Andrew Fowler, Managing Director of Austruss and his team, based in Mittigong New South Wales, see innovation at the heart of their business and are proud to be part of the change in Australian construction industry, to manufacture buildings in a more efficient and environmentally-friendly way.
Andrew explains “This industry hasn’t innovated a lot in the last 100 years” and “it’s getting more expensive by the day to undertake projects.” “If we don’t continue to innovate and do things more efficiently, that’s going to be a problem in the long term. We’re going to use more energy and create more pollution because we’re creating things in a more complex manner.”
Part of Austruss’ drive to innovate in a traditional industry is their move into modular construction and bathroom pods, meaning that they can produce all parts of the pod or section of the building in their new factory facility. “In this new facility, what we’ve actually got is a builder’s heaven – under light, without rain, 24 hours a day, without noise restrictions – we’ve got our own substation with 40, 000 V coming in to it” Says Andrew. Austruss have chosen the Framecad System to be at the heart of this new facility, to design and produce the light gauge steel framing used in Austruss’ construction work.
For Andrew, one of the drivers to move into modular construction was the control that this method of building provides, “By trying to control something within a controlled environment, its done the first time and it’s done properly the first time”. The efficiency and precision of the Framecad System also means that wastage is reduced and accuracy assured. Ensuring a high end finished product was also a reason that Austruss have moved to modular construction.
“The quality, the reduction in labour required on site and reduction in materials handling on site – that’s the efficiency that this kind of operation provides to the building industry.” Austruss’ is able to provide a “one stop shop” for builders and assist with all aspects of the construction process. Andrew comments that “We organise all the installation, all the deliveries, all the galvanising; all the other elements that go into building a building all into one process.”
Andrew says “Any business has got to aim to be more streamlined as time goes on, and we got to improve processes to make it better and that’s part of why we’ve gone into modular building, because we’ve seen the gains that we’ve made within this” Andrew and his team have been impressed with the world wide movement towards prefabricated and modular construction, and the increasing uptake of light gauge steel framing and the Framecad System.
“If these other people around the world are doing it, why can’t we do it? People who do things outside of what everyone else are doing are the ones that move forward.”
For multi-level buildings, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that timber, concrete, and hot-rolled steel aren’t always the best options – especially when it comes to the top floor. That’s why so many developers are now looking for ways to save on time, labour, and costs during the construction process.
All 422 load-bearing wall panels for levels three through seven of this 7-story (five levels on two levels of podium) project was fabricated at Douglass Colony's headquarters in Commerce City using FRAMECAD and shipped directly to the jobsite where the building was erected in a total of 40 working days, including all wall panels, flooring systems, and detailing with concrete poured and cured.
Dynamic Steel Frame hold the honour of having constructed the largest light-gauge steel (LGS) three storey apartment building in Australia using the FRAMECAD System. Located in the inner-western suburb of Yarraville, Melbourne, this three-level residential building illustrates how LGS is changing today’s approach to construction
In the US, the framing industry is changing rapidly. Concrete contractors are becoming a rarity and timber continues to offer challenges due to inferior material and a lack of availability. These days, US construction companies are turning more and more to cold-formed steel (CFS), and FRAMECAD partner Intellisteel is revolutionizing how these steel framed structures are built.