LSF suitability on Urban Rehabilitation
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Building efficient houses is important. However, rehabilitating existing buildings is integral to decrease our energy consumption. This is one of the best ways to promote sustainable development in the housing market by reducing our energy footprint.

LSF and rehabilitation of older buildings

LSF is used worldwide mostly for new residential projects. However, the low weight of steel and other materials used in Light Steel Framing, make this the ideal construction method for the renovation of older buildings. This is one of the features which often allow an LSF building to be classified as a green-building.

Certain urban areas, such as city’s historic centers, present serious logistic problems especially in transport and lifting of structural construction materials. LSF’s low weight and limited span pose a huge advantage in these scenarios. It is also particularly suited for replacement of wood flooring and roofing joists and usually no reinforcement is necessary on the existing structure. LSF might be the only viable solution in situations involving adding floors to existing buildings. The low weight of LSF structures also improves the seismic response of these buildings.

On occasion the main façade of older buildings is kept, undergoing a complete renewal of its inner structure. Some of these situations would be very difficult or much more expensive to solve resorting to traditional reinforced concrete structures or heavy steel.

Other advantages include quickness, cutback or total elimination of formwork, less need for water and less resulting debris. Rehabilitation or renovation of old buildings can retain their original appearance, improving significantly the comfort inside.

Advantages

Summary of the advantages of LSF on urban rehabilitation:

  • Lower loads on existing structures
  • Improved seismic response
  • Easier access to historical centers
  • Easier transportation
  • Easier lifting
  • Quicker to build
  • Less consumption of water
  • No curing periods
  • Less debris

Limitations

LSF is not fit for façade stabilization. Hence, if such is necessary, an appropriate structure needs to be designed. Usually the materials used to stabilize and reinforce existing façades are reinforced concrete or heavy steel. In some cases there may be a need for additional elements in other structural materials, to guarantee adequate connections between existing walls.

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