Steel frame houses suffer from relatively poor insulation and low energy efficiency. This is because steel conducts more heat than wood, which reduces insulating properties by 60% due to the formation of thermal bridges. This can lead to increased energy costs. For more than 100 years, builders and architects have commonly used steel structures, particularly in commercial wall systems.
However, there are three problems with steel frame construction that affect the safety, efficiency and durability of the structures they create. A steel frame house is no more energy efficient than a wooden frame house. Therefore, “the most conductive path in a steel-framed house is the steel itself. In addition, the high amounts of energy needed in steel production have a negative environmental impact.
The steelmaking industry remains one of the biggest pollutants on the planet, and steel mills leave a huge carbon footprint at every step of the steelmaking process. In a coastal environment, the use of steel frames is particularly risky. As steel is a highly corrosive material, the combination of water, wind and sand can adversely affect the steel structure. While damage can be sustained, its negative impact can be managed by being proactive and conducting regular inspections of buildings.
Steel weighs less than wood and a steel frame house takes less time to build than one made of wood. While wooden frames have clear advantages over steel frames, steel also has benefits, some of which may surprise you. Evoke Living Homes steel wall frames and roof trusses are made of BlueScope Truecore galvanized steel that is protected with a coating to prevent rust and corrosion. I have read several construction science articles documenting this problem, and they show pictures of steel studs that have been corroded at the bottom, so that the wall is fastened to the bottom track by the drywall and siding, rather than the studs.
After World War II, a shortage of building materials, such as wood, led to the development of a steel wall frame system in Australia called Econosteel. While it is difficult to light a steel nail with a match, there is widespread agreement that light steel frames work poorly in fires. And this comes from structural steel joists giving way when the temperature of the equipment near the roof approaches the strength that weakens the temperature of steel and reduces its tensile strength low enough that it cannot bear the load on it. Solid Foundations Steel can boast the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any current residential building material.
However, thermal bridging of steel-framed buildings still reduces the effectiveness of cavity insulation by 55 percent. While steel is non-combustible, its strength decreases at high temperatures, such as during a fire, making steel frames susceptible to bending and even collapsing. Also known as “metal frame houses”, steel frame houses tend to allow less movement, as steel structures do not twist, warp, shrink or bend, while wooden structures are more malleable to their environment. In 1968, the first “new era” of steel frame houses was built with 1.2m galvanised steel in Sydney.