February 2011 Product Solutions

Green Construction

A model for sustainable design using cold-formed steel.

The Steel Framing Alliance. Poly Canyon Village is the largest cold-formed steel load-bearing project in California and the most sizable student housing complex ever undertaken by an American university in a single construction project. The project comprises nine buildings, four and five stories over slabs or podiums, and adds nearly 2,700 new beds to California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo.

Poly Canyon Village is an impressive apartment development and new home for students with amenities such as a swimming pool, community center and central retail plaza. The scale of the project is 820,000 square feet with 11,000 load-bearing wall panels. Cold-formed steel, wood and concrete masonry units (CMU) all were considered for the project, but the final decision was to use steel because of its many attributes, such as lower construction costs, reduced insurance costs, its non-combustibility and a mandatory requirement that the project be LEED-certified. Originally scheduled for a 20-month schedule, the project was completed in just 14 months.

In addition to the design criteria calling for Type II, one-hour fire rating for multi-story residential construction, the university chose steel because its high recycled material content would give them the most LEED points. The project achieved a LEED gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

New techniques using steel help reduce costs of an overall project and makes projects like this one more marketable because steel is a stable, engineered material with consistent properties and attributes.

Select the February issue RSN number 150 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.