutting equipment ensures accurate dimen- sioning. All reputable CMs will have established QC programs, and many submit to third-party inspection programs for an added level of compliance. Cold-formed steel framing also offers green

benefi ts to developers and occupants alike. According to the Steel Recycling Institute, the recycled content of CFS can range from 30 to 70 percent or more. As such, the use of cold-formed steel can assist in achieving points under U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program. Cold-formed steel framing, and especially pre-

fabricated cold-formed components, clearly deliver signifi cant benefi ts to the entire building team. As with any successful construction project though, the key to tapping into the potential of CFSF is clear, concise and timely communication between all constituents—owners, architects, engineers, gen- eral contractors, framing contractors, component manufacturers and material suppliers. With proper coordination, the results can be spectacular.

Tom Valvo is group president at MiTek Industries and Aegis Metal Framing, both based in Chesterfi eld, Mo. For more information, visit and

By Tom Valvo

The cold-formed steel walls and roof trusses shown on this university housing provide strong structural support. (Photo courtesy of Dave Boyd)

Photography: Mark Kempf, St. Louis 44 METAL CONSTRUCTION NEWS May 2013

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76