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How Does the Use of Cold Formed Steel Framing Systems Keep You on Budget?

11 August 2017

If you’re managing a multi-storey development, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is staying on budget. That’s why when it comes to making purchasing decisions, it’s important to look beyond the price of materials alone, and instead measure the overall construction cost. To do this you need to include all the associated expenses like labour and equipment hire in your calculations. This gives you a much clearer picture of where your money is going – and helps you identify areas where you can save.

For example, you can lower your costs significantly by replacing traditional on site timber and concrete construction with prefab lightweight framing. Using cold formed steel frame walls and roof trusses offers savings to your overall construction costs in many ways – here’s how.

1 – From the Ground Up

Steel framing has a high strength to weight ratio when compared to wood or concrete, so it requires less material to carry the same structural load. And because the loads imposed by top level wall and roof truss steel framing are also less than the concrete alternative, foundations can be designed and constructed in different ways, providing opportunities for cost savings from the ground up.

2 – Faster Construction Time

One of the main causes of budget blowouts is when projects take longer than planned – which is why managers are always on the lookout for construction methods that can get the job done faster.

Prefabricated steel trusses are manufactured off site and delivered ready to be installed, and when used in preference to traditional stick build methods, you can potentially shave months off the build time of your project. Every day less that you spend on site, equates to significant cost savings in labour, insurance and equipment hire. And for owners, the sooner construction is complete, the sooner you’ll start generating income and seeing return on investment.

3 – Reduced Labour Costs

If you’re using traditional on site construction methods for your wall and roof truss frames, you’ll need to engage separate tradesmen to handle the steel structure, carpentry and roof trusses. This means finding multiple contractors and coordinating their schedules to get the job done on time and on budget, which is no easy task.

In contrast, when you use light guage steel frame walls and roof trusses they will arrive on site ready to be installed. This reduces your labour costs in a big way with installation completed by one team faster than it would take the three teams to stick build.

4 – Equipment Hire Savings

Construction is much faster when you opt to use prefabricated steel framing on your upper storey over traditional methods, which means there will also be savings on equipment hire. You’ll only need scaffolding and cranes for a fraction of the time that you would if you were to use concrete and timber on the same job. For every day you’re not paying for large equipment hire on site, you’re reducing your overall costs – and for larger projects, if you’re talking about weeks or months less, the savings are huge.

5 – Less Waste Products

Another potential cost saving when using steel is in waste collection. It is much easier and cheaper to organise for leftover steel to be collected and recycled than it is to deal with the cumbersome and hefty waste materials generated from timber and concrete construction methods. Plus, your steel framing is manufactured to site specifications and delivered ready to install, so there is also less site disruption and mess.

Final Word

When you use pre-fabricated lightweight framing instead of traditional timber and concrete stick building methods, you’ll save both time and money on your overall project. From faster installation and less materials, to reduced equipment hire and labour costs, there are lots of opportunities to cut your spending and keep your budget on track.

So, whether you’re building a townhouse, unit complex, apartments or any other multi-storey development, when you’re crunching the numbers on your next major project, be sure to consider how much you could save by using prefabricated cold formed steel for your upper storey wall and roof trusses.

Over to You

Are you a project manager with a big job on the horizon and wondering if light gauge steel frame walls and roof trusses are a good fit? Our friendly team can provide expert advice and we’d love to hear from you!

Please call us on 1300 782 950, email sales@sbsgroup.com.au or download our brochure to find out more:

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