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Light gauge, or cold-formed steel is most commonly used for wall, floor and roof framing. The material is increasing in popularity as an alternative for wood framing or heavy structural steel framing. Light gauge steel can be used in pre-fabricated panel sections as well as stick-built construction similar to light wood construction. It is competitive with wood in terms of cost and workability. However, it contains the strength and material properties of structural steel (non-combustible and strength).
It has the additional benefit of being galvanized to prevent corrosion. The International Building Code limits wood-framed construction to effectively 8-stories depending on project specifics. Cold-formed steel structures can go much higher. It is common to build 15 to 17-stories with light gauge up to 180-feet. Equally as important, the area limitations for light gauge are far greater than wood construction.