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Why Steel: Background

Steel is widely used in the construction of multi-storey buildings. However, steel construction is seldom used and is traditionally considered uneconomical for landed properties. In many parts of the world, timber or structural brickwork is preferred whereas in Singapore, reinforced concrete construction is still usually preferred.

Over the years, various improved systems have been developed for use in landed properties. An economical light gauge steel frame system is increasingly being used in America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. This light gauge steel frame is developed through a cold-formed process without the use of heat.

This process enables steel manufacturers to produce light-weight but high tensile steel sheets. The sheet surface is coated with a zinc alloy that completely covers the steel surface and seals it from the corrosive action of its environment.

This results in buildings that are more solid, rigid, stronger, durable and easier to build. As such, the light gauge steel frame system is an attractive alternative for use in landed properties. This is particularly in view of concerns on the depletion of timber resources and low productivities associated with reinforced concrete construction.


  1. Benefits Buildability: The use of pre-fabricated and preassembled steel components reduces site works, material waste and improves quality.elsek_back-ground-003
  2. Speed: This system requires a shorter construction period compared to that of a conventional system.
  3. Strong but Lightweight: Steel has one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios of any construction material. This results in savings at the foundation level; the lightness makes for easier on-site handling.
  4. Safety: Steel’s inherent strength and noncombustible qualities enable light steel frame houses to resist such devastating events as fires, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Homes can be designed to meet the highest seismic and wind load specifications in any part of the country.
  5. Quality: A better quality finished house that is durable and low in maintenance.
  6. Easy to Remodel: Remodeling can be easily accomplished. Non-load bearing walls can be readily relocated, removed or altered.
  7. Design Flexibility: Because of its strength, steel can span longer lengths, offering larger open spaces and increased design flexibility without requiring intermediate columns or load bearing walls.
  8. Recyclable: All steel products are recyclable.
  9. Foundation: This foundation is not the same as the foundation for traditional buildings due to the lighter building load. Therefore this foundation saves on cost and requires less material.