The Benefits of Building with Light Gauge Cold-rolled Steel (CRS)

The year 2020 was devastating for many Americans in various ways. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season broke an all-time record, leaving the Gulf Coast battered by 30 named storms. The total U.S. damage was estimated at around $37 billion, and Hurricane Laura left at least 28 people dead, 10,000 homes demolished, and more than 130,000 homes damaged.

The 2021 season was equally destructive and recognized as the third most active season on record, producing 21 named storms with 170 fatalities and $80,543 billion in damage.

These devastating natural disasters have emphasized the need for a more affordable firestorm, hurricane, and tornado-resistant housing solution.

Affordable Resistant Housing Options

The U.S. Department of Urban Development (HUD), the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH), and the Manufactured Housing Research Alliance published three white papers in 2002 that focused on the benefits of building with light-gauge gauge cold-rolled steel (CRS). Participants in the studies included top industry advisors and contractors.
The white papers concluded that light-gauge gauge CRS technology produces a product far superior, less costly, greener, and quicker to produce than other home construction methodologies. Additionally, a study by CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency, documented that light-gauge gauge CRS housing is extremely fire resistant.

The Benefits of CRS Housing

Constructing light-gauge gauge CRS housing in a factory comes with a variety of benefits — including the ability to be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a controlled environment. Properly designed CRS housing can also withstand 150 mph winds, remain extremely fire resistant, and offers a cheaper solution for regions with a lack of affordable housing.
However, homes destroyed by hurricanes and tornados and burned by wildfires are continually replaced in large part by more wooden structures that often cannot offer the same benefits.

Albert Einstein wrote, “Insanity [is] doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Not only could a move to factory-built steel frame housing save billions of dollars, but it could also save lives as well.

The Benefits of Production Manufacturing

Residential and commercial construction techniques and technologies have evolved to the extent at which 100% engineered structures can be produced quickly, safely, and accurately — in some cases with greater structural integrity than traditional methods. This industrialized construction process is scalable, reduces traditional costs, and provides significant short and long-term environmental benefits.
Production manufacturing, which employs the same principles that have been fine-tuned by a variety of other industries, including automobile, appliances, and electronics, can often offer faster, more accurate, and more efficient production compared to some other assembly or construction methods.

Looking Ahead

DreamWeaver Homes, a Pennsylvania-based company, is currently building a factory in Puerto Rico to manufacture steel frame housing. With a plan to open more factories across the U.S. over the next five years, they are also assisting Native American tribes and reservations interested in entering the business.

Learn more about how cold-formed steel can be applied in your upcoming projects, by contacting our team today


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