Cold formed steel is a construction industry staple and has been for over a century. Generally speaking, steel is a highly durable material, but when it’s formed using the cold form process, it becomes even stronger.
Hence the reason why it’s commonly used.
Strength aside, there are several other benefits to using the material, specifically when it comes to cold formed steel buildings. In this article, we’re going to talk about the top five benefits of cold formed steel buildings and more.
Cold Formed Steel Building Materials Explained
To better understand the benefits of cold formed steel buildings and even sports arenas, you’ll need to learn about cold formed steel first.
Cold formed steel (CFS for short) is made from structural quality steel sheets. These sheets are formed into specific shapes depending on what they’re being used for by roll-forming the steel through a series of dies. The dies are essentially large cylindrical rolls grouped together,
Unlike hot rolled steel, cold rolled steel does not require heating to process, which is why it’s referred to as “cold formed”. However, it should be noted that the actual manufacturing process of both hot and cold rolled steel requires heat — it’s just that the rest of the processing does not. The steel is essentially allowed to cool to room temperature after being manufactured before the roll forming begins.
There are a variety of steel thicknesses that can be processed to meet a wide range of structural and non-structural applications. The most important things to know about cold formed steel, however, are:
- It’s strong and durable
- It doesn’t shrink or split
- It won’t absorb moisture
- It’s resistant to warping, pests, and fire
- It’s consistent in quality, which translates to less scrap waste
- It’s highly recyclable
- Its physical properties allow it to be used in a wide range of environments
- It doesn’t emit volatile organic compounds and is considered a sustainable building material
- While it cost more to acquire due to the manufacturing process, it reduces project costs in other areas, such as construction insurance
Cold formed steel is one of the best materials you can work with regarding commercial construction projects and more.
The 6 Benefits of Cold Formed Steel Buildings
Now let’s take a look at the top five advantages to cold formed steel buildings:
1.It’s More Cost Effective
Money is always a primary factor in choosing building materials, especially when you have a strict budget to work within. However, cold formed steel is one of the most cost effective materials you can get your hands on as it offers savings via:
- Lower labor costs
- Lower material costs
- Easy scalability
Many contractors choose cold formed steel because it lowers their overall costs to build and many well-informed stakeholders opt for cold formed steel in their building projects because it offers long-term savings in terms of maintenance.
Here’s a more detailed look at how CFS lowers costs:
- It has a high strength-to-weight ratio, meaning less material is needed
- Its panelization minimizes on-site construction costs in terms of storage and space
- It can be manufactured quickly, which means building can start right away
- It’s highly rated for weather and fire safety, which equates to lower insurance premiums
- It’s associated with fewer site safety costs, such as inspections and security
- It’s more durable than most materials, which means less long-term maintenance is required
2. It’s Incredibly Durable
Second to money, CFS is incredibly durable — and durability is another essential factor in choosing the right building materials.
Steel by itself is well known for its strength, but a cold formed steel building is particularly strong due to the manufacturing process of the CFS. By not using heat to form the material, it becomes fortified and, therefore, almost 100% resistant to environmental factors like:
- Pest infestations
- Moisture and water damage
- Extreme temperatures, especially heat
- High winds
- Severe weather events
Because of its durability, cold formed steel buildings require less maintenance over time than your typical building would need due to exposure to the elements.
3. It’s the Most Sustainable Choice
Steel itself is 100% recyclable. More often than not, CFS panelings used for new construction projects are made from recycled steel.
What’s more, when a building made from CFS materials is renovated or demolished, the steel components are usually recycled. Therefore, if you want to score LEED certification points or support sustainability in your industry and community, cold formed steel is the most logical material choice to achieve those things.
4. It’s the Safest Building Material
The average person doesn’t really think about how building materials contribute to safety or lack thereof.
For example, untreated wood paneling and timber are popular building materials — but they’re also highly combustible. This means if a fire occurs, your commercial property or home can quickly become a tinderbox.
CFS, on the other hand, is fire-resistant. While the other components of a home or building may catch fire, CFS does not, which can significantly slow the spread of flames and their impact.
This non-combustible feature of CFS also means:
- Buildings are safer for business and living
- In the event of a fire, the building will remain structurally safe
- The overall building will cost less to insure
Fire isn’t the only hazard that cold formed steel buildings can stand up to either. Extreme weather events like hurricanes, blizzards, and even some tornadoes can be withstood by CFS materials.
5. It’s Very Easy to Install
Lastly, cold formed steel buildings are easy to install. Not only is it easy to install, but it’s also versatile due to the panelization of the CFS. This means it can be installed during any time of the year as it doesn’t require a whole lot of time.
It also means:
- Fewer labor hours
- Less labor-related costs
- Less time spent waiting for your cold formed steel building to be constructed
Work With a Pro
If you’re interested in constructing cold formed steel buildings, APX Construction can help you get started. We can handle everything from the pre-planning phase to the final touches. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services.