Developed by the Light Steel Frame Association (LSFA) – the Technology Validation Guide outlines accreditations that certify system performance together with robust testing protocols and informative guidelines to support those manufacturing and specifying light steel framing systems.
As a proven and well-established offsite manufactured technology, light steel frame is trusted and widely used throughout the UK across all construction sectors however, this document covers residential and commercial bedspace only. LSFA members have demonstrated that light steel frame systems are innovative, extremely durable and a highly efficient alternative to traditional construction methods – backed by rigorous testing and high levels of certification.
Freely available to download from the LSFA’s website, the Technology Validation Guide covers light steel frame infill and oversail together with panelised and volumetric modular systems. The accreditation pathway is determined by the type of system, the construction sector, and design parameters of the structure. Validation is provided by a variety of organisations who carry out assessments of the build system and supporting data.
Testing is required for the structural elements along with building physics data for fire, thermal, acoustic, and structural perfomance, for example. The types of testing along with the organisations who can carry out this work are highlighted in the document along with the relevant test standards.
The Validation Guide provides a concise high-level overview which signposts construction professionals to valuable and trusted sources where further information is available.
Efficiently Engineered for Safety, Sustainability and Performance
The versatility of steel offers architects the freedom to achieve their most ambitious visions and specifiers value its predictability, quality and safety assurances. As the construction industry looks to raise the safety bar since the banning of combustible materials in external walls above 18 metres, the light steel frame sector is witnessing unprecedented demand.
The amount of combustible material in a light steel framed building is much lower, therefore the fire risk during construction and when in use is vastly reduced. Steel is non-combustible and does not add to the fire load of a building – reducing the fuel for the fire, limiting risk of damage and injury.
Sustainability is a key driving force in the specification of light steel framing systems. Steel can be recycled or reused endlessly without detriment to its properties. This unique characteristic gives steel a high value at all stages of its lifecycle. The recovery infrastructure for steel recycling is highly developed with current recovery rates from demolition sites in the UK at 99% for structural steelwork and 96% for all steel construction products – figures that far exceed those for any other construction material.
Offering the best strength-to-weight ratio improves efficiencies – you get a lot of structure for relatively little weight which reduces embodied carbon. This is where steel cannot be beaten. Lighter structures not only reduce material consumption but also concrete in the ground. This means that foundation loads and sizes are reduced by over 70% relative to concrete and block-work construction.
Steel is a robust, rigid and dimensionally stable material that does not suffer from movement created by moisture related issues. The inherent benefits of steel construction are why this innovative material is dominant in shaping our city skylines.
Driving Collaboration and Growth in the Light Steel Framing Sector
The light steel frame industry is more agile, advanced and digitally savvy than its competitors in other offsite material sectors. Established to influence legislation, regulation and to support the overall objectives and growth of the sector, the LSFA is raising awareness of the cost, performance and productivity benefits and supporting the specification of light steel framing systems.
Rigorous quality processes give full traceability at all stages in the supply chain, from steelmaking through to fabrication and installation on site. All structural steel used by LSFA members is CE Marked, providing assurance that the material is compliant with the Construction Products Regulation.
For more information on the LSFA and to download the Light Steel Frame Technology Validation Guide, go to: www.lsf-association.co.uk