(Above) Courtesy Structural Challenge.
This can ensure that projects are fabricated on schedule, on budget and are compliant with community expectations of quality and minimised risk. The inherent capability to ‘get things done’ is a valuable local asset to have on your side, particularly when project schedules become pressured, as they invariably do.
Consider the following when choosing your fabrication and erection partners for a project:
Structural steel fabricators know how to both optimise the use of steel and, in particular, how best to minimise waste from stock steel lengths
Structural steel fabricators know how to simplify steel detailing. Simplified value engineered detailing, especially of connections, can result in meaningful cost savings
The structural steel fabricator will usually understand how to get best value from subcontracted services and the local supply chain
Many structural steel fabricators either have erection expertise in-house or work regularly with erection contractors, meaning they can provide useful advice on construction methodology and detailing for erection
The structural steel erector will have worked closely with the local fabrication industry and be in a position to liaise with them to ensure detailing is undertaken to both simplify and reduce risk in steelwork erection.
Structural steel fabricators should be engaged early on a project to help value engineer alternative solutions.
New steelwork superimposed on laser scanned model of existing structure to ensure fit. Courtesy Watkins Steel.
The industry is also seeing the emergence of the ‘design and construct’ steel contractor assuming an increased share of design, fabrication and erection for the entire steel component of a project. For appropriate project types, the specialised knowledge of a design and construct steel contractor can provide a cost-effective alternative that minimises contractual interfaces and simplifies responsibilities.
The ASI Industry Directory provides a convenient starting point to assess the capabilities of fabricators and also the various entities providing specialised subcontracted services.