Taking a Safety-First Approach to Building Specification
It is a fundamental of good design that buildings and structures should be safe and that measures to enhance their environmental performance should not compromise this essential requirement. Here Steve Thompson, Managing Director for specialist steel framing manufacturer EOS, considers taking a safety-first approach to building specification.
Buildings are responsible for almost half of the UK’s carbon emissions and around a third of its landfill waste. This means that the UK’s sustainable development targets cannot be met without a major change to the way in which buildings are designed, constructed, and operated. National targets for carbon emission reductions and the drive for buildings that are ‘low carbon’ in operation present a huge challenge to the construction industry – a challenge which the steel construction sector is playing a major part in overcoming.
Manufactured from the most abundant component on earth, steel can be recycled or reused endlessly without detriment to its properties. This unique characteristic gives steel a high value at all stages of its life cycle. The recovery infrastructure for steel recycling is highly developed and extremely efficient and has been in place for decades. Current recovery rates from demolition sites in the UK are 99% for structural steelwork and 96% for all steel construction products – figures that far exceed those for any other construction material.
Steel’s material properties make it the ultimate sustainable construction material both in terms of its longevity, material properties and enhancing the safety credentials of buildings. Its superior strength-to-weight ratio means a little steel goes a long way, giving architects complete flexibility to innovate and create new and exciting buildings. Low and zero carbon buildings and buildings with high BREEAM ratings are readily achievable using steel construction.
When the cost of operating a building for 30-years can be four times greater than that of designing and building it, it is no surprise that those who own and maintain buildings are keen to find in-use savings. And this is why steel framing systems are favoured by education, healthcare, social housing and other public sector providers.
The UK leads the world in steel construction commercially, technically, and in terms of quality. The industry has made dramatic improvements in technology, productivity and efficiency. According to research carried out by independent consultants Construction Markets – steel continues to be overwhelmingly the structural framing material of choice with their survey showing that steel now has a 72.5% share of the multi-storey office market and a 60.9% share in the ‘other multi-storey buildings’ which includes retail, education, leisure and healthcare sectors.
Quality, safety and sustainability are at the very core of our organisation. EOS has just successfully completed three quality badge audits with 100% success and zero non-conformances against ISO 9001:2015 quality management systems, ISO14001:2015 environmental management systems and ISO45001:2018 health and safety management with no non-conformance issues or even any opportunities for improvement or areas of concern.
EOS has the capability and capacity to meet the exacting demands of the construction industry and guarantee a competitive pricing structure with no hidden costs for deflection heads or transport and can provide a lump sum total cost package which will not alter, providing the specification remains unchanged.
To find out more about EOS and their products and services visit: www.eosframing.co.uk and to view their video case studies and client testimonials go to: www.eosframing.co.uk/information-centre/video-vault