Wildfires in California have devastated huge swaths of the state in recent years. In 2019 alone, more than 4.7 million acres of land were burned, costing land and property owners billions of dollars in damages.
In July of 2018, the Mendocino Complex Fire spread at an unfathomable rate that was much faster than firefighters could keep up with, resulting in financial losses eclipsing the $257 million mark. Because of the unpredictable nature of California wildfires, more and more real estate developers are shifting their focus to designing homes and commercial buildings that are specifically engineered to withstand the worst that Mother Nature can dole out.
While these buildings may cost more to erect, their resilience in the face of infernal wildfires makes the upfront investment well worth it.
In the wake of recent California wildfires, architects and builders have returned to the drawing board to develop best practices in home and commercial building design. The first fundamental concept they can all agree on is the advantage of a steel-framed building over a wood-framed one.
Why is this? The answer lies in physics:
Therefore, even when California wildfires are burning at their hottest, steel is going to remain uncompromised. Conversely, any wood material is going to be incinerated without anything remaining except ash and charred remnants.
Opting for steel construction in California has other benefits, too. One of the most attractive is a shorter build time. On average, steel buildings can be erected 40% faster than wood-framed or brick buildings. The reason for this is because steel buildings are prefabricated and kitted, resulting in an easy, straightforward build that doesn’t have as many phases involved when compared with wood-framed buildings.
What’s more, steel buildings are more energy efficient, a great feature for California, where temperatures can easily exceed 120°F. The deep-channel walls that are integral to the design of steel buildings allow for the use of extra insulation which, in turn, reduces cooling costs during the sweltering California summers.
In addition to using steel as the framing material for new residential or commercial buildings in California, some other steps can be taken to help ensure the structure stands up well to abrupt wildfire outbreaks.
The Steps Include
Even though California has become known for its destructive wildfires, it’s not the only state that has to contend with them. Nevada, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Idaho are also especially prone to wildfires, which means fire-proofing new building construction is something architects and builders throughout the country are focused on.
At Capital Steel Industries, we’re proud to connect vetted, local steel building contractors with those who need high-quality, durable steel buildings they can rely on for decades, even in states where wildfires pose a significant risk.
If you’re in the market for a new steel building in California, or if you’re a contractor that would like to become part of the Capital Steel Industries family, please contact us today. We look forward to working with you!