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Optimal insulation for your steel frame home

14 September 2019

A comfortable and energy-efficient steel-frame house in which a great life can be enjoyed is obtained by a combination of factors, but starts with the choice of the structural construction method. Choosing a lightweight steel frame from beSteel for your construction/renovation project gives you excellent insulation values and superior living comfort.

EPB and steel frame

The thermal insulation of your steel frame home ensures as little heat is lost through the walls, roof or floor as possible. The extent to which your home must be insulated is regulated in Belgium by the EPB regulations. There are three pillars:

  • Thermal insulation: K, U and R values
  • Energy advantages: E-value, net energy and renewable energy
  • Indoor climate: ventilation and overheating

Comparative tests show that for the same thermal performance, the walls of a steel frame building are thinner compared to traditional construction. This means the net habitable surface area increases. This results in a financial advantage.

Thinner walls with light steel

The thickness of the beSteel profiles varies from 75 mm to 250 mm; combined with insulation, façade finishing and cladding, it is possible to obtain walls of a considerably lower thickness than with a traditional construction.

“This is one of the reasons many real estate developers choose a lightweight steel frame. Reducing the thickness of the walls means you get more square metres of living space. This is a very valuable advantage if you know the m² price in cities such as Brussels, Antwerp, Paris, etc.”, says Carla Harfouch, Steel Frame Analyst at beSteel.

Avoid internal condensation with steel frame construction

To insulate a steel frame, thermal insulation is used on the outside, which is combined with acoustic insulation between the profiles. This will help avoid cold bridges. This is slightly different to timber frame construction.

Because the steel frame is on the warm side of the insulation, the risk of internal condensation is minimal. In order to further increase the performance of the wall, an additional air and/or moisture barrier can be installed. This guarantees a healthy indoor climate with lower energy costs for the user.

No thermal bridges with a steel frame

Combined with the right materials, a steel frame construction offers high-quality thermal insulation. Any cold bridges are completely eliminated by the external thermal insulation. This construction method ensures there are no thermal bridges, which means it can also be used for passive construction.

What materials can be used with light steel?

There are many directions the appearance of your home can take, taking local building regulations into account. From a traditional facing brick to modern steel cassettes, as well as crépi, wooden façades, fibreboards, etc. anything is possible with a steel frame.

Soft insulation such as glass wool or mineral wool is used between the profiles. This ensures excellent acoustic performance, as well as influencing the thermal insulation of the wall. Insulation panels such as PUR, EPS, PIR, XPS and wood fibre are used on the outside.