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Specifying Non-structural STEEL STUDS for Interior Walls by Michael C. Kerner, FASTM, CSI, CDT All images courtesy ClarkDietrich Building Systems WITH A HISTORY SPANNING MORE THAN A HALF-CENTURY IN NON-COMBUSTIBLE COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION, COLD- FORMED STEEL (CFS) IS A POPULAR MATERIAL CHOICE FOR FRAMING NON- STRUCTURAL INTERIOR WALLS, LOAD- BEARING INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR WALLS, CURTAIN WALLS, AND FLOOR JOISTS. ITS MANY PERFORMANCE-BASED CHARACTERISTICS AND ‘GREEN’ ATTRIBUTES HAVE ENABLED ARCHITECTS TO DESIGN SAFE, DURABLE STRUCTURES THAT ARE BOTH DYNAMIC AND SUSTAINABLE. Cold-formed steel offers the strength, durability, and stability needed for framing applications. From a sustainable construction standpoint, the material is ideal for new construction as well as commercial renovation projects. The material is: • non-combustible; • corrosion- and mold-resistant; • termite-proof; • made with high-recycled content; and • reduces onsite construction waste as materials can be ordered to specified lengths. Cold-formed steel framing products are completely recyclable, and can be locally or regionally sourced for most projects. New construction projects featuring cold-formed steel components can be eligible for up to 12 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) points in eight different categories, which include: • Materials and Resources (MR) Credit 2, Construction Waste Management; • MR Credit 4, Recycled Content; and • MR Credit 5, Regional Materials. The two primary CFS framing applications are structural and non-structural, with this article focusing on the latter. 1 Non-structural steel studs are not designed for bearing any axial loads and are ideal for supporting the dead load typical of many wall finishes (e.g. gypsum board or tile) and providing resistance to limited interior transverse loads. Accounting for the use of nearly 60 percent of all metal studs in the United States, interior, non- structural wall partitions are common applications for steel framing—specifically light-gauge steel studs. As specifiers, it is important to understand the material and manufacturing requirements set by ASTM C645, Standard Specification for Non-structural Steel Framing Members, the installation requirements set by ASTM 36 the construction specifier | may 2013 CS_May2013.indd 36 4/16/13 3:34:33 PM