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The lifecycle of Cold Formed Steel (CFS)


The carbon footprint of steel manufacturing has decreased by 47% since 1990. The planned introduction in 2026 of an electric arc furnace, powered by renewable energy will reduce emissions from New Zealand Steel by a further 50%, delivering a total reduction of 1% for all New Zealand’s GHG emissions.


98% of water used in the steel-making process is reused or recirculated. As renewable energy sources become more viable so too is the carbon footprint of steel reducing.


Building design and CFS fabrication can now be closely integrated using Building Information Modelling and collaborative design processes. This approach delivers a more efficient use of materials, significant time savings, less variance and waste, and less environmental impact.


CFS framing provides easier integration of mechanical systems, resulting in low floor-to-floor heights, less building volume, and lower energy consumption.


The superior resilience and enduring strength of CFS means buildings are far safer during catastrophic events. This reduces the need for costly post-event reconstruction – and the additional resources and environmental impact that goes with rebuilding.

1. Deconstruction.

CFS structures can be disassembled and reused, eliminating the additional energy needed for melting & rolling.

2. Collection.

Close to 100% of steel scrap during fabrication is reused or recycled; 95% of construction steel waste and 75% of all other steel scrap is now also recycled.

3. Recycling.

CFS can be reused endlessly, and a greater emphasis on recycling means this process is now far more cost-effective and efficient.

4. Creation.

With a greater focus on re-using scrap and reducing the reliance on iron ore and coal, and the increasing viability of renewable energy, manufacturing is carefully monitored and consistently improved to reduce environmental impact.

5. Fabrication.

Modern technology ensures CFS fabrication is undertaken with absolute precision, keeping waste to a minimum and use to a maximum.

6. Transportation.

Freight impacts are kept to a minimum too. As CFS is a third of the weight of traditional framing materials, transport is normally on lightweight trailers towed by utility vehicles. Most frames/trusses can be handled by two people, avoiding the need for cranes on site.

7. Construction.

Preassembled steel framing can be quickly erected in less time, by fewer people, and with a reduced impact of construction equipment.

8. Reconstruction.

The structural adaptability of CFS makes re-use of existing structures far easier, ensuring buildings can be efficiently repurposed and futureproofed and dramatically affecting the need for high-impact new builds.