Beginning with a high-end marble exterior masterpiece, they then provided alternative samples with a Japanese masonry ‘middle-class’ house and a house with a more economical wooden exterior. They took on FRAMECAD’s technology to turn these ideas into reality.
For all of their building projects, Foshan Tuhe Equipment Co. Ltd used FRAMECAD technology, due to its efficiency and ease of use. The initial ‘high-class’ sample house that Foshan Tuhe Equipment Co. Ltd planned was to be around 188m2, with 5 different areas – a dining room, master suite, kitchen, public bathroom and library.What made this project both more interesting and more challenging than your average build was the natural marble external cladding.
Not your usual choice for a home exterior, marble is of course quite a bit heavier than traditional cladding materials, and requires a special technique to apply. It was very important for Foshan Tuhe Equipment Co. to test how a house could be constructed using marble, because usually it is only the high-class conference centres and buildings in China that use this type of material for the exterior. To avoid problems, Donald Zheng from Foshan Tuhe Equipment Co. notes, “When we chose materials for interior walls and roofing, we chose those of appropriate thickness.”
As you would expect, the economic conditions in China affect the way that houses are built. Currently, LGS is not particularly popular, but as labour costs steadily increase, it’s expected to become much more widely used in the next 3-5 years. LGS buildings have proven to be more cost effective, and the other benefits will become increasingly obvious over time as more people choose this type of building.
Another real benefit of using LGS in China is that the building requirements aren’t as restricted as they are with other types of buildings, and LGS structures are currently treated as movable units. This means LGS can be used on much of the national designated farmland where other large-scale housing development can’t be erected. Moving forward, the team are now looking to optimise material usage by designing houses to suit the type of materials used, meaning quicker, easier builds with less wastage.
For many working on the project, using FRAMECAD’s products proved to be a real learning experience, as in China most building projects don’t use light gauge steel (LGS). Most of Foshan Tuhe Equipment Co.’s contractors have instead been trained in traditional civil building. Luckily, using FRAMECAD technology for this first build turned out to be easy. Says Donald, “Coming into our company and learning FRAMECAD software, they thought it was very advanced technology in this industry…and since undertaking software training they’ve had no problems using it.”
One of the biggest challenges faced was finding tradesmen, such as electricians and plumbers, who have had experience with LGS. However, Foshan Tuhe Equipment Co. was able to contract specialised resources for their initial projects, so that these houses could be made to exact specifications by the best of the best. Through this experience, they have also played their part in educating the local market and tradesmen about this new and advanced way of building.
These three different styles will help Foshan Tuhe Equipment Co. showcase the different styles that they’re capable of providing, depending on their customers’ requirements. Explains Donald, “If you want the economic type of house, then we can recommend the wooden type; if you want something middle-class then you can buy one with the Japanese masonry exterior. If you want high class then you may prefer the marble exterior.”
The team at Foshan Tuhe Equipment Co. are now happily using the first sample house as an office, space for meetings or conferences, friends’ visits, and, most importantly, an example to show the Chinese market exactly what they can achieve.
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