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4 Strong Reasons Why Steel Framing is the Best Solution for Tough Times

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article image Steel Framed Building

FrameCAD Solutions  specialises in the supply of light steel frame design, steel frame machines and steel building solutions.  

Given the damage caused to homes on both sides of the Tasman by natural disasters such as bushfires, floods, wild storms and earthquakes, steel framing is increasingly being seen as an effective solution to prevent or reduce the potential risk.

FrameCAD Solutions offers four strong reasons why steel and steel framing are the best solutions for construction as well as re-construction:  

Steel framing is cost-efficient and quick to build

Quick construction is obviously a priority in the wake of a natural disaster. Steel frames are cost-efficient and quick to build because:

  • A steel-framed house can be completed in about one-half to two-thirds the time of a conventional brick and mortar home. A home design can be built in just 22 hours
  • Australian case studies prove that FrameCAD technology can reduce build time by as much as 30%
  • Steel possesses the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any major building material used today
  • Light steel frames are very strong and lightweight, so housing frames require less material (compared to timber)
  • Light steel frame components are easy to transport and use
  • A new compact fabrication machine can produce framing at rates up to 700 metres per hour, achieving capital payback in three months
  • Since all the intelligence is built into the modelling and fabrication phase of the steel frame manufacturing process, unskilled labour can do the assembly 
  • With steel frame building methods, budget accuracy is enhanced and material wastage is less
  • Computer-controlled steel framing production facilitates accuracy of +/- 0.5mm. The framing is 100% square and straight, providing downstream benefits for other trades:
    • Installers of plasterboard, windows, doors and cabinetry spend less time compensating for non-linear framing
    • As steel framing is supplied with electrical and service holes pre-punched, time on site is reduced for plumbers and electricians

Steel frames are durable and safe

  • Steel frame buildings are more resistant to the stress of severe storms and cyclones
  • Superior performance of light gauge steel frame construction in a bush fire (CSIRO)
  • Structural integrity data shows that steel framed homes are safer in earthquake zones
  • Steel frames are galvanised, making it resistant to rain, water and rust
  • Steel frames are safer to construct with less OH&S concerns than installing traditional wood frames with nail guns
  • Steel frames stay straight, unlike timber which can move, warp, twist and shrink during and after construction
  • Reduced ongoing maintenance
  • Steel is termite-proof and does not rot
  • Moisture build-up, which contributes to the formation of mould is almost eliminated due to steel’s inert character and the manner in which steel framed buildings are insulated

Steel frames are environment-friendly


  • Much of the steel used to make light steel framing is recycled
  • When a steel frame building is demolished, the steel can be recycled
  • A typical house can be steel-framed using recycled steel from three or four old cars against approximately one-quarter of an acre of mature trees required for wood framing
  • Steel can be recycled indefinitely without losing any of its qualities

Energy efficiency

  • Steel-framed buildings can be very energy-efficient. The depth of steel beams also provides a wider space for insulation
  • Steel frame buildings do not settle or warp remaining more airtight
  • Design flexibility of steel frame buildings enables architects to focus on energy-efficient housing features

Manufacturing and construction advantages

  • Almost half the world’s steel production now takes place in efficient electric plants that operate exclusively with recycled scrap
  • By-products from steel production are all re-used
  • Steel’s low weight allows smaller foundations and less excavation
  • Debris from a typical wood framed home accounts for 1.4m³ of landfill waste, compared to only 0.1m³ from a steel-framed house
  • Steel doesn’t have to be treated with pesticides, preservatives or glue ensuring that steel frame houses offer indoor air quality benefits both during construction and after

Steel frames promote design flexibility

  • Compared to timber framing, steel framing can span greater distances, allowing greater design flexibility
  • Interior walls can be placed without load-bearing considerations 
  • Any timber frame plan can be easily converted to a steel frame plan using 3D modelling software 
  • Once completed, steel frame homes look just like traditionally-built homes
  • Modifying an existing steel frame building is relatively simple. Interior walls can be moved without a concern for structural support


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