Signature Value Homes Limited, a Mauritius-based company with its corporate office in Dubai, has been in the market for over three years and already enjoys annual revenue of between $8 and $10 million US. Their team of 25 specialises in executing affordable mass housing projects targeting civil servants and other middle income groups across Sub-Saharan Africa. When the opportunity arose to develop 1,200 affordable residential housing units on 189 acres of land in Pemba, Signature Value Homes Limited came on board to execute just that, in partnership with the FFH – ‘Fundo de Fomento da Habitação’, the state housing fund of the Mozambican government.
They decided to partner with FRAMECAD, having used their technology on previous projects and appreciated FRAMECAD’s reliability and excellent customer service. FRAMECAD’s advanced, end-to-end design and build system enables the rapid construction of quality buildings, wherever in the world it’s used. Signature Value utilised FRAMECAD’s design software for the full design and detailing of the units, as well as using their machines and software for the build itself.
In order to maximise efficiency in construction while still maintaining their high standards, the company has specific requirements when it comes to technology. After evaluating over eight different technologies across the world with the help of Mahindra Consulting Engineers, Signature Value’s technical partners, they finally zeroed in on light gauge steel (LGS)-based design and construction. This was clearly the best option due to ease of execution, scalability and cost efficiency.
Initially, the company constructed two steel-framed sample houses to establish their plans, to ensure all stakeholders knew precisely what they were trying to achieve and to assess the acceptance of this technology-based construction among local customers. The project officially began Phase One construction in October 2015.
As with any project, there have been challenges. In Pemba, Signature has found it difficult to source the required material locally – luckily, FRAMECAD was able to deal with the materials procurement, supplying the steel and fasteners to ensure immediate availability and avoid delays. Additionally, finding local labourers with the needed skillsets has been difficult. Training local labourers does take time – so having systems in place that prioritise efficiency and effectiveness is a key part of successful construction.
Using FRAMECAD has helped Signature Value Homes hugely in this area. “The technology lends itself to ease of quality control. This is especially important when the scale of operations increases” says Anand Ramani from Signature Value Homes. He describes the main advantages of working with FRAMECAD’s light gauge steel as being “versatility, high-quality construction and scalability.”
The FRAMECAD machine that Signature Value purchased was second-hand – but that didn’t mean that FRAMECAD didn’t provide help when it was needed. Mark Phillips of FRAMECAD elaborates: “Signature have received the support of our technicians to ensure the machine can meet the production demands.”
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.