Steel houses are built for over 50 years in New Zealand. In Australia, over 50% of the new houses are built on steel structure, in Hawaii 40%, and in Japan over 150 000 steel houses are built in a year. Wooden houses are built since forever we want to show why it is the time to use less wood and manufacture steel structure for houses, which will only bring advantages.
- The weight of the structure of a steel house is 3 times smaller than of a wooden house and 20 times smaller than brickwork. The weight has a powerful seismical influence, but the difference that can appear at the foundation must not be neglected;
- If the wooden and steel structures prices are comparable, steel has a resistance advantage;
- A steel house has an incomparably higher fire resistance;
- The sound resistance is better, dry wood has a higher resonance;
- According to “the myth of the wooden houses” a wood house resists for over 100 years, but the wood from which they used to build was different. The modern ways brought an improvement in the quality of wood. Any type of wood is used. In the past fewer houses were built and the wood was carefully selected. If we stay fair, we understand that the technical and scientific revolution did not improve all things;
- Light steel profiles frames are produced by high precision machines. They are cold formed, cut, drilled and printed with assembling codes. They are pre-assembled in the factory but they can also be assembled on site, resulting in the optimization of costs;
- The assembling time is much lower for the steel houses than for the wooden ones;
- In order to work with wood, you will need a team of skilled carpenters, taking into account that the wood is modifying due to the temperature. Even if the wood is dry it takes humidity from the atmosphere and dries again in the sun. The steel, on the other hand, remains the same, temperature deformation tolerances being very subtle;
- A steel house will work as a lightning rod so it is not possible to catch fire in case of lightning or thunderbolts. For the steel houses a few lightning rods (with high costs) can interfere with strong lightning;
- The electromagnetic waves pass by the steel structure and allow (with very few attenuations) usages of internet, television, radio or phone. A great advantage is that the steel structure forms the Faraday Cage (shielding) which isolates very well the house from the electromagnetic fields of high tension networks, which are felt very strong in the wooden houses;
- There is thermal insulation which allows building high thermal resistance steel houses. This is where the wooden house has a small advantage, the wooden structure being thermo-insulating;
- The warranty imposed for the steel houses according to the law in force is the normal life duration (98 years). If the law provides this life duration it is understood that the real-life duration will be higher. Check the warranty for the wooden houses;
- The plane surfaces with panels can be easily replaced for very low costs, the house is keeping in this manner it’s market value during all lifetime. The wood is exposed to must, termites or other diseases which may compromise the wooden structure;
- The electrical and sanitary installations are easy to introduce through the steel structure which is drilled in the factory;
- If we expose zinc-coated steel and treated wood, which one you think will last longer ?!
Steel houses are built by 3D engineering drawings, files that remain, and if necessary adding or removing it is very easy. It is not the same thing for the houses made by a craftsman with his “charmed chainsaw”;
- Let’s not neglect our ecological concept: “it is better to melt our old cars and turn them into house structures than to cut our forests.” I would like to conclude that it is time to capitalize on the wood for finishing and to build 100% recyclable steel structures which are faster, more economical.
Unic Rotarex® manager since 1996. Over 20 years of experience in developing constructive systems based on lightweight steel structures, first years in Germany and over 15 years in Romania.