Materials - Woodman, spare that tree
An average house in the United States can be framed with wood harvested from one-third acre of forest or with steel recycled from six old cars. Wood has been the traditional choice because of cost and thermal efficiency. Now Jan Kosny and other scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have made steel an equal choice by developing a steel-framed wall system that is comparable to wood in thermal efficiency level and cost. It also offers an improved fire rating, additional structural stability and good acoustic performance. In addition, the design cuts the cost of plumbing and electrical installation.
December 01, 2002