The Downside of Using Structural Steel
Brandon M’s house is well underway, but details of how to insulate the steel are still up in the air. His major concern is condensation inside the cantilevered floors, which could lead to rot in adjoining wood framing members.
In his Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor, Brandon asks whether the designer’s current thinking on insulation is faulty, and if so how the design can be corrected. The conversation is the subject of this Q&A Spotlight.
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Designs in which structural beams penetrate the building envelope are very difficult to pull off successfully, Brandon is told. Even when the beams are fully enclosed inside walls and floors, as they woulld in his house, they can become thermal conduits.
The real issue, however, may be more complex. A cantilevered design offers a variety of potential points of entry for water, even if wins architectural awards. “Aligning architectural aesthetics and technical performance is a huge issue in the profession right now,” one posts says. “They’re often strongly at odds. It’s something we all need to work on changing.”
Read the whole article at Green Building Advisor.
Will the steel mean future rot? Steel I-beams that support cantilevered floors in this modernist Seattle home are proving difficult to insulate effectively.
Spot the weak points: This modernist house under construction in Seattle comes under fire for a variety of potential problems, including water intrusion and thermal bridging.