Steel ‘Bones’ May Change the Building Industry

New technological innovations occur in every industry and company. But construction?

It’s true: Quebec-based company BONE Structure has created pre-cut and premeasured “bones” of recycled, light-weight steel, which can be clicked together, like Lego or Meccano pieces, to frame residential and commercial buildings.

The result is a flexibility the building industry isn’t usually known for; designs allow for easy renovations such as removing a child’s bedroom when they leave home, then adding the room back in when extra space is needed. It’s suited to open-concept housing, and the method of framing builds in an almost unlimited number of windows – something those planning to build in a picturesque spot will appreciate.

Assembly can happen quickly; some plans require only five days to complete – although several weeks is more usual. The production process is environmentally friendly, and the company says that steel-bone framing is as strong as wood and costs only 5 percent more. Maintenance costs are also reduced.

According to a recent article in the Toronto Star, there are more than 200 homes in Quebec and the GTA made from the material, and more are planned. The steel “bones” are being used to construct everything from multi-unit residential buildings to a car wash. The company is also constructing a McDonald’s near Montreal, and recently built a Louisiana patio that can be taken down in storm season.

The steel-frame technology works well for retail companies, such as restaurants and stores; there is little noise or dust during construction, so they don’t have to close while work is underway.

Caledon, ON, homeowner Patrick Skuce, whose home was the first Bone Structure home built in the province, was quoted recently in the Huffington Post as saying: “These homes are different and fit any lifestyle…because no wood framing is used, there’s no chance for mold, mildew, or rot to set in. It’s virtually maintenance free.”