introduction to steel framed structures

 

Unlike any other manufacturing industry that optimizes the production processes, the building industry spends up to 20% of the project budget on wasted materials carted from site as rubble and up to 50% on labour costs.

Optimization:

In order to reduce waste and labour costs on site traditional building methods is adjusted in several ways:

Roofing and steel structure

The structural- and roof system is combined into singular steel frame structure freeing the rest of the building elements from their structural function reducing dimensioning and cost. Steel manufacture is also much more efficient than wood construction working to much closer tolerances and less waste.

Wall construction:

The wall construction freed from being a structural element can be made from less expensive materials such as half brick walls or sustainable materials such as earth construction. The separated steel structure also allows for openings to be provided without structural elements such as beams or lintels further reducing costs significantly.

Foundation:

The separated roof and wall structural systems allow for reduced load to the foundation system reducing footing dimensions.

Dimensions

The foundations and floor system is combined into one casted component reducing the amount of materials and labour involved.

The concrete floor is provided with reticulation sleeves for accommodating services such as electrical and water reticulation. This means that no damage to internal surfaces are made later for installing services further reducing wastage and labour.

is it really more cost effective?

why?

Floor plan design:

The design of the house is optimized on plan by utilizing a tartan grid layout alternating service and served spaces reducing the need for wasted areas in the form of circulation passages.

Sustainability and Climatic Efficiency:

Heating and cooling:

Internally the building utilizes convection in order to expel hot air in summer while channelling cool air by means of the sloped ceiling and placement of windows.

Roof overhands and light shelves are used to allow for reflected light in summer and direct light in winter by utilizing the changing angle of the sun’s rays during the year.

Direct sunlight in winter allows for the concrete flooring and walls to store heat during the day light hours which is then radiated through the night in order to even out the temperature fluctuations experienced through a day/night cycle.

In summer months reflected light allows for well lit internal spaces without the heat gain.

Electrical efficiency:

Heating and cooling of living space and water contributes to the majority of electrical usage. By finding alternative energy sources for these items makes it possible to completely function without a municipal power supply.

Lighting and most appliances can be run off solar power by installing solar panels and a battery bank designed into the building.

The buildings are designed with this aim in mind and utilize low voltage lighting and more recently LED lighting.

All of these changes contribute to providing a more efficient building that is cheaper to build.