Light gauge steel frame is a fundamentally important material to offsite construction. Light steel framing is used in offsite construction for a wide range of building types and applications, from hotels to hospitals and housing to commercial offices. Light steel framing may be utilised in the form of panelised or volumetric systems and is typically used for the primary structure of housing and low-to-medium-rise buildings of two to four storeys.
Light gauge steel framing can be used for a building’s full frame but also for a variety of roofing, modular options and infill walling applications. Steel framing systems can be load bearing, provide infill-walling or/and continuous walling. Structural panels assembled from cold-formed galvanised steel sections can be used in a wide range of building types and in hybrid situations with timber and other materials.
Light steel framing and modular construction are load-bearing systems that are suitable for low, medium and high-rise buildings and also in building renovation such as in rooftop extensions. The use of these forms of construction is closely related to the wider benefits that are offered to the developer and the main contractor. Multi-storey buildings up to 10+ storeys high, and mixed-use buildings comprising commercial space or car parking at the lower levels with residential units above are all achievable in light steel framing.
High levels of thermal insulation and airtightness are achieved in light steel frame and the light weight of this system means that self-weight can be reduced by over 70% relative to concrete and block-work construction, with related savings for foundation loads and sizes. Steel components can be further pre-assembled or fabricated into modules either offsite or at low level, which reduces the need for working at height, and steel can be delivered to site as and when it is required, reducing the need for onsite storage.