While concrete-reinforced bricks are common practice in Chile, there is no law regulating the use of steel frames, a structural element considered necessary in the eyes of innovative builders. But not all steel frames are created equal. As hot rolled steel is an expensive building material, many contractors cut costs by choosing lower quality steel. The solution? Light gauge steel.
After meeting FRAMECAD at a tradeshow in the United States of America, FASTSTEEL entered a successful partnership to better service their clients. Having increased the priority of its search for technology to design and build durable steel-framed homes as efficiently as possible, FASTSTEEL had finally found their solution. They soon began efforts to help rebuild after the destructive 8.2 magnitude in 2014 using light gauge steel and design-led construction through the FRAMECAD System.
FASTSTEEL adopted the complete FRAMECAD System, an advanced, end-to-end design and build approach to enable rapid construction. With the new system, they quickly rebuilt two classrooms for a school in north Chile and two houses in Santiago. After this success, they extended the model to begin work on two houses in South Chile.For each build, FASTSTEEL used their own Building Information Modelling (BIM) design software to first produce a completely electronic model – a digital description of the entire project. Afterwards, they exported it to FRAMECAD, fitting one design on top of the other to establish perfect consistency, confirm that the project would comply with local codes, and ensure perfection.
A typical house takes about a year to build, but with FASTSTEEL and FRAMECAD technologies, clients can expect the build to take about five months – a fraction of the time. The design process takes about a quarter of the time that traditional architectural planning uses, saving valuable time and reducing the costs that come along with hiring specialised engineers to make changes.
FASTSTEEL’s clients wanted energy efficient dwellings, with sustainability a real priority. Through the combination of the FRAMECAD System with their own expertise, FASTSTEEL was able to reduce waste by 99%, keeping the internal temperature of their structures at an average of 18 degrees – with zero energy consumed. They reduced the environmental footprint of the buildings, all while ensuring they would withstand the inevitable earthquakes to come.
In Chile, automated and computer aided building systems are becoming increasingly popular and companies like FASTSTEEL are leading the way in using FRAMECAD and light gauge steel frame construction. With future earthquakes sure to come, builders in Chile can be confident in their ability to build structurally sound dwellings quicker and within the constraints of tight budgets.
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.