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Lumber Compared to Light Gauge Steel

switch-from-lumber-to-steel-004_0028Why switch from lumber to light gauge steel?

  1. Lumber price instability; in some cases, lumber price has doubled in a very short time.
  2. Low quality of the available lumber these days.
  3. High contents of sugar in today’s lumber make it vulnerable to termite and mold.
  4. Air Quality: Over 200 million tons of waste straw are produced each year in the U.S. alone! Most of the wasted straw is burnt. Building with the waste product of our farms keeps the air clean.
  5. Since wood changes dimensions based on the humidity in the air, after a few years of construction, a typical wood house will show some cracks and deterioration. This is where the energy loss starts.
  6. Light gauge steel studs and joists are straighter with more accurate dimensions than lumber. This makes it easier to install and to attach sheathing for walls, floor and roof.

Look carefully at the picture below. What is left after a fire in a wood building?

What is left and survived the fire is the non combustible material such as steel and concrete.
Fires burn very fast, through wood/lumber homes, which can make it very hard to escape if people are trapped inside.
Compare this to the steel home shown below. Below are picture of a steel home after an intense fire in the garage from a car.

Jackson County, Oregon, Emergency Management Advisory Council says:  

  • The State of Oregon had 13,603 fires in 2004 which resulted in 41 deaths and $129.6 million in property damage.
  • Nation wide, at least 6,000 people die in fires each year and an additional 100,000 are injured.
  • Senior citizens and children under five are at highest risk.
  • Fire is fast and deadly, emitting smoke and gases that can render a person unconscious within minutes. It is the most likely disaster that Jackson County families will experience
    Save our forests:
    • Constructing a typical house requires more than an acre of trees, and generates four pounds of construction waste per square foot.
    • Using alternative materials such as light Gauge/ cold-formed steel will help to preserve and save our forests.