The Australian Steel Institute (ASI) has strongly questioned the validity of a recent marketing document from Cement, Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA) which purports figures for steel being a premium of up to 85 percent “relative to a concrete framed structure with PT floors”.
The document also claims speed of construction not being a factor for steel. ASI chief executive, Don McDonald said these are hollow claims when weighed against recent ASI work as part of AusIndustry’s Industry Cooperative Innovation Program (ICIP) which clearly shows steel being competitive for commercial medium and high rise construction using efficient design and close fabricator involvement. This is echoed by the decisions Multiplex and other builders are making that support steel construction.
Steel’s multi-storey potential is backed by findings of the Warren Centre’s three-year ‘Steel: Framing the Future’ study. McDonald said that the ASI regarded the CCAA document as misleading and its attack on steel is a misguided attempt to halt the growing trend toward steel framing. He said it ignores the substantial investment being made by the industry in technology and its flow-on cost savings.
To understand the costs involved in both concrete and steel construction, the ASI also modeled a steel building and an equivalent PT concrete building designed by Arup, a designer with considerable local and international steel and concrete experience. In the studies to date, steel has proved competitive with many value factors like improved onsite safety, reduced waste and considerable environmental factors like reduced truck movements not being costed. This also revealed that quantity surveyor cost analyses typically adopted for steel do not take into account the latest information on improved design, automated fabrication and superior construction techniques available to Australian steel and the ASI is working with the AIQS community to provide this data.
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