|Frequently Asked Questions
What is SteelCrete?
SteelCrete is the combination of thin, conventional concrete and modified light gauge metal framing embedded in thin concrete. Commonly called "metal studs", that can be purchased anywhere, the studs and track are modified, or punched on proprietary equipment that Simple Building Solutions (SBS) licenses, sells and leases.
What does it replace on my otherwise conventional job?
SteelCrete is a building system for the typical envelope, or shell, but also makes for an outstanding floor system and roof system for some applications. But conventional floor framing and other systems are readily used. Common roof framing is always an option, whether metal or wood trusses, joists, panelized or cut & stack wood framing.
Are the metal studs ready to use?
Once the studs are modified, walls, floors and roofs are framed, mesh and lifting cable are attached, and the assembly is embedded in wet concrete. An alternate method is to hold the frame above the casting surface and pour the concrete into the form around it through the frame.
How do I know if it's right for my job?
SteelCrete is right for any job where money, time, durability, appearance and structural strength are important
What does it cost?
The basic material hard cost varies according to the design loads required. A standard 8' high wall using 3 5/8" studs on 24" centers and a 2" concrete skin would cost about $2.40 a square foot for material FOB. The total in-place cost is determined by the method of production and your working relationship with SBS. The SteelCrete system may be produced on-site or off-site, at a precast facility, using a subcontractor or by yourself.
How much for my job?
We have cost data we can furnish, but you'll doubtless find that your own format is best for you. It's like estimating tilt-up or concrete block for your project.
How do I get the metal stud product?
SteelCrete uses standard ASTM/SSMA light gauge metal framing products (stud & track material) produced by any reputable national or local cold rolling mill such as Dietrich, Western Metal Lath, Cemco, Studco or any one of a large number of these material providers.
Is it approved?
SteelCrete, one of a variety of pre-engineered thinshell building methods in use throughout the world today, is readily approved, and far exceeds minimums in required areas such as seismic, sound, fire and wind.
Has it been tested?
All generations of Ruiz's composite thinshell building systems have been tested in all areas such as pullout, shear and lateral loading and the test results have exceeded all expectations.
How can I get this building system?
You can buy the metal framing system materials from us.
Are there other building systems like this?
Yes, and Ruiz started it all in 1981 in a method he patented and licensed to a number of producers internationally. Then he developed a separate strip to be attached to standard, off-the-shelf studs, but abandoned that system when he developed SteelCrete. A number of similar appearing and performing systems have been developed over the last twenty years, but few offer the well established benefits of composite bonding between the metal framing and thin concrete. The closest today is Ruiz's MetalCrete also known as Metal Stud Crete which he invented. SteelCrete is less costly and our product is ready to use when delivered to the job. MetalCrete requires labor and fasteners to fasten metal strips the the studs. SteelCrete uses a punched tab every 6" in a standard C shape that allows a reliable, less expensive embedment in thin concrete to form walls, floors and roofs.
What is the maximum size of SteelCrete panels?
The typical SteelCrete panel size is determined by practicality more than by any other limitation, pretty much like conventional tilt-up. Lifting, handling and rigging are the biggest constraints. SteelCrete has the ]advantage over tilt-up due to weight and simplicity. We can handle SteelCrete panels with much more speed and efficiency. A SteelCrete panel can be picked and set in place in a quarter of the time of an equivalent size conventional tilt-up panel. We can use a small crane, forklift or skylift whereas tilt-up will use a 120 ton crane or larger with a full compliment of union operators, riggers, etc.
The 1997 UBC (Uniform Building Code), currently in use, allows a maximum metal stud single stud height of 38', so anything above that height would require additional panel(s). Prior to this, we have done one-piece 40'x40' panels.
Since SteelCrete panels are considerably lighter than tilt-up, are traditional 'J' bolts used to anchor wall panels to the slab?
J bolts are typically used, but we have also used shots & pins to anchor them due to the mass-panel weight and kinetic energy factor. Another option is to drop the panels into the footing with some blockouts, setting them on "erection blocks" and pouring the footing and slab monolithically and therefore encapsulating the panel bottoms in the concrete footing.
Is a standard slab adequate for SteelCrete panels?
The standard 3.5" to 4" slab is adequate and the panels are typically set above the footings, which are engineered for the soil bearing capacity as well as live and dead loads. The concrete weight is approximately 23 pounds per square foot for panels that are 1.5" thick and 30 pounds for 2" thick panels.
How do I get started?
Getting started is easy. We provide full training and technical support. You can buy the wall, floor and roof components via our precasters FOB their yard, your job, or installed in place. Then you finish your project around them. If you want to pour the panels onsite, we can supply the punched metal studs, joists and track.