No, the CSIRO conducted a study in which they surveyed a number of occupants of steel framed dwellings. They found that most occupants either reported no sound from the frame, or it constituted no problem. In a properly constructed and insulated home, thermally induced movement and noise is equally as likely as with other materials. Steel framing expands and contracts at rates not too dissimilar from other materials, which means it’s unlikely that there will be noise or cornice cracking problems.
Steel frames are made of steel protected against corrosion by a hot-dipped metallic coating of either a zinc-aluminium alloy, or almost pure zinc (galvanised). These coatings conform to the appropriate Australian standards or their equivalent. In external applications such as roofing these products are exposed to the elements and have excellent durability, so in less exposed applications such as inside the building envelope they weather more slowly. Where there are drill holes and cut edges the galvanic action, or sacrificial protection, of the coatings protects the exposed steel edge against corrosion.
Innovative frame technology now means steel frames for standard house designs can be priced competitively with other quality framing systems. Also there are ongoing savings for househoulder, which includes lower insurance, no need for ongoing anti-termite chemical treatments, less structural maintenance costs to the building, etc.
Yes! It is a requirement that all new housing be fitted with circuit breaking safety devices, steel frames are safe because the frames are earthed. When exposed to a live wire, the earthing will create a short and trip the residual current safety switches. At times, steel framing can actually be safer than the alternatives because of these safety features. A broken or pierced wire in a timber frame can remain live and leaking current can cause troublesome faults and fire risk.
No. Waves pass through the spaces between the studs, allowing the use of all household appliances without any interference.
Smoke and heated air and/or asphyxiating gases are responsible for about 75% of fatalities in house fires. A steel frame will not burn. It will not therefore contribute to the fire or its spreading, and will not release smoke and carbon dioxide. Electrical faults cause many fires in wall cavities. An electrical fault cannot ignite a steel frame. If fire gets into the ceiling and ignites timber trusses it can spread very rapidly to the rest of the house. In a bushfire the point of ignition is often the roof cavity when burning embers are blown in under the eaves or tiles. House fires have been known to break through ceilings into the roof cavity. A steel roof truss cannot be ignited in either of these ways.
The properties of steel are known and consistent, and conform to Australian standards or their equivalent. Steel-framing components are designed around those properties with an extra allowance included for safety. Our steel frame systems use high tensile G550 steel components with appropriate jointing methods, and are engineered to pass strict performance tests.