Steel-Frame Construction is Designed for the ‘Space’ Age

Steel-Frame Construction is Designed for the ‘Space’ Age - iSPAN Systems - Banner

The construction industry needs cold-formed steel to build mid-rise structures taller, stronger and faster than ever before.

With the increasing influx of demand, slow speed of conventional construction, and high development prices, being able to fulfil the housing needs of an ever-expanding population is becoming increasingly complex.

The way to solve a major ‘space’ problem requires materials and processes that are better in every way: a lightweight steel solution called cold-formed steel can be the answer. By choosing pre-fabricated steel, builders will join tens of thousands of others who have already taken a giant leap forward in improving the design of structures, while reducing construction costs and tightening schedules.

How Light-Gauge Steel Addresses the Surging Demand for Residential Housing

With a little forward-thinking design work, prefabricated cold-formed steel joists, wall panels and floor segments can be easily manufactured and installed at a large scale to greatly reduce time to occupancy. 

Steel is readily available, and manufacturers like North American-based iSPAN Systems can scale up operations to meet the demand as needed.

Essential Housing Units Can be Built Faster with Cold-Formed Steel

The process of building conventional mid-rise structures can be cumbersome for contractors as well as the crews who work on them. Lumber supplies must be cut to size and which can delay schedules, and wood can warp and crack, causing unnecessary strain on construction sites. 

Using prefabricated steel elements makes everything easier, which in turn saves valuable time. In the case of iSPAN Systems’ Composite TotalJoist floor system, lightweight joists are easily moved by two crew members, and are easier to handle. Steel decking is then affixed to the structural joists, with no need for shoring or temporary formwork. In a very short time period, concrete can be poured and shortly after, the next storey can begin construction work.

iSPAN makes it easier and faster for follow-up trades as well: the steel joists’ precut service holes save significant time for plumbers, electricians and HVAC contractors. 

Steel-Frame Construction is Designed for the ‘Space’ Age - iSPAN Systems 01

Prefabricated Lightweight Steel Results in Higher Quality Structures

If you want spacious buildings that will last, you need to use materials that can last more than just a few decades – North America needs structures to last generations. iSPAN’s cold-formed steel structural framing solutions can do exactly that.

As previously mentioned, Composite TotalJoist is a superior flooring system that consists of solid-steel joists, Total-Lewis decking and concrete, delivering high acoustic ratings and exceptional vibration control for their entire use. 

The steel and concrete combination results in very high fire ratings – especially vital in large residential projects in urban centres.

The Royal Condos in Paris, Ontario is a great example of steel delivering higher quality structures. The developer chose Composite TotalJoist for its acoustic ratings (40% better than the building code minimum), ease of installation, ability to suppress fire and the low projected maintenance costs. By creating a building designed to last hundreds of years, East River Holdings will ensure lower condo fees for residents and an opportunity for generations to enjoy the views of the Nith River and downtown Paris, Ontario.

Lumber is Still Expensive; Steel Retains Its Value

The recent pandemic changed the way that many builders, contractors and engineers look at building materials. Instead of relying on conventional methods like lumber, which is weak, irregular, overpriced and difficult to work with onsite, cold-formed steel’s use has risen to prominence never before experienced. 

In a recent cost comparison study, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) explored whether wood frame construction, ICF combined with Hollow Core panels, or ICF combined with iSPAN Systems’ cold-formed-steel framing would be best for a new Fairfield Inn & Suites in St. Louis, Missouri. They found that steel and ICF beat out lumber by a long shot. Read the lumber and steel comparison analysis here, and the full steel/concrete/lumber cost comparison study.

Make Space Faster, Cheaper and Better – Consider the Structural Steel Solutions at iSPAN Systems

Learn more about how light-gauge steel is transforming spaces in our burgeoning cities by attending our live webinar: https://www.ispansystems.com/webinar/

If you can’t wait, feel free to reach out to our iSPAN’s Director of Sales, Dwayne Schaus, at 519-458-4222, Ext 103 or dwaynes@ispansystems.com.


Call or email us if you have questions or would like to discuss a Canadian project.


For projects in the United States, reach out to one of our Authorized Dealers.