The Role of the Light Gauge Framing System (LGFS) in Construction of Metal Buildings
As construction evolves, steel has become a popular material of choice. It is often used alongside concrete to create long-lasting and impressive buildings. Its flexibility, versatility, and sustainability are some of the reasons why steel has seen immense growth in popularity as a construction component today.
Steel is known to have a high strength-to-weight ratio, which often makes it a perfect replacement for other unsuitable materials. In this article, we will look into some aspects of steel as a construction component and how you can use light gauge steel framing systems in metal building construction.
Light Gauge Steel Framing System: What Is It?
In the last decade, various systems related to construction have improved significantly. For example, prefabrication and modular construction methods are slowly replacing the conventional method of brick-by-brick building.
Also known as cold-rolled steel or cold-formed steel, light gauge steel framing is a type of cold-formed construction material often used to make products stronger and the construction process smoother. Unlike wood and structural steel, it does not deteriorate or is bulky, respectively.
Furthermore, similar to concrete, it is not heavy. With the help of light gauge steel framing material, this construction method has allowed more versatile construction methods, thereby making it a great choice.
What Are the Components of Light Gauge Steel Frame Structures?
The construction of light gauge steel is almost similar to timber-framed construction in principle. The only difference is that thin sections of steel replace the wooden framing parts. Therefore, the components of light gauge steel frame structures remain the same.
1) Wall Panels (Load-bearing walls and non-load bearing walls)
The wall panels are considered the load-bearing structures of the house; this is because it carries lateral loads created by the win and the vertical loads from the construction above. Typically, these loads can be used in combination or separately. The internal and external walls can also be load-bearing. Some other types of walls include partitions, wall cladding, and non-load-bearing walls.
2) Wall Connections
In most cases, you can fasten steel framing metal building components to the floor structure once all the panels have been aligned and plumbed correctly via the bottom plate. You can utilize welding to assemble the prefabricated panels from the factory. You can also use them on the building site where strong connections are required.
3) Wall Openings
There are two types of wall openings – window frames and external doors. You can use the same frames used in timber-framed construction in steel-framed construction. You can use self-drilling screws to drive through the frame and pack into the steel framing, and you can use the same screws to fasten the window frames (aluminum) to the steel frame openings.
4) Wall Claddings
You may attach reflective foil sarking to the outside flange of the steel studs via self-drilling screws if you need it in the external walls. On the other hand, you may also make use of wafer head screws for this purpose. Finally, you can paint the exterior cladding with a layer of weather-proof base coat, fiberglass mesh, and polystyrene.
5) Flooring Systems
The flooring can consist of C-section joists that you connect with bearers. Depending on the loading parameters, manufacturers can design the floor joists with a variety of C-section sizes. However, a lattice beam flooring is a good choice because it will have a stiffer base and provide better sound insulation between the floors.
6) Roof Systems
In most cases, the steel truss system is the most commonly used via tiles and metal sheets. This roof framing system is screwed directly to the wall frame, and you can use them for all types of roofs like steel, Dutch, tile, gable, and even hip roofing sheets.
Such steel structures are quite lightweight and do not require heavy-duty foundations. Therefore, you can easily construct a building on a shallow or strip foundation for uniform grounds. As for non-uniform bases, the pile foundation is considered a better choice.
Benefits of Light Gauge Steel Frame Structures in Metal Building Construction
Light gauge steel frames are considered great choices for low- and mid-rise metal buildings. However, improvements in technology have proven that you can also use them for higher buildings.
There are a lot of benefits of using these frame structures, which include:
1) Strength & Durability
Even if we talk about normal steel, we know that they have extremely long lifespans and do not require much maintenance. Unlike other materials like timber, steel cannot be affected by weather conditions and pests. Steel is also resilient to rust and rot.
Specialized light gauge steel frames are quite light; however, this does not compromise its high strength factor. The lightweight factor is important because it results in a lighter weight, which means lesser damage probabilities from natural disasters like earthquakes.
As mentioned previously, manufacturers make these steel frames out of high-quality industrial-grade materials. This means that these frames will have consistent straightness, which will aid in structural alignment. Additionally, the frames will not split and warp under any conditions.
Steel is 100% recyclable. While it may take roughly 40-50 trees to frame an average-sized home, you would require steel from only six scrapped cars for the same. Additionally, steel produces less waste on the construction site and prevents air leaks and cracks.
5) Expansion & relocation
Light gauge steel frames are great choices if you want to expand or relocate existing steel structures. You can also add additional floors with it. The flexibility factor is perfect for relocation and expansion in the future.
6) Unequaled design flexibility
Since these frames have a great deal of strength, these frames can span longer lengths. In turn, they have increased design flexibility and offer larger open spaces without any additional load-bearing walls or intermediate columns.
7) Lower construction costs
While you may have to spend a good sum of money upfront for light steel frames, it will lower the project’s overall cost. This also means that the jobs are completed faster, depending on the size of the project.
8) Easy transportation & handling
Since these steel frames are quite lightweight, transportation should not be a problem. Additionally, you can handle them with ease.
9) Quick & easy construction
Steel frames are made based on the prefab models of the buildings. Hence, it does not require a skilled labor force for the construction job. In addition, most steel framing features service and electrical holes pre-punched, thereby reducing the time on-site for electricians and plumbers.
For Any Light Gauge Steel, Get In Touch With Global Carport Today
For the best light gauge steel materials, get in touch with Global Carport immediately. They use only the finest American-made steel in their products, delivering high-quality metal structures that are sure to satisfy your needs.
Global Carport offers rapid turnaround with free, on-time delivery. They offer all of this with a 20-year warranty so that you can be confident in your purchase. Contact one of their qualified and experienced design consultants today at (800) 918-7432 to get started.