Light Gauge Steel (LGS) Technology
The worldwide population is growing every day, the need for affordable living space is growing faster and faster, but the construction costs keep rising and there are fewer and fewer experienced craftsmen. A quick, simple, inexpensive and sustainable solution is needed.
Arkitech’s Light Gauge Steel (LGS) construction technology is the appropriate and sustainable solution.
Arkitech offers complete Light Steel Framing technology from design and manufacturing software over framing systems up to on-site commissioning and training.
Arkitech is the technology leader for Light Gauge Steel (LGS) – also known as Cold Formed Steel (CFS) – Light Steel Framing (LSF) – Steel Framing Systems (SFS), because arkitech understands the current challenges of the construction industry and offers the solution for the sustainable construction industry of the future worldwide through the continuous further development of a comprehensive and progressive LGS construction technology.
The smooth integration of technical building design, individual detailing, time-saving production and simplified frame assembly underlines the flexible and design-oriented technology. The user benefits from the increase in construction speed and accuracy, the reduced labor costs and, ultimately, from the accelerated construction time.
LGS is an innovative and reliable construction technology that due to its high stiffness and low weight of only 20 to 30 kg of steel per square meter in average of usual area allows enormous design flexibility for example by an increased span and a variety of external architectural facade treatments. The entire supporting structure of the LGS building consists of individually manufactured steel profile elements, which are automatically formed and processed by CNC control in an Arkitech Framer
Design and Detailing software for the entire building structures
Based on the created or imported footprint plan all kind of LGS constructions can be designed and detailed easily with support of the LGS design software. Other structural elements like for example concrete columns or beams and hot steel elements can be imported easily. By preselection of the cladding material the frame structure can easily be created accordingly. The integrated library with stud and nog spacings saves further time
The required load capacities of any designed LGS structure can be analyzed according to the AISI and Eurocode
A final feasibility check for correction of any errors of profile connections and eventual frame collision eliminates any mistake before the production starts
LGS Framer for a fully automated maufacturing process
The created LGS production files enable the fully automatic production of the LGS profile elements by the LGS Framer. Depending on the complexity of the profile elements, 20 square meter of usable area per hour per LGS framer can be calculated for the assembly of the entire LGS structure.
The various options for producing the profiles range from the production of individual profiles to the fully automatic production of the LGS profile elements of the entire building structure.
The LGS Framers differ in the capability for single profile or multiple profile production, as well as in the design of the profile cross-sections and the profile widths (web size) and thicknesses.
Due to the high rigidity with low weight and easy assembly, the C-profile is used anywhere in the building structure. The Omega profile, on the other hand, is primarily used for roof structures.
The LGS Framer for multiple profile manufacturing produces the profile elements already in different profile widths and thus facilitates the alignment to the structural requirements directly during manufacturing.
The required profile widths and thicknesses result mainly from the static requirements of the building to be erected and are therefore decisive for the selection of the LGS Framer.
LGS Structure assembly only with a cordless screwdriver
The LGS Framer gives the profile elements their shape, length, all the necessary screw and service holes including countersinks as well as an individual labelling. Therefore, the profile elements can be assembled directly and easily with a cordless screwdriver to wall frames, beams, trusses, roof trusses and ceilings. Pre-assembly can take place regardless of the weather in production or the entire assembly can be proceeded directly at the construction site. Due to the lower weight of the LGS building structure 25% of the concrete foundation can be saved in average compared to
Depending on the complexity and experience of the workers, 2 to 2.5 square meter of usable area per hour per worker can be calculated for the complete assembly of the entire LGS building structure.
The outer cladding including the roof, the thermal insulation, the supply lines and the inner cladding can be installed directly afterwards without delay based on any drying times.
Compliance with building regulations
The frame construction with steel profiles enables compliance with all building regulations for residential and industrial buildings:
- Sound insulation and building acoustics
There are a variety of construction options for sound insulating and acoustic decoupling of LGS structures that are suitable for walls and floors. Various institutes offer an overview of the possible structures of LGS frames and wall cladding and their acoustic performance.
For example, the British Steel Construction Institute SCI has developed Acoustic Performance of walls, an acoustic performance prediction tool for separating floors and walls to assist designers and architects.
- Thermal insulation and moisture protection
By selecting the right external insulation, the specifications can be met in all climatic zones and with every frame material – including LGS. Appropriate external insulation also avoids potential moisture problems.
The LGS construction method demonstrably fulfills the regional energy saving targets for buildings of all shapes and sizes, as well as the requirements for continuous external insulation.
In the USA BuildSteel is powered by the Steel Framing Industry Association SFIA and dedicated to educating building professionals on the use of LGS framing, which is also called cold-formed steel (CFS) framing, as a sustainable and cost-effective building solution, and for example provides information about exterior insulation: BuildSteel_wall panels.
