Steel Framing multilayer solutions contribute to energy efficiency and comfort for users without soaring costs.
A construction, generally speaking, should prioritize life and health quality of the people who inhabit it. That goal is related to another equally important concept: energy saving. Both aspects are directly linked to the methodology chosen to build and the insulations, key pillars to achieve those goals.
One of the systems which complies with these conditions is Steel Framing, consisting of cold shaped light galvanized steel normalized profiles and a multilayer system of materials which grant different insulation properties (water and wind; heat and noise). “This multilayer concept results in a distinctive provision and its suitable running will depend on the chosen materials and on the correct placement of the layers,” explains architect Alejandro J. Viegas, director of Acero Perfil.
Steel Framing allows complying with standing energy efficiency regulations with less than half the width of a wet work wall of the same provision. “In order to match the thermal features of a Steel Framing wall, it takes a one-meter wide masonry wall,” adds Eugenio Mamarián, adviser, trainer and builder expert in Steel Framing.
The provisions referring to the thermal conditioning of building construction in Buenos Aires Province, in Rosario, and in Buenos Aires City are closely linked with IRAM standards, which allow defining the building solutions depending on the area of the project site and verifying the different thermal resistance, energy saving and condensation risks behaviors.
“Each material has a thermal conductivity coefficient. By applying the calculation methodology outlined in IRAM 11.601 standard, the thermal transmittance coefficient “K” can be obtained, and its opponent is thermal resistance coefficient “R,” which allows the comparison of the enclosures supply according to its components,” says Viegas. The higher the “R” value, the greater the capacity of resisting the temperature.
How to refurbish quickly and dry
“Dry building is clearly within the range of highest efficiency work because it has been conceived for that purpose, while wet work is found within the least efficient systems,” highlight the experts. —Taking into account, for instance, a project of 100 m2 in a bioclimatic IV area like Bariloche, the yield of the systems can be precisely estimated. “If we compare Steel Framing buildings with DVH openings with masonry and isolated slab in traditional wet work, the energy saving is around 31,500 Kwh/year, representing 51% of consumption,” explains Viegas.
In Steel Framing the efficient use of the resources also comprises workforce. -The timing of “dry work” is reduced to one third with respect to traditional wet work. “It is possible to build a simple-family house of 100 and 200m2 turnkey in 90 days,” claims Mamarián. -A period of 15 days has to be added for the foundation and ground movement. The impact of workforce costs in Steel Framing is under 40%, while wet work reaches almost 50%.
When calculating the materials for a dry work, the room for waste reduction is remarkable. According to Mamarián, is about 20% for the wet work and 5% in dry work. Why is there this difference? “A standard plaster plate, 1.2m wide by 2.4m long, covers 2.88 m2 and takes 40 screws. This has minimum error margin and there is no way to change it,” underpins the expert.
In a sustainable social sense, the generation of labor opportunities is another value of the system worth mentioning. -“For more than two decades, professional and workforce training have been developing. -In the last 10 years more than 15,000 people have taken part,” comments Viegas. To train the workman so that he can understand plans, assemble boards and mount them on the work takes four eight-hour workdays.
On another note, the carbon blueprint of a Steel Framing wall is in average 25% less than that made with traditional wet work. The structure of galvanized steel profiles used in Steel Framing are 100% recyclable and within the components of the system, it is the one that generates more CO2-eq (14 kg), while the ceramic brick generates 24kg CO2-eq and the concrete and lime 36 kg CO2-eq.