Stadiums. Hotels. Housing. Infrastructure. Construction sites everywhere. With the FIFA World Cup just behind them, and the Olympics looming in 2016, Brazil has been going through an unprecedented and much publicised building boom.
And while some construction companies have struggled to deliver on their deadines, others have quickly embraced new technology and techniques to build things more efficiently.
Unheard of in Brazil until recent times, light gauge steel frame construction has now been used in a wide range of small and large scale projects, and has earned a reputation for being a smarter, more efficient way of building.
But above all, it is the advantages the system provides in terms of cost control and certainty that are driving the big changes.
“One of the big problems that people building in Brazil face is that construction companies quote a price at the beginning of a project yet do not stick to the price,” says Gypsteel architect Helena Rodrigues
“They do not provide a fixed quote, just an indicative price, so developers find it hard to plan. With the FRAMECAD steel framing system, we are able to provide a fixed quote and stick to it – giving customers the assurance of knowing what their costs will be.”
Gypsteel introduced FRAMECAD technology to Brazil seven years ago, and the company is now commanding serious attention in bids for large projects that are time and cost critical.
Gypsteel built the FIFA World Cup international broadcast centre (IBC) under challenging conditions in record time, producing and installing 28,000m² of partitions in six months.Now, they’re working on the Olympics and several other prime projects throughout the country.
Clients include private developers, state governments and Brazil’s two largest construction companies, Oderbrecht and Camargo Correa which between them generated gross revenue in 2012 of over BRL 14 billion (US$5.8 billion).
Current work in progress includes a 17-theatre cinema complex in Niterói, a Nissan factory with a 34m clear span , major development at Rio de Janeiro International Airport and numerous projects for the 2016 Olympics, including the Olympic international broadcast centre.
Helena believes Gypsteel’s association with New Zealand Company FRAMECAD has played a strong role in helping increase business opportunities and securing new contracts for the company.
"The assurance of quality is a big advantage. We know that the framing will be produced to an exacting standard and this means there is one less variable to hold up the project or create potential time, product and money wastage."
FRAMECAD provides a complete package: machine, programmme, service and product, giving us all the support we need to execute a project. “They have an open and highly experienced team, willing to teach everything they can. In Brazil, there is no one specialising in light gauge steel framing that has as much experience as FRAMECAD.”
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.