Hawaii is the leader in steel framing, with over 70 percent of new homes using steel over traditional wood. There’s no other state in the U.S. that comes close to the numbers in Hawaii. Steel framing has become the standard for new construction in Hawaii because of the benefits of steel over wood. There are many important reasons to choose steel when building a home in Hawaii.
Save On Labor Cost
Hollow steel framing is easier and faster to install, plus less frames are required due to the increase in strength of the material, which cuts down on the time and cost of labor over traditional wood framing. A steel framed construction can be done in one third the time of traditional construction.
Termite and Bug Proof
In 1988, new building codes in Hawaii required treated, termite proof wood to be used in new construction. This change made lumber and steel equal in cost due to the expensive chemicals used to treat the wood. Steel is naturally termite proof, which makes it the better choice in new construction.
Better Fire Ratings
Steel is non-combustible and can help minimize the damage of a fire rather than fuel it. For this reason, using steel in home construction can decrease the cost of property insurance.
Better Air Quality
Steel has a higher ranking for air quality indoors because steel does not off-gas like wood and chemically treated termite-proof wood. The Healthy House Institute and the American Lung Association recommend steel framing for better quality of air. Owners are not exposed to as many chemicals as with chemically treated wood or other building materials. There is also no need to worry about mold spores with steel framing. Naturally mildew and mold resistant, steel is considered a green building material according to the National Green Building Standard.
Environmentally Friendly Green Material
66.2 percent of steel is recycled, which makes it an environmentally friendly resource over wood. This material is completely recyclable. While most landfills have around 60 percent of its waste from construction, most of this material is from wood and plastic. Steel can help reduce the costs of disposal for builders and keep more material out of landfills. A typical new construction home (approximately 2000 square feet) uses the materials of 40 to 50 trees, which equates to about an acre’s worth of trees, while steel only uses about 6 scrapped automobiles.
Using steel for framing means having perfectly straight sections. While wood can warp over time, steel is considered one of the straightest types of building materials. Steel can be formed into custom shapes off-site, prior to bringing the material onto the construction site.
Unlike traditional wood, steel has a longer life span. Of all the building materials, steel is the strongest based on a strength-to-weight ratio. It’s not going to crack, bend, warp or expand over time, even with temperature and humidity changes. What does this mean? No cracking like a normal structure framed from wood. Without extra care, steel can last 100 years plus because of its galvanized zinc coating.
What can withstand hurricane winds? Steel. It’s considered the most wind-resistant of all building materials.
Lightweight and Versatile
Steel can be used to create lightweight panels or sheets that maintain strength and create less of a need for reinforcement. Steel can be fabricated into almost any size, shape or thickness and provides the ability to create homes with large, open spaces. Steel frames can provide a span of 60 feet or more. Steel framing can also be used to add on to existing homes or for renovating a termite damaged wood home.
Steel framing is by far the best building material for framing a home in Hawaii and is superior to traditional wood framing. While wood and steel are cost-equivalent, it’s important to consider these other factors to understand why steel continues to be the better choice for new construction homes, additions or ADU’s. If you are looking to get steel framing done for your home in Honolulu or anywhere in Hawaii, feel free to give Dumore Construction & Remodeling a call at (808) 216-9956 for a free consultation of your steel framing project.