Key Issues

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Multilevel buildings

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ASI Australian Fabricator Directory - Australian steel solutions for multilevel construction (PDF) (5 Mb)

Delivering value

Steel construction has intrinsic benefits that are often hidden in the construction process and therefore not traditionally costed. An “apples for apples” comparison of steel construction needs to take into account all the factors affecting cost. Following are the advantages when steel is used. 

These factors deliver value:

Role of the ASI

Safety

  • Steel use reduces the number of workers on site considerably (rule of thumb, steel construction needs approximately 10-20% of the labour needed for concrete construction). This therefore considerably reduces the accident liability rate for the builder for a project.
  • Accurate and efficient offsite construction considerably reduces the amount of handling required.
  • Preassembled steel construction packages can be lifted straight from truck to building in construction sequence.
  • Minimum use of temporary work is achieved.
  • Safety now rates first in the criteria of importance in the building industry and has significant cost implications.

Speed

  • Offsite steel fabrication means quality issues are sorted out offsite, saving time.
  • Steel construction is universally recognised as significantly faster than concrete construction.
  • Improved speed markedly affects preliminary costs.
  • Earlier construction provides earlier completion and payback commencement.
  • Staff are released quickly for the next project.

Quality

  • Every batch of steel produced is certified and traceable.
  • Fabrication is driven by 3D modelling and numerically controlled fabrication equipment.
  • Steel provides the surest guarantee of quality construction.


Efficiency

  • Steel is structurally efficient and buildings are considerably lighter as a result.
  • Foundations are lighter and cheaper relative to concrete.
  • Just-in-time deliveries can be sequenced and synchronised with the construction program.
  • Steel is fabricated in controlled conditions with little waste.

Sustainability

  • More than 95% of all structural steel is recovered and reused or recycled. Steel by weight is the most recycled material in the world without degradation or loss of quality.
  • Steel buildings inherently lend themselves to addition and modification easily and quickly.
  • ASI Charter members (the Environmental Sustainability Charter ESC) have an auditable environmental management scheme rewarded with a Green Star point.

Innovation

  • Steel construction worldwide has seen dramatic efficiency gains due to technology (CNC processing and BIM)*.
  • The steel economy is global and productivity gains and innovation are shared as extensive research and development becomes available.

*CNC is Computer Numerically Controlled and BIM is Building Information Modelling

Waste reduction

  • Significant savings can be made through reduced waste reduction compared to concrete construction (recorded $200,000 savings for one project
  • Considerable savings in freight through not having to use and remove formwork.
  • Significantly fewer truck movements.

Future proofing

  • Provision of large penetrations in steel construction to allow future use requirements.
  • Ability to cut floor penetrations in steel to allow for stair access at a later stage.
  • Ease of reinforcement of steel columns to provide for height increases at a later stage.
  • Ease of additions to the construction e.g. for shopping centre extensions, with minimum disruption to tenants.

Offsite construction

  • Overcomes congested and hard to access site constraints.
  • Considers the neighbourhood with reduced noise and dust and time of construction.
  • High quality, safer and quicker construction.

Role of the ASI

  • Comprehensive technical support and guidance
  • Develop publications and design guides and keep them current
  • Extensive eLibrary
  • Online directory of steelwork contractors for reference
  • List of ASI Charter Fabricators for Green Star point qualification
  • Development of Australian steel standards to uphold the stringent Australian quality standards
  • Connections to international steel associations and World Steel Association
  • Access through OneSteel to preliminary design and fire advice