Design for a Cold-Formed Steel Framed Manufactured Home: Technical Support Document
The use of cold-formed steel in the structural system of residential construction has taken hold in some site building markets but potentially offers far more value to the manufactured home industry. Steel is lightweight, fireproof, vermin resistant, dimensionally stable (not subject to material decay, warping and twisting and shrinkage) and can be fabricated to a wide range of shapes and sizes with virtually no material wastage. There are additional factors that suggest the industry ought to consider options to wood as the basic structural building block. Foremost among these are the uncertainties associated with future wood resources and the historic price fluctuations that at times have made wood more expensive than steel. Even if steel proved to be less attractive than wood in the short term, as a future alternative material, steel shows considerable promise. The report summarizes the results of the first phase of a multiphase effort to assess viability of substituting steel for wood as the structural skeleton of homes built under the HUD manufactured home standards. The research focuses mainly on structural design, thermal conductance, and cost issues.