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CFS: The Way the World Constructs

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Cold formed steel offers the construction industry significant benefits throughout the design and construction process. Integrated software solutions make designing and detailing cold formed steel quick and efficient, so deadlines and budgets can be met and risks reduced. It’s also the perfect material for prefabricating components before they go to the site.

In this blog, we look at two case studies aiming to deliver high-quality, fit-for-purpose buildings that were also quick and easy to construct. The FRAMECAD cold-formed steel solution was able to deliver these technically challenging projects efficiently within time and budget constraints. 

Dynamic Steel Frame: Lonsdale Apartments - the world’s largest CFS floor cassette project


The challenges:

Adding eight stories to an existing 12-story building is no easy matter. But when the building is in the middle of a busy city and with a fixed project budget, the challenges quickly stack up. When the developers realized they wouldn't be able to meet their production deadline using traditional timber construction, the team at Dynamic Steel Frame was brought in to implement a cold formed steel solution for this large, time-sensitive and logistically complex project.

The solution:

The only way to deliver the project within the constraints was to use cold formed steel floor cassettes. The cassettes contained pre-assembled components and could be craned into position during construction, saving time and reducing concerns about site access. Using a design-led approach, the cassettes and their interaction with the building services, pre-fabricated façade, and structural steel elements were designed and detailed using FRAMECAD Detailer and Tekla to avoid errors on site.

Using the FRAMECAD software and automated machinery, the manufacturing was done off-site at Dynamic Steel Frame’s manufacturing plant, taking their single shift production team a week to roll and assemble each story before being transported to the site. From there, the installation of each story took just 3-4 days individually. Using prefabrication to manufacture the cassettes ensured an accurate installation, and the seamless integration between the software and machinery saved valuable time.

The outcome:

The outcome was a high-quality building delivered on time and to budget, despite the technical challenges.

Dynamic Steel Frame summarizes the benefits of using cold formed steel on this project: “Using cold formed steel allows for ease of installation, fast delivery and project completion around 16 weeks. Cold formed steel is fast becoming the preferred building material.”

Describing the benefits of the FRAMECAD system, they said, “FRAMECAD technology has been a vital part of completing projects and enabling staff to exceed clients’ expectations. [It] is the most advanced software/hardware system able to produce fine, detailed, and intricate cold formed steel frames.”

To learn more about this project, check out the full case study here.

Douglass Colony: Mariposa VII – A 7-Story multi-family building

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The challenge:

This project consisted of over 400 load-bearing panels that needed to be erected on two levels of podium to create a 7-story building. With a short construction schedule and a tight budget, Douglass Colony needed a solution to help them deliver a high-quality building in the shortest amount of time possible.

The solution:

Using pre-panelized metal stud wall framing, Douglass Colony was able to completely fabricate the panels at their headquarters in Commerce City and then ship them directly to the job site. This saved time on-site and allowed activities to be carried out on the project simultaneously, reducing the construction duration.

The speed of construction offered by the prefabricated panels meant that each level was completed in seven working days: two days to assemble and erect the wall panels, and five days to finalize the floor system, complete the detailing on the floor deck, and pour and cure the concrete. 

The outcome:

The simplified field erection that cold formed steel provides meant that the project was completed in one-quarter of the time compared to timber framing. The time savings – and therefore labor savings – ensured that the project was delivered well within budget.

To learn more about this project, check out the full case study here.


Working with cold formed steel and FRAMECAD gives all the benefits of a design-led approach combined with the advantages of prefabrication.

These case studies illustrate how FRAMECAD’s system allows companies to create robust designs and deliver precise manufacturing with fewer errors and less waste on-site, all with a quick and easy installation.

If you want to know more about how FRAMECAD and cold formed steel can improve the way you build, please get in touch with the FRAMECAD team to book a consultation.

Discover how the need for the rapid construction of quality buildings is defining the future of construction

Topics: Benefits of Cold Formed Steel Construction