The market share of lightweight steel‐framed (LSF) construction system has grown over the last decades, mainly in low‐rise residential buildings, due to its advantages such as having small weight with high mechanical strength; reduced disruption on‐site and speed of construction; great potential for recycling and reuse; high architectural flexibility for retrofitting purposes; easy prefabrication, allowing modular construction; economy in transportation and handling; superior quality given off‐site manufacture control; and excellent stability of shape in case of humidity and resistance to insect damage. However, given the high thermal conductivity of steel and the lightness of this type of construction, it may also have some drawbacks if not well designed and executed. Therefore, special attention should be given to the LSF building envelope in order to minimize thermal bridges. Moreover, given the usual reduced thermal mass, several strategies could be implemented to increase thermal inertia, consequently reduce indoor temperature fluctuations, enhance the occupants comfort and increase energy efficiency. In this chapter an overview of the main features related to the thermal behaviour and energy efficiency of LSF buildings is provided alongside some related case studies.
Part of the book: Energy Efficient Buildings