STEEL CONSTRUCTION ECONOMY
First of all, the issue of the steel construction economy should be considered within the general system of design analysis.
The modern assessment of architectural, layout and design solutions of buildings should be based on comprehensive models that take into account various aspects and features of a construction project as part of more general systems — nature, society, architectural environment of the city. At the same time, the interests of all parties interested in the creation of the project, such as the investor, developer, operating organization, visitors, etc. should be taken into account.
The comprehensive assessment of project life cycle parameters includes both economic (LCC) and environmental analysis (LCA).
Principles of economic analysis
Economic analysis should take into account all components of the life cycle of the building, the cost of which includes:
Construction costs — the total cost of works and materials until the commissioning of the building.
Operating and maintenance costs.
Cycle termination cost — the renovation of the building or demolition and disposal of its structures.
The calculation of the life cycle cost of a permanent structure can be performed both with consideration of the time factor (which gives the opportunity to develop a more accurate investment model) and without it. The choice of optimal solutions should be based on the cost minimization principle.
Effect of the steel frame on economic performance.
Reduction of construction time.
Civil construction and erection works are the main items of capital costs in the structure of initial costs of the investor — it is obvious that the longer the time they take, the later the building will be commissioned, and the later it will yield profit. This results in receiving less profit than expected, which is due to the late commissioning of the facility. It is especially important to take into account this factor when comparing concrete and steel frames of buildings. Subject to the high-quality organization of works, the steel frame makes it possible to complete a building in the shortest possible time and carry out the works regardless of the season. As a result, the investor starts earning income from the operation of the building earlier, while a similar building built of concrete would still at the construction stage. The estimated reduction in the construction time is 35%. However, it should be noted that in case of direct comparison of the cost of the frame, concrete solutions have better indicators as a rule, and investors who do not take into account the time factor when making decisions may ultimately choose a less economic solution.
Economy at the zero cycle.
The use of steel frame allows to significantly (approximately by 30%) reduce the total weight of structures as compared to reinforced concrete, which makes it possible to arrange lighter foundations or even change their type to a more cost-effective and reduce the scope of zero cycle works. The effect of the weight of the structures increases the final cost of the frame on loose soils and in dense urban development, as the impact on neighboring buildings is reduced, as well as the costs to ensure their safety.
Adaptability to architectural solutions.
The modern world requires buildings to be expressive and unique, which, in turn, results in a significant complication of architectural and structural solutions. Open spaces without columns, multi-storey consoles and complex structural flooring are just a few examples. In such cases, steel is the undisputed leader as it allows much more cost-effective design of the relevant structural elements and is often the only possible option.
Advantages of steel at the final stage of the building life cycle.
Upon the end of their service life, buildings are often demolished, and their elements are disposed of at landfills. However, in the case of steel structures, the frame has a residual value due to the possibility to process its elements, which is up to 98%! The frame itself or its elements may be reused almost as they are! Due to the fact that this material retains its physical and mechanical properties, the structure can be reused. There have been cases in European practice when a frame was disassembled and assembled in another place. And even in case of processing, the cost of the structures as scrap metal is about 40% of the cost of steel.
The global trend is an increase in human labor cost. Therefore, economically advanced countries try to reduce the number of processes performed directly on the construction site, to use factory-made structures and to engage fewer (but highly qualified) staff. For Ukraine, this trend is also relevant and it leads to better prospects for steel construction as compared to in-situ concrete construction which involves a large number of "wet" processes.
STEEL FRAME COST
Construction is a complex and integrated process, and the main measure of project efficiency is the project economic performance.
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The steel frame has many advantages, but it is traditionally considered that the cost is not one of them.
The cost can be affected by certain negative factors that can be avoided.
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