The two guides: SCI P431 Offsite modular steelwork – Advice to clients and SCI P430 Offsite modular steelwork – Design advice, are the result of a collaborative project which was established in 2019, with support from Innovate UK (the UK’s innovation agency), to investigate the opportunities to increase construction sector productivity by the use of offsite steel modules.
The new client guide highlights the benefits of increased offsite construction, which include higher quality, faster construction and reduced safety risks, and presents steel solutions at a conceptual level.
The design guide presents more detailed design information for the technical solutions identified during the project for engineers and architects.
Key findings of the project included:
The use of steel composite cores could shorten a construction programme from approximately 18 months with a traditional core to 10 months, and at a reduced overall cost.
Additionally, they can provide a precision engineered solution and support the Government’s drive for a Platform Design for Manufacture and Assembly (P-DfMA) based approach
Standardised steel columns should be encouraged as single storey members are easier to handle than longer elements and more suited to robotic welding where material handling of long members is difficult.
The same performance as the traditional option can be achieved with less material by producing composite column sections, manufactured offsite. Other benefits include being smaller, lighter and easier to transport.
The offsite, factory production of ‘dry’ floor plate panels provides units that are precise, fabricated faster, while offering a dry solution.
These panels are shallow, typically less than 20% of the storey height, meaning that multiple floor panels may be transported to site in one load.
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