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Case Study: Building to a Higher Standard with Lockington Homes and iSPAN Systems

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An award-winning ICF builder in Southwestern Ontario is using an innovative steel flooring system to construct superior custom homes.

Having worked in construction his whole life, yet not even 40 years old, Ben Lockington has quickly become a highly respected and experienced builder, having taken over from what his father launched in 1990. 

“We build custom residential projects, and build them the best way possible,” says Ben Lockington. “We started with ICF back in 1998 because it just made sense. Faster construction, better energy conservation, and more durable too.”

Always with a focus on improving custom home construction and efficiency, Lockington Homes discovered iSPAN Systems’ lightweight steel framing in 2012, as they needed to address a growing need for in-floor heating on second floors of ICF homes. The in-floor heating required a concrete and steel support system, and iSPAN met their needs. Today, after years experiencing the benefits of iSPAN, Lockington Homes builds at least one custom home each year using iSPAN’s signature Composite TotalJoist flooring system.

iSPAN caught up with Lockington at the site of a new three-storey residential and commercial building in Strathroy, Ontario. Maximizing every square inch of space on this small property was essential. And only with light-gauge steel was the total ‘maximization’ possible.

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Using wood joists would have been impossible since they could not carry the concrete load required for in-floor heating, and the massive 30-foot spans on the first storey would only be possible with the 16” light-gauge-steel joists.

“The architect really took advantage of the ability to have longer spans,” says Lockington. “This created a much more open floor space. The joists also have access holes for utilities, resulting in very few bulkheads.” 

Installing the Lightweight Steel Floor 

Lockington’s crew has had a few Composite TotalJoist installations under their belt, so this three-storey project was going really well, from the moment the first delivery of product arrived.

“We didn’t have a lot of room to begin with, so we were fortunate that the joists arrived prefabricated and ready to install,” he explained. “We used our boom truck to lift the joist bundles. Once they were set on the ICF walls we were able to manhandle them into position. They were very easy to move, without need for much scaffolding.”

Each of the cold-formed steel joists are top mounted; There is no ledge system like a typical system. Once the joists were screwed into place, the crew laid the Total-Lewis decking, which only required minimal cutting, and the little amount of excess was recycled. 

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According to Lockington, screwing the decking down took a majority of the time, since each screw needed to be 7” apart, but special equipment helped to ease the process. 

“It only took us about a week and a half to do the joists, decking and in-floor heating before we were ready for concrete,” explains Lockington. “That’s for a 5,000-square-foot footprint, so we were going at a great pace.”

Long-Term Benefits of Composite TotalJoist With ICF

Although iSPAN’s Composite TotalJoist light-gauge steel system assists construction crews in a number of ways, many other benefits reveal themselves long after the concrete cures. 

The concrete layer provides the required fire separation between floors, reduces the noise penetration between floors and uses the concrete’s thermal mass properties to radiate heat into the space above. Composite TotalJoist also has superior vibration control, so each step that a resident takes will feel great.

The Future

“We believe in the product and how it benefits future homeowners. We work on at least one iSPAN project every year, and we hope to do more in the future as the need for longer spans and in-floor heating increases,” Lockington says. Because of its dedication to construction excellence, Lockington Homes was awarded a prestigious 2020 ICF Builder Award for its residential construction. 

Building Stronger, Faster, Better

If you have been waiting for your chance to build to a higher standard, now you can, with iSPAN and Lockington Homes.

Contact Ben Lockington at Lockington Homes at ben@lockingtonhomes.net and 519-521-9876. 

To discuss how lightweight steel framing can simplify and improve your next custom residential project – whether it’s a single-storey home or a three-storey multi-residential structure – contact iSPAN’s Director of Sales Dwayne Schaus at dwaynes@ispansystems.com or 226-920-5320.


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