August 16, 2010
Cold-formed steel can now be used in load-bearing projects
With recent improvements in load bearing capacities, cold-formed steel (CFS) is being used in new applications. Traditionally CFS is relegated to non-bearing partition and curtain walls due to its light weight, high strength, non-combustible nature, and ease of installation. However, according to the Steel Framing Alliance, CFS is an excellent and cost competitive choice for structural applications on buildings as high as 9 stories.
The increased use of new techniques using steel helps reduce costs of an overall project and makes commercial projects more marketable since steel is inherently a stable, engineered material with consistent properties and attributes. With the use of CFS framing, dollar savings can be significant. Park 4200, a 6-story apartment project built over a 3-story parking garage in Dallas, found CFS to be a cost effective solution. Compared to the cost of an all concrete structure, Park 4200 was able to save $4.20 per square foot. This amounts to over $400,000 for the 99,000 square foot of interior space.
"Over the last decade the use of steel framing in commercial construction has continued to grow. Park 4200 is the perfect example of how steel framing can be used for structural applications on multi-story buildings as high as 9 stories," says Mark Nowak, president of The Steel Framing Alliance. "Our goal is to continue to provide resources to both owners and builders so that they can explore innovative and cost-effective steel framing solutions for their next project."