The steel construction industry embraces ‘Value Engineering’

By Dominic Weatherall.

Construction of new build steel framed complexes has reduced greatly since 2008. This has been particularly noticeable in multi storey office developments outsideLondon. As a result many of the multi-storey office specialist contactors and sub-contractors have had to diversify.

In contrast the outlook is positive for supermarket developments: This is one of the few areas of the private sector that is still buoyant. Some of the larger supermarket chains had previously drawn up contracts where only approved suppliers could work on projects; however, to be more cost effective some companies have now opened up to a wider market. Contractors are constantly seeking ways to become more competitive and this is where Value Engineering is becoming a differentiator.

The engineer who creates the more efficient, effective and therefore economic design reduces the overall project cost, which keeps all of his clients happy. Here at Kingspan the application of Value Engineering is a key driver behind our philosophy to provide the best service for our clients.

For example, we are currently studying Value Engineering with specific reference to increasing purlin centres from the accepted Industry Standard 1.5/1.8 metres, up to a potential 2.2/2.5 metres, depending on design considerations (snow and wind loads). As a producer of both the purlins and the panels we have the ability and capacity to test these changes and calculate potential savings, and to pass these benefits on to our customers. In the current climate, this can help to provide the competitive edge contractors need to secure work.

Kingspan is a “one stop shop” for steel building construction material, supplying cold rolled purlins, rails and floor decking, and insulated panels for roofs and walls. We can even supply PV, and our knowledge of the whole construction process allows us to take a technical approach to Value Engineering to produce tangible results.

We are working with people from all sides of the industry to drive changes and improvements like this, from supporting Design Engineers with the latest Design Software and design principles, to actually producing the design and streamlining the whole process. Working in partnership to achieve the best results with Value Engineering allows us to find compliant, cost effective solutions.

If you would like to know more about Value Engineering, please contact me: Dominic.weatherall@kingspan.com

Dominic Weatherall is Technical Area Sales Manager for Kingspan Structural Products with particular experience in steel design.

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