HOUSING: Log Cabins Made of Steel

Log Cabins Made of Steel

Start with a steel coil, load it into a tube-forming machine that bends the metal into stackable logs, wrap the surface with metal mesh and then cover it with plaster and wallboard. Result: sturdy, affordable housing. Florida Developer Stefan Johansson, 28, is building five town houses in Coconut Grove < based on a novel design licensed from a Venezuelan company called Tronco (Spanish for "log").

The cost of building a steel-log superstructure is less than $7 per sq. ft., vs. about $9 for a wood-frame or $10 for a concrete-block structure. The hollow logs provide twice the insulation value of conventional...

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