The use of cold-formed galvanized steel products in the construction of small and medium-sized residential buildings (housing) is now considered a consolidated phenomenon all over the world, and in recent years it has been increasing considerably especially in Europe, thanks also to normative interventions that have affected both the aspects related to the structural quality (seismic-resistant buildings) as well as aspects related to the living comfort and energy savings (eco-sustainable buildings that save energy), but also thanks to the increasing demand for more comfortable housing and the consolidation of a culture that aims at respect for the environment and energy savings.
Anti-seismic action comparison: Cold-Formed steel framing and reinforced concrete
A unique feature of the construction system of cold-formed steel is its lightness, followed by a comparison via a dynamic modal analysis for the same construction realized with reinforced concrete structures and cold-formed steel structures. It is apparent that, with the same degree of seismic acceleration, horizontal forces are exerted about three times higher on the construction realized with reinforced concrete structures.
With the exception of foundations, the construction of buildings with structures based on the use of cold-formed membranes takes place when they are dry. This allows for the overcoming of limitations associated with the use of mortars and conglomerates (length of time of the maturity of castings, dependence on environmental conditions), reducing construction times and reducing the environmental impact. In addition, internal walls of constructions realized dry can have wall units, paintings and any other element hung with sealing results that are superior to brick walls, in that fiberglass panels are used together with special dowels that can resist loads above 300 kg.
Flexibility in the installation of technological installations
Cold-formed profiles can be easily pre-drilled in order to facilitate the realization of the installations of systems that are installed inside the wall gaps that are created between metal structures and coatings. The subsequent dry padding allows for the easy and timely maintenance of the systems, allowing the end user to intervene without all the problems that would emerge with the traditional building constructions.
The profiles are generally cold formed beginning with hot galvanized steel sheets in order to provide the necessary protection against corrosion. This, together with the dimensional stability of these elements and their resistance to attacks by biological organisms, such as fungi, insects, and termites, allow for a high degree of durability.
In particular, this latter aspect partly explains the increase in the distribution of steel carrier frame housing as a valid alternative to the more traditional wooden and reinforced concrete constructions, where the issue of the maintenance of these kinds of structures is most often dealt with.