Let's strip off the beautiful facades of our homes, and get right down to its bones! This is what Montreal-based company, BONE Structure, has been doing: they design residential homes and light commercial buildings made out of steel. This is a unique concept, as most homes in North America are wood-studs, not steel-based.
Here are seven benefits why you should consider steel over wood!
1. Unique Design
Due to the strength of steel, design elements that are not possible with wood buildings can be achieved using a steel-based frame; This includes floor to ceiling windows, varying ceiling heights, extended overhangs and large open wall spans. As well, if you ever get bored of your house's layout, steel-framed homes make it easy to change the configuration of the home as there are no load bearing walls.
Galvanized steel is able to withstand many conditions Mother Nature throws at it, such as strong winds, fires, floods, heavy snow loads and earthquakes. This is why BONE Structure homes are perfect in extreme environments. Drywall cracks are also virtually eliminated due to the fact that steel does not bend or sway. In addition, steel does not face problems with rot or termites, which is a risk for wood constructed dwellings.
Wood-structured properties can be a threat to a homeowner's health, as molds and mildews tend to form over time. Household mold often results in respiratory problems such as asthma. Since steel is an inorganic compound, the threat of mold is virtually non-existent.
4. Green Design
One of the major environmental benefits of steel is that it's 100% recyclable, which allows for no waste to be left behind. If you were to look at a building site of a steel-structured home, you would see this difference: the wood-structure would have tons of waste in large dumping containers, while the steel home would have none, as it was manufactured indoors. It is also important to note that steel homes can reduce heating and cooling loads by up to 90%, compared to traditional housing structures.
The price of livable space in a BONE Structure home starts at $250 per square foot, and is about $100 per square foot for a garage. The inspirational models on the BONE Structure website vary from the upper $400,000 to the mid $800,000 price range, but most clients prefer to customize their home thanks to the flexibility of the system. It is up to you to find the right site!
The buyer also saves money on labour, as the home is manufactured in a factory, which does not require an army of workers to assemble the frame.
6. Fast Build
The building process of a steel home is much faster than wood-framed homes. According to the BONE Structure’s website, with a crew of five men, the structure can be assembled at a rate of 1000 square feet per day. In addition, more time can be saved during the construction due to the integrated process of the system, ex: no vapour barriers are required.
BONE Structure is a Montreal-based company, so it is great to see a Canadian company creating designs that could revolutionize the housing industry. I'm excited to announce that Bone Structure is present in 9 provinces in Canada, and they have even crossed the border into California. BONE Structure really is at the forefront of new technologies in the housing industry!
To learn more about these steel-framed homes, visit BONE Structure.
All Photos Courtesy of BONE Structure
Researched and Written by Brennan Guse, Environment and Sustainability Undergraduate, University of British Columbia