Light steel framing's popularity continues to grow as does the uptake of offsite construction in general. Key benefits of light steel framing are; quality, speed and cost making it ideal for many sectors of construction. SCI has provided technical support to the light steel sector for the last 25 years, and continues to do so in a number of ways.
SCI's involvement at committee level of the revisions to Eurocode Design of Steel Structures, Part 1.3 - Supplementary rules for cold-formed members and sheeting (also known as EN 1993-1-3) ensures that SCI are in a position to inform members and clients of up-to-date expected changes as they happen.
In a highly competitive commercial market demand from clients for proprietary technical product development has increased. Manufacturers and their customers engage SCI as an independent body to provide reassurance that appropriate procedures are followed with due consideration for all possible performance criteria.
The SCI's Light Steel Forum is a membership group whose primary objective is the technical development of light steel construction systems. The group produce and disseminate technical information to the industry, a recent example produced by the Forum is the SCI guidance Uninterrupted height of masonry cladding to light steel framing (P426) which provides free guidance on using continuous masonry cladding with light steel framing.
The work undertaken with industry partners has helped SCI to develop improved design guidance to enable the use of light steel framing in a wider range of applications and assessment of materials used in combination has lead to enhanced design efficiency.
Certification has always been a vital part of the construction industry with customers and specifiers needing to have confidence in the products being offered. The complexity and unique nature of many offsite construction systems, and the growing regulatory demands, mean that independent certification is increasingly important. SCI is able to offer different options to suit specific requirements: NHBC/SCI Stage 1 System Certification for light steel framing in accordance with NHBC Chapter 6.10. SCI Assessed certificates for a mixed and varied range of steel-based construction products. SCI offer a more comprehensive scheme called -SCI Product Certification- which can cover all the basic work requirements of the Construction Products Regulation. SCI are hoping to be able to announce the first companies and their products to successfully achieve SCI Product Certification within the next few months.
For more information about any of SCI's activities relating to light steel framing and offsite construction please visit the SCI website or contact Andrew Way.