Guide To Sustainable Building With SFS
Steel framing systems (SFS) have revolutionised the construction industry in recent years and they have become a staple part of modern construction. This is because SFS offers many benefits and these have caught the attention of the architects, engineers and contractors working on these projects.
One of the key benefits of SFS is that it contributes towards more sustainable construction methods, and as an industry, construction can have a huge impact on the environment and make the world a better place for the next generation.
With that in mind, this will be the key focus of this guide. Below, we’re going to take a look at SFS, the impact it can have on sustainable building and the benefits of using these systems.
Read on to find out more.
What is SFS?
Put simply, steel framing systems (SFS) are structural facade solutions that rely on precision-engineered steel components. They are used primarily to support infill and facade systems, sitting between the primary structural frame. In doing so, these can be used to add insulation, cladding and side-boarding to a building.
A typical steel frame system will be produced from light-gauge rolled galvanised steel and assembled using screwed connections. However, these can also be custom-made to individual lengths depending on the project.
SFS can be used on both low and high-rise projects and as a result, this is becoming more and more popular in the construction industry as an alternative to traditional brickwork. There are lots of reasons for this, one being that they are quick to construct and the other that this is a more cost-effective solution.
Another reason that SFS is growing in popularity is that it provides great support and is very resistant to dampness and water, meaning these systems last longer than the alternatives.
What is sustainable construction?
We’ve briefly touched on sustainable construction in the introduction, but what is it and where does SFS fit in?
Well, sustainable construction is the process of building with renewable or recyclable materials or using resources that have already been recycled. It also encompasses waste management, as those in the industry must be careful to reduce waste production where they can, along with energy consumption.
Another key factor is protecting the land and natural environment around the construction site as much as possible, so the end result should be an environmentally friendly building and environment.
One of the key reasons that steel frame systems fit into this category is that steel is one of the more sustainable construction materials available, but we’ll look at this, along with the other benefits in more detail next.
The benefits of SFS in sustainability
Easy to recycle
One of the reasons that steel is more eco-friendly is because it is one of the most recyclable building materials available. SFS can be recycled and used again at the end of its lifecycle, this reduces the demand for new steel production and better conserves natural resources.
Because steel is durable, it has a much longer lifespan than many other materials. This reduces the need to replace and repair the steel too frequently. Again, this means fewer steel frames need to be produced to keep up with demand.
Increased energy efficiency
The nature of steel frame systems means they can provide a light but strong structure. This allows architects to be more innovative and ensures every inch of space can be used effectively. This, in turn, means they can work to make the building more energy efficient.
Steel is relatively easy to access. Because of this, sourcing steel locally, particularly recycled steel, can reduce the transportation emissions needed to get the SFS to the construction site.
Weighing up the environmental impact
Finally, it’s important to understand that there are some downsides to SFS and its production and this must be considered too.
The production of steel has a high energy consumption and significant carbon emissions. Not only this, but the mining process of the raw materials can be damaging to the environment and surrounding habitats and water supplies.
The good news is, that advances in steel production are massively helping to reduce this impact, as is using recycled steel and ensuring proper waste management and recycling practices throughout construction.
All of this can work to optimise the manufacturing processes and mitigate the environmental impact.
Plus, this is outweighed by the ability to recycle, reuse and produce durable structures which means that SFS is the ideal solution for sustainable construction. As a result, it’s likely to continue growing in popularity.