In Europe the European Association for External Thermal Insulation Composite EAEinforms about insulation systems and a professional partner for external insulation can be found also on the EAE website.
- Fire protection
Wooden frames are flammable but are still widely used in construction. The lightweight steel construction is a safer and better alternative to a construction with a wooden frame.
Steel is non-flammable and therefore does not contribute to a fire and thus inhibits the spread in relation to a building with a wooden frame construction.
The British Light Steel Frame Association LSF sees many advantages of LGS construction in terms of fire protection:
- Steel is non-combustible; it does not add to the fire load of the building.
- Fire protection for light steel framing is typically provided by the boards used for internal lining, e.g. gypsum-based boards.
- Fire resistance periods of up to 120 minutes are readily achievable.
- The amount of combustible material in a light steel framed building is much lower than in some other forms of construction.
- Modules and pre-boarded light steel panels are fire protected before delivery to site.
- Light steel floors, walls and modules are easily repairable after small fires.
- The fire risk during construction is much lower for light steel framing than for some forms of construction.
The following SCI Publication provides design guidance on the fire resistance of LGS.
- Corrosion protection
Hot-dip galvanized steel perfectly implements the concept of a circular economy for the optimization of sustainability and offers the highest level of corrosion protection without maintenance, as the galvanized coating is climate-resistant, and its protective effect is largely unaffected by temperature changes and other climatic factors.
At the end of the product’s service life, steel and zinc are recycled together in the established processes, whereby both valuable materials can be reused without any loss of properties.
The European General Galvanizers Association EGGA provides comprehensive information about this process
Comparison of light gauge steel and timber frames
In terms of structure, the LGS construction is similar to the timber frame construction – thin C-profiles made of galvanized sheet steel are used instead of wooden frame elements. These steel profile elements are automatically manufactured in the required shape at room temperature by rolling and punching.
The LGS frame offers the user significant advantages in terms of fire protection, weight and durability.
In LGS construction today, profile thicknesses of around 0.5 to 4.0 mm and profile widths of 63 to 400 mm are used. Profile thicknesses of 1.0 to 2.5 mm and profile widths of 90 to 150 mm are common for the construction of single and multi-storey residential buildings.
The connections of the completely prefabricated and individually labeled LGS profile elements are simply made with self-tapping screws. The assembly therefore simply requires a cordless screwdriver and does not require any special professional training.
For the electrical and sanitary installation, the steel profiles are given the appropriate bushings during production. The gaps between the profile elements are filled with insulating materials, as it is the case with timber frame construction.
LGS constructions have many of the advantages over wooden frame constructions:
Since the LGS frames are lighter with the same strength, assembly can be carried out more quickly and with less expensive lifting tools. The higher strength of the steel profiles enables larger spans as well as larger distances of 600 mm between the elements compared to the wooden frame construction of 400 or 500 mm, which increases the freedom for the architect and shortens the assembly time.
In addition, it is much easier in LGS construction to change or modify the construction during its service life.
Other advantages are that steel structures do not rot, shrink, warp or decompose like wooden structures and they can be used in areas where termite infestation is likely.
Sustainability of steel
Steel is sustainable, once produced it can be used again and again. Steel can be recycled indefinitely without any loss of quality.
Steel is environmentally friendly because it does not age and therefore its life cycle, unlike other materials, is not limited. After the life cycle of a product made of steel, it can always be 100% recovered and is therefore a permanent resource.
Because of the permanent value of steel, there are sufficient incentives to maintain a high level of recycling. With over 500 tons of recycled material annually, steel is the most commonly recycled industrial material worldwide.
The Worldsteel Association provides more details about sustainable steel.
The sustainability of steel as a building material is also certified as sustainable according to the Green Buildings Rating System, the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by USGBC.
More information about Green Buildings Rating Systems is provided by the Whole Building Design Guide WBDG.
Advantages of Light Gauge Steel Technology
There are many reasons why arkitech’s LGS technology is growing faster worldwide than other building technologies, but here are the 10 most important reasons:
- Time saving
- Cost reduction
- High sustainability
- Full recyclability
- Design flexibility
- Weight reduction
- High stiffness
- Uniform quality
- Simple manufacturing
Arkitech stands for passion for advanced Light Gauge Steel construction technology. All arkitech products, Software and Framer, are developed and manufactured in-house in Turkey based on the global support of their partners.
As a result of all advantages arkitech’s LGS technology is being successfully used in more and more building Applications:
- Bathroom pods
- Prefabricated modules
- Modular buildings
- Residential buildings
- Site offices
- Temporary accommodations
- Office buildings
- Roof trusses
- Customized applications