Why are Major Franchise Restaurants Turning to Metal Stud Framing Construction?

Over the years, I have estimated and project managed a number of franchise restaurant construction jobs. This type of construction has seen an evolution in the way these projects are being constructed. Today, many franchise designers are turning to metal stud framing as the construction method of choice.

In previous years, these projects were being designed and built as ‘one-off’ type of construction. Although the concepts were being standardized, each project was looked at as a new construction concept. Each had new details that changed the way the project was looked at and built.

Some of the older buildings were built from wood stud framing and wood trussed roofs. Others were constructed of ‘stick-framed’ structural steel with mainly wood framing infill.

As design concepts became more standardized, the facades and parapets leant themselves to being panelized. Here again, the material of choice a few years ago was wood framing for the pre-built panels.

Today, steel has become the material of choice for panelizing. Building codes have been a big influence on this change. Of course the cost of metal stud framing has made this type of panelization more palatable.

Building codes are becoming more strict in the use of flammable materials in assembly buildings – including restaurants. Some have even dictated that all framing materials must be non-flammable. Enter Metal stud framing to accommodate this mandate.

The cost of metal studs versus wood studs was a deterrent a few years ago. That gap in equity has closed considerably. And once most contractors become familiar with the use of metal studs, they are reluctant to return to the use of wood framing.

Why metal stud framing?

Metal studs provide a wide array of advantages over wood framing. First and foremost for commercial buildings is the fact that metal studs are non-combustible. Metal studs do not twist, crack, warp, shrink, or rot as wood can. More-over, metal studs do not promote the growth of mould and are impermeable to termites and other insects and rodents.

Why PANELIZED metal stud framing?

Having your construction project panelized – in a quality controlled environment – gives the owner the peace of mind in knowing that the framing has been completed in superior workman-like manner. Panelized metal stud systems speed the construction process as well. Even the sub-sheathing can be installed in the metal stud panels prior to erection. All load bearing walls (and interior partition walls as well if desired) are pre-built in panels ready for shipment and erection of site. Metal trusses are pre-fabricated as well. This work can be completed while the construction is has the civil work being done – footing, foundations etc. The metal work can then be quickly set into place minimizing the on-site erection time.

Other Features and Benefits

Steel is 100% recyclable. In fact, about 67% of steel framing materials are from recycled resources. Metal stud panelized construction reduces land-fill use and cost by as much as 18 – 20% when compared to wood framing. In many cases, structures fabricated from metal stud framing have reduced insurance costs.

With so many advantages, it’s no wonder that the franchise restaurant market is turning to panelized metal stud framing.