Projects - Steel Framing Prototype Development: Final Report
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  Steel Framing Prototype Development: Final Report
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The research effort described in this report explores the potential of steel framing for the construction of factory built homes that conform to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) code, or the International Residential Code (IRC), with the goal of developing technologies that are competitive with wood framing. This research critically assesses and refines the use of light-gauge steel design in the factory environment. MHRA first explored the use of light-gauge steel for factory building in 2001 when developing a design intended to demonstrate the economic and regulatory viability of steel for HUD-code construction. The current work builds on this earlier effort by exploring the commercial viability of light-gauge steel-frame designs through a case study approach conducted in cooperation with industry partners.

The report consists of two case studies of the application of steel framing in a factory environment. A case study approach was taken as a way of addressing head-on the major technical issues associated with steel framing in a home manufacturing plant. In each case study, engineers worked with plant staff to develop solutions for a unique combination of market and product-specific conditions.

The first case study focuses on Quality Homes of the Pacific (QHP), a HUD-code home producer that was formed in 2001 in Hawaii. QHP started with the light-gauge steel framing design developed under the Phase I MHRA research. This design, as well as revisions to it, is presented in Chapter 2. Work with QHP was given considerable attention as the company committed to building a new manufacturing facility dedicated to 100 percent steel construction. The technical hurdles faced by QHP and their solutions covered a wide range of issues important to proving the value of steel in the factory environment. Given this unique environment for product development, evolving a viable steel design in partnership with QHP was the major focus of Phase II research.

The second case study documents the engineering of a steel-frame, factory built home design developed in conjunction with R-Anell Housing Group, a producer of HUD-code and modular homes, and commercial modular structures. R-Anell is headquartered in Denver, North Carolina. The company was interested in investigating the feasibility of transferring steel framing technology, which it uses for its commercial modular structures, to its residential HUD-code and/or modular production. This case study is presented in Chapter 3.

Selected elements of the R-Anell modular steel design are included in Chapter 3 with the full set of details contained in Appendix A. Appendix B provides a list of resources including organizations and events that focus on light-gauge steel framing.

 Design for a Cold-formed Steel Framing Manufactured Home
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