Steel is trending, as was demonstrated in the recent edition of Experiencia Casa Living. Its use continues to increase, not only in construction but also for interior design and decoration, gaining presence in structures, balconies, ceilings, windows, cladding and furniture. In this note, José Del Boca, Commercial Vice President of Ternium Argentina, reviews all its advantages.
Steel use in construction has been growing at unsuspected levels: largely because it offers the possibility of creating more efficient and sustainable structures (we’re talking about the most recycled and recyclable material on the planet!), but also because steel has become a trend that is “out of the box” when creating modern, avant-garde spaces.
One excellent example was seen at the Experiencia Casa Living interior design event, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Ideï Arquitectura designed an apartment for an engineer working in renewable energies, bringing steel to gleam on surfaces traditionally occupied by other materials.
“Steel is present in different construction systems. Obviously, there’s 'steel framing' but there are also steel panels and mixed systems, including both steel framing and the wet system,” explains Commercial Vice President of Ternium Argentina, José Del Boca.
Together with our customer Barbieri, we gave a talk at the Experiencia Casa Living with a focus on the sustainability of steel in construction.
What is steel framing? A construction method using galvanized steel profiles instead of traditional structures (such as concrete or masonry). This ‘structural skeleton’ is assembled in a very similar way to the children’s building block set Meccano, before being fitted with plaster panels. It’s an agile, versatile, lightweight, flexible and sustainable system, enabling higher quality work than traditional construction methods, whether it’s about building a house from scratch, erecting a low-rise building or creating mezzanines in existing works, as it combines perfectly with other systems.
“Steel is a 100% recyclable product: it can be used and reused an infinite number of times. In fact, the steel we use may once have been part of a vehicle or a refrigerator," points out Del Boca, emphasizing that its use in interior decoration has been growing “as it’s a material that allows for unending creative possibilities thanks to its versatility.”
Building with steel allows for flexibility when designing, as well as thermo-acoustic comfort and the possibility of carrying out clean, fast works with great constructive rationality.
Building in the future
“Among the advantages of working with steel, the first thing that usually comes up is construction speed,” explains Del Boca. With dry building, it’s possible to build structures in as little as six months, especially in places with demanding climatic and weather conditions.
Another valued advantage is predictability, in terms of time and cost, as it’s relatively easy to calculate in advance how many profiles and materials will be needed for the work designed.
Last but not least, there is the issue of sustainability, as the dry construction system means that thermal insulation can be increased by the plaster panels enabling a temperature difference to be maintained between outside and inside. "This advantage can easily be seen in the energy consumption rates of those living in the house," says the executive.
He adds that “Steel has long been the main element used in the structural part of constructions. However, it’s also becoming increasingly present in facades and interior design. At Casa Living, it is clear that architecture and design professionals are now thinking about steel when creating cladding, furniture and all kinds of design objects.”