Materials

Structural Steel:

Commonly used for interior partitioning of commercial buildings, light-gauge steel framing is increasingly being used in residential construction.  Compared to solid wood, steel studs are lightweight, dimensionally stable, resistant to insect damage, and of consistent quality.  Cold-rolled steel framing typically contains 20-25% recycled material (10-15% post-consumer content), though some manufacturers have in excess of 90% recycled content.  Steel studs are also recyclable at the end of the building’s useful life.  Despite the advantages of light-gauge steel, its use can cripple a building’s energy performance when improperly used in exterior wall applications because of thermal bridging through the highly conductive steel.  Foam insulation is often recommended on the inside or outside surface of a wall to address this problem.  Products listed here have high recycled content or are designed to help minimize thermal bridging.

Steel is both the most energy-intensive framing material, on a pound-for-pound basis, and the most recyclable.  Overall, the steel industry’s recycling rate is over 60%.  Heavy-gauge structural steel framing members, from almost all sources, commonly have greater than 90% recycled content.  The embodied energy of steel averages about 19,200 Btu/lb; manufacture of structural steel from recycled materials conserves 5,450 Btu/lb.  In addition to having lower embodied energy, high-recycled-content steel results in lower impact associated with mining waste and pollution.  Products listed here contain at least 90% recycled content.

Foam Block:

Share in the residential and light commercial building market because they’re quick to assemble and provide excellent energy performance.  The insulating core of SIPs is most commonly made from expanded polystyrene (EPS)- not to be confused with extruded polystyrene, which is not ozone safe – though in some cases polyurethane foam, or even compressed straw or mineral wool, is used.  SIPs are manufactured in a range of thicknesses providing different R-values-Living Comfort.

  • Saving / Increased Home Value
  • Structural Strength and Safety
  • Construction Advantages
  • Environmentally Responsible

Concrete:

The PolySteel-AE PSi4000 Flat Wall Insulating Concrete Form (ICF) is an expanded polystyrene and steel form for the construction of concrete walls that provide superior strength, durability, and energy efficiency over other methods of construction.  Its core design creates a solid reinforced concrete wall of uniform thickness, and the stay-in-place expanded polystyrene insulation provides a stable foundation and integrated steel studs for the secure attachment of wall coverings, in addition to providing a superior effective R-value rating.

The standard PSi4000 ICF is a full 24″ tall by 48″ long and is held together with eight unique steel cross ties made of 11-gauge galvanized welded wire, reinforced on both ends with a 1-1/2″ wide by 21″ tall galvanized steel stud welded to the wire.  The resulting combination delivers superior strength and fire resistance for the secure attachment of wall coverings.  The studs are recessed 1/2″ below the surface of the form and are identified by vertical lines that run the full height of the form on each side of the studs, which are spaced every 6 inches on center.  In the completed wall system, each steel attachment stud is rigidly anchored to the concrete by the galvanized welded steel wire.

The PSi4000 is currently manufactured in two core sizes, 6″ and 8″, with outside dimensions of 11″ and 13″ respectively.  The standard forms are 24″ tall and the PSi4000 is also offered in half sizes (12″ tall).  Molded corners are available in all sizes at both 90 and 45 degree angles.