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Currently steel framed houses are a rarity in the UK compared to the USA and Australia, where they are very common. 1940'steel framed housing had it most success in the UK, but today houses built in this way are estimated to embrace less than one per cent of the UK housing stock. Nevertheless in recent years, steel framed housing has had revival. With a handful of small manufacturers produce systems of this sort and are aiming them at the self-build market.
Basically steel framing, like timber framing, is a form of part-prefabrication. Today's steel frames for houses are a latticework of lightweight C-sectioned galvanized steel, to which sheathing board and insulation is applied to the outside before the whole is usually finished off with a render. Steel framing of this sort is infinitely cheaper than the massive I- and C-beam systems we see in the shells of new commercial developments and factory units. This sort of frame is only considered necessary for a house when there are extremely large spans needed.
Steel offers durability and longevity that can be achieved as steel is a consistent product. There is no warping, twisting or knots that can impact the strength and functionality of the product, which can be experienced with wood . This is especially important with manufactured homes as they are moved to locations pre-built. Moving a building can result in twisting and swaying. A steel frame resists these movements. A wood frame will move and bend which can result in cracking of wall material. Steel will remain straight and will not bow over time.
Steel constructed buildings tend to have less impact on the environment than do wood built. It is the most recycled material in the world and approximately 2 of every 3 lbs. of steel that go into a steel frame come from recycled material. Also, the majority of the steel used can be re-used again if the house is ever torn down. Wood, on the other hand, requires cutting down trees to be milled into lumber and has few recycling options. The average 1,500-square-foot manufactured home requires between 30 and 40 trees to be cut down and turned into framing material.
Also known as pods, are prebuilt rooms ,similar to Figure XXXX they are pieced together to make a whole house or flat. Modules are normally used mostly for, where all the fittings are added in the factory. MMC can also include innovative site-based methods, such as use of concrete moulds. A range of materials is used for MMC, the most noticeably being wood, steel and concrete; this is an alternative method of using traditional materials and reducing the amount of waste bypass.
The Government is promoting the environmental benefits of MMC, as are many of the manufacturers. Research conducted by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) found MMC homes to be more energy efficient, but there was no significant evidence of waste and transport reductions. Evaluating the environmental benefits of a new MMC housing development is complex because it is difficult to attribute outcomes solely to the use of MMC.