Our approved LGSF/SFS partner is Metsec and we have in our Metframe solution one of the UK’s leading load-bearing cold rolled structures. Metframe is suitable for a wide range of applications in most sectors of construction including hotels, student accommodation, nursing homes, social housing, flats and apartments from two up to 12 stories.
We get involved in the installation process from design through to handing over a watertight shell to the Main Contractor. We take a hands-on approach to project managing the development and see it as our responsibility to add value wherever possible. This is the SFS installation process that we follow for each project.
We work closely with the design team, including the architects and Metsec. Drawings are produced and approved by the design team and then issued to all appropriate parties for construction.
Once the drawings are approved the building is usually designed and modelled in 3D. The model produces information so that the individual sections, including the punching of service slots and coordinated countersunk holes for all connections, are manufactured precisely.
2. Off-site manufacture:
Metsec roll and punch the SFS sections and then deliver them to our 40,000 ft2 production facility in Middleton, Manchester where we pre-panelised the structure. We fabricate the panels to strict factory controlled tolerances to guarantee accuracy and quality, working to the approved drawings.
3. Delivery to site:
We then deliver to site at the exact moment the panels are required working to pre-defined logistics plans. Panels are delivered in the required erection sequence and this saves time on-site as panels are lifted and installed in the right order. This process also reduces the amount of disruption on-site, a key requirement where access is restricted and logistics are tight.
4. On-site - starting construction:
Construction commences upwards from a levelled concrete slab provided by the Main Contractor which conforms to Metframe tolerances of +0/-6m. A cold rolled C-section can, in certain situations, be used as a ring beam and acts as a permanent shutter to the concrete slab.
5. On-site – panels craned into position:
The pre-panelised walls are craned into position with internal walls unclad to aid panel connection as appropriate. The external panels, which are pre-clad in our production facility, are fixed into position working to the drawings, thus forming the structural walls of the building.
6. On-site – boarding and internal panels:
External panels are usually fitted with sheathing boards at our production facility. On-site, insulation and fire-retardant boards are installed and at this stage, brick tie channels are fitted to the external panels if appropriate, ready for brick installation. Internal panels are then installed.
7. On-site – bathroom pods, stairs and lift shafts:
Lift shaft panels are constructed in the same way as the wall panels and steel staircases and bathroom pods are incorporated into the frame appropriately as construction progresses.
8. On-site – metal decking installed:
Metal decking is installed with additional rebar and anti-crack mesh as required, all fixed to the wall panels. Additional reinforcement is installed to achieve the required fire protection and reinforcing bars are used to tie the structure and ensure the progressive collapse details meet the building’s specific requirements. Concrete is then poured to form a floor to offer high fire and acoustic performance.
9. On-site – subsequent floors erected:
The process is repeated, floor by floor, until the construction reaches the roof level. It takes approximately three weeks to install appropriate panels, decking and concrete to an approximate area of 1,250m2. Once one floor is completed the appropriate trades, including M&E teams, then move in to commence their works.
10. On-site – roof structure installation:
Once the upper level is completed, we then install the roof structure which can take the form of a pre-panelised SFS frame, lightweight lattice steel truss or pitched timber truss. Once this is finished we then hand over a watertight structure to the Main Contractor, on time and on budget.