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5a Load Bearing Walls:

A load bearing wall is one which carries vertical loads from the construction above or lateral loads resulting from the wind. These loads may act separately or in combination. Both internal and external walls may be load bearing. Elsek Steel Panel recommends the following for the load bearing walls:

  • ¬ All load bearing studs shall be minimum Elsek Panel C90 cold formed section.
  • ¬ A structural top plate is used to carry truss loads from the roof to the studs, where the studs are not located directly under the truss load points. Top plates shall be Elsek Panel C140 cold formed section (Structural plate). The top plate shall be secured transversely at a maximum of 1800mm centers by incoming trusses or rafters with approved wall support brackets.elsek_wall-frame
  • ¬ The bottom plate shall be minimum Elsek Panel C 140 cold-formed section. The bottom plate must be fully supported under every load-bearing stud. This is critical with studs beside openings, or studs carrying major loads for the roof, ceiling or upper floor construction. The support can be provided by a floor joist, blocking piece or concrete slab located directly under the stud.
  • ¬ Lintels are needed for openings greater than 1200mm of load bearing walls. Lintels under sheet metal roofs are principally designed for uplift from wind loading on the roof structure while lintels under tile roofs are designed principally to support downward loads from the roof trusses.
  • ¬ Noggings in the form of a notched plate may be used in load bearing walls to provide lateral restraint to the wall studs.
  • ¬ Bracing is needed in certain walls to provide racking resistance against wind load. It could be in the form of bracing straps or bracing sheets depending on the requirement.
  • ¬ The studs, joists and trusses must be properly aligned in order to transfer the loads to the member below.

5b Non-Load Bearing Walls:

Internal walls which do not support truss loads are considered non-load bearing. Elsek Steel Panel recommends the following for non-load bearing walls:

  • ¬ Studs for internal non-load bearing walls shall be minimum Elsek Panel C 90 cold formed section.
  • ¬ Top plate should be minimum C 140 cold formed section and shall be fixed to trusses at 1800 mm maximum centers to provide lateral stability for the wall. The connection shall not transmit vertical loads to the wall.
  • ¬ The bottom plate shall be minimum C 140 cold formed section
  • ¬ Angle lintels are not required for openings in non-load bearing wall frames.
  • ¬ Noggings is generally not needed for internal non-load bearing walls.

5c Wall details and connections:

Steel framing is fastened to the floor structure through the bottom plate after all panels have been correctly aligned and plumbed. For concrete floor slabs the frame is fixed in place by using masonry anchors, which are generally hammer driven nails, expanding shell anchors or chemical anchors. Exact recommendations for the type and frequency of anchors would be available from steel suppliers or the engineer. The wall panels are usually connected together by mechanical fasteners such as self-drilling screws.

5d Wall Openings:

External Door and Window Frames: The same door and window frames used in timber-framed construction are also used in steel-framed construction. If aluminum window frames are fitted into timber, they can be installed by fastening through the jamb studs into the back of the reveal after positioning. If it is not possible to secret-fix the frame, as may be the case with a window or door head, self-drilling screws of appropriate length can be driven through the frame and packing into the steel framing. The same type of screws may also be used to fasten aluminum window frames direct to steel frame openings.

5e Wall Cladding & Partitions:

If required in the external walls, reflective foil sarking may be attached to the external flange of the steel studs with self-drilling screws fitted with 25mm flat fiber washers. Alternatively wafer head screws may be used. Wire brick ties which simply clip on to steel studs are available for brick veneer construction. For single wall construction, fiber cement sheeting can be fixed to steel frames with self-drilling, self-embedding head screws. Timber weatherboards can be fastened to steel studs with extended point countersunk head self-drilling screws. Steel sheet cladding is also fixed with self-drilling screws.