I don't know if steel will replace wood, but the metal studs are great. I
finished part of my basement with them. (The other part had been done with
wood in the traditional manner.)They are light to carry, easy to install
and, best of all, don't warp. Nor do you need to make cross braces. A metal
cross brace just snaps into place quickly, 3 seconds work rather than 3
Amazingly. the cost is about the same as wood.
There is also an environmental consideration. Instead of chopping down more
trees, it makes sense to recycle old cars this way.
I have not found noise or insulation to be a problem.One of the surfaces is
an outside wall and it gets very cold in the winter where I live. Fibreglass
insulation stuffed between the steel studs kept things warm.
The pre positioned holes in the studs also make running wires and pipes
simple. I think they're a tremendous improvement over the old (warped) 2x4.
While it's nice they found a use for old cars, don't delude yourself with
illusions of saving the environment. It takes more energy to transport that
steel to the plant, melt it, form it, and ship it back, than to log a tree,
mill it and ship, and then regrow the tree. Far more pollution too. Wood is
easily the most environmentally sound building product allowed in most
jurisdictions.(does not include straw or dirt construction) Like it or
Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.
I suspect it is on a pound for pound basis, but I have my doubts on a
stud for stud basis. A steel stud weighs quite a bit less than a wood
stud of the same size, and you can ship twice as many steel studs in the
same volume with less fuel than the number of wood studs.
They both have their advantages and disadvantages, and each particular
application will determine which is best for the job.
"Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
I tend to think something else will come along before metal totally replaces
wood. I think prefabbed composite wall panels will be the building material
of the futre. Of coures there will be places where this type of constuction
is not practical and maybe current conventional methods may be used to
handle these situations or perhaps somethng new.
I agree. I think your allusion to "something new" will likely be
composite studs that will combine the dimensional stability of steel
with the application flexibility and familiarity of wood. These will
probably replace wood, if only to satisfy our push toward environmental
awareness (real or imagined), and complement steel (reduction in
shipping/handling costs of steel over others can be substantial).
They will make big inroads over time, but people have a hard time breaking
If I was building, I'd use Insulating concrete forms and save a bundle on
www.integraspec.com or www.standardicf.com Of course interior walls would
be framed with metal or wood studs. Joists can be engineered trusses.
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