Many factors come into play when choosing how to frame your next construction project, whether big or small, simple or complex. Metal or steel framing, particularly when looking at custom-engineered systems, offers many advantages to the builder, ranging from affordability, sustainability, durability, performance and expediency of construction right down to the versatility to suit just about any and all needs.
Cost savings and the bottom line
Steel pricing is cost-competitive when compared to conventional building materials, but that’s just one factor. Beyond just initial dollar savings, choosing metal framing allows for reduced labor costs and expedited construction times. In fact, a host of cost-saving benefits make metal one of the most affordable building products available.
For one thing, as a highly recyclable material, there will be less construction waste to be carted off to a landfill. Additionally, the durability and low maintenance requirements of metal—key features of metal framing—mean that maintenance and replacement costs will be at a minimum, equating to huge dollar savings across a building’s life cycle. And, while metal framing may rust in certain conditions, available finishes can mitigate that concern. Also, since steel isn’t prone to shrinking, warping, splitting or mold the way other materials are, product consistency is much more likely overall.
Weather and wind resistance as well as pest and decay resistance are other great benefits, which often can result in lower insurance premiums and, obviously, support low maintenance and repair requirements. This is true, too, for its fire-resistant properties. Further, because steel is non-combustible, it is possible to increase occupancy in multifamily and commercial structures, which can lead to a better return for owners.
Finally, since metal framing can be installed on a faster timeline than other materials, the expedited schedule not only saves on labor costs, but, for commercial properties, revenue can start being collected that much faster.
Durability and ease/speed of construction
With new technological advances, metal framing is getting stronger while at the same time it is becoming lighter in weight, making construction that much easier. Not only are you getting the benefit of a highly durable framework, but the lighter weight means less labor is required, shipping needs (and costs) are reduced, and the building design can be simplified, not to mention the faster construction timeframes noted above. With the added benefit of a custom-engineered metal framing system, all the parts are specially designed to spec in the manufacturing plant, ready to ship and be erected on site. All the pieces are pre-measured, pre-cut, and ready to assemble.
Building construction speed is a big benefit of using a custom-engineered Star metal building, as far as getting a building erected and getting other construction trades into the building as quickly as possible. With a Star metal building, the structure will be dried and weather-proofed very quickly, allowing other construction trades, such as electrical, HVAC, plumbing, interior finishes, etc. the access they need so that the project can get done as fast as possible for end-user occupancy.
Recyclable and eco-friendly
Steel is an immensely recyclable material. At the end of a project life cycle, it can be recycled and made into other steel products. With Star products, the steel we’re providing you is most likely made from recycled steel in the first place.
Aside from steel’s inherent recyclability, it is also eco-friendly in that it does not emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and as previously mentioned, scrap is reduced, lowering disposal costs.
If you compare metal framing—specifically custom-engineered metal framing like we do at Star—to wood or concrete, you have the strength you’d get from conventional construction, but you would typically use more wood or concrete.
A Star building comes with several insulation options allowing our customers to meet the ever-changing energy codes, limit environmental impact, and save on energy costs over the life of the building. Products offered range from fiberglass metal building insulation, high R-value liner systems, rigid insulation, and insulated metal panels capable of achieving an R-value as high as 49.
Versatility and flexibility
One of the biggest advantages of using a custom-engineered metal framing system, particularly in commercial or industrial spaces, is its versatility when it comes to design. Especially for a space free of columns, such as warehouses, storage facilities, airplane hangars, and agricultural buildings, a custom engineered metal framing system makes for a great fit.
How Can Star Help?
Star Building Systems’ unique custom-engineered building systems allow builders to take advantage of all metal building frame benefits and more. Star provides the whole package. Choosing a custom-engineered metal framework from a reputable, experienced source like Star Building Systems means that the pre-fabrication process is in the hands of trained experts. With that guarantee of the highest quality and attention to detail before the metal frame and components ever hit the jobsite, there is a greatly reduced chance of needing to re-measure, re-cut and re-install once the job has started.
Even if a project doesn’t start out as a Star building, our team of experts can get involved and value engineer a project where we can provide what the customer wants at a more economical price or within a faster timeframe. Star also prides itself on educating customers on the products that they are purchasing, allowing customers to make the most informed decision on where they put their money.
Additionally, Star metal framing mixes well with other wall construction materials, like concrete, concrete masonry units (CMU), wood or metal studs, brick veneer, stucco, and glass. This allows Star to leverage the advantages of metal framing at the same time as supporting visually pleasing materials. For example, below is a functional metal building (Image 1a) without any additional exterior material. Also shown are two metal buildings that incorporated supplemental construction material on the exterior in order to meet a specific design aesthetic for the business.
When you combine a high-quality metal framework with trained installers and a reputable manufacturer, the end result is a versatile, durable and well-designed building that can suit virtually any need.