Steel Frame External Walls
Light steel frame construction offers many of the benefits of timber frame construction - off-site prefabrication, quality engineering and the resulting speed of erection, but with a higher strength to weight ratio, enabling the design of taller buildings with wider clear floor spans.
Steel frame walls are used in both steel framed buildings and as infill in structural concrete or steel framed buildings; in either case, one of the key design requirements is the reduction of heat loss and there are two methods of achieving this:
Warm frame construction
In this method, insulation is installed outside the steel frame only, i.e. not between the steel frame component. This approach means that the potential benefit of insulating between the components is wasted.
Here, insulation is installed outside the structure and mineral wool insulation is installed between the steel components. This is becoming the more widely used method; an internal vapour control layer is usually required to prevent the risk of condensation.
The mineral wool is designed to fit tightly between standard stud widths without the need for on-site cutting, and is self supporting. If cutting is required, the compressible insulation can be cut slightly oversize and friction fit between the studs to prevent cold air penetrating through the joints.
The benefits of Mineral Wool
- Value for money - more cost effective than any other material available
- Thermal performance - compression fit minimizes gaps at joints
- Acoustic performance - excellent sound absorption
- Environmental - uses recycled material, zero ODP & GWP, BRE Green Guide A+ to B
- Fire properties - non-combustible and A1/A2 Euroclass fire rated
- Easy-to-fit - simple installation process, covers large areas quickly