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Lenny Severini, Charles Leonard Steel Services, LLC

Structural Design of Light Gauge Steel

Efficient Light Gauge Steel Design with Summit Engineering

Light gauge, or ‘cold-formed’ steel is most commonly used for wall, floor and roof framing. The material is increasing in popularity as an alternative for wood framing or heavy structural steel framing. Light gauge steel can be used in pre-fabricated panel sections as well as stick-built construction similar to light wood construction. It is competitive with wood in terms of cost and workability. However, it contains the strength and material properties of structural steel (non-combustible and strength). It has the additional benefit of being galvanized to prevent corrosion.

The International Building Code limits wood-framed construction to effectively 4-stories depending on project specifics. Cold-formed steel structures can go much higher. It is common to build 8 to 9-stories with light gauge up to 180-feet. Equally as important, the area limitations for light gauge are far greater than wood construction.

The staff at Summit Engineering is experienced with preparing cold-formed steel designs throughout New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and the USVI. Our construction documents can be produced in a manner to avoid the shop drawing submittal process. Our drawings are the shop drawings!

Summit’s experience with light gauge steel design includes:

  • Maplewood at Bethel Senior Living – Bethel, CT
  • Vermont Public Health Laboratory, Colchester, VT
  • Chelsea Fire Department, Chelsea, MA
  • LA Fitness, Chestnut Hill, MA
  • Ellis Hospital, Schenectady, NY

Summit provided the light gauge steel design and shop drawings for the new Maplewood at Bethel Senior Living Center in Bethel, CT. The structure uses light gauge steel bearing walls for the three-story load bearing structure. Our engineers at Summit designed the floor framing using multiple different joist sizes to create the most cost effective design.

Summit’s experience with light gauge steel design includes a variety of institutional and commercial structures. Our engineers are experienced in designing and producing shop drawings for light gauge steel projects. To learn more about the correct design of light gauge steel, please read Cold-Formed Steel Facade Framing written by Summit Engineering principle Anthony Coviello published in Structure Magazine.

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