You can control the cost of fabricating structural steel systems by looking at the categories into which the entire design can be broken. This article discusses the major components of structural steel fabrication. Use this information to identify the components which you can alter in order to keep costs within your budget.
Your project design may have categorised some of the structural steel components as main members. These include the sections that will be used to make columns, beams and trusses. Utmost care is usually devoted to fabricating these main members because the structural integrity of the building will depend on how well these main members perform their work. Cost-cutting should therefore be done carefully to avoid compromising the performance of these members. For example, you can alter the specifications by eliminating any work which was intended to improve the aesthetic appeal of these components. Aesthetics are a secondary consideration when the main members are being designed.
The secondary structural steel members are those components which are designed to carry a specific load. For example, a structural steel pad may be designed to support the weight of a boiler or a furnace in a building. The secondary member is usually customised for that particular role. It may be hard to cut the cost of fabricating this type of structural component because any change may have to be referred to the designer for approval.
Fittings and Connections
Fittings and connections refer to the components which are used to anchor or link one structural steel component to another or to a section of the building. Stiffeners, bracing and joints are examples of structural steel fittings and connections. You can work with the fabricator to select fittings and components which can serve their purpose cost-effectively.
Any structural steel fabrication project will usually have a list of miscellaneous items that are needed for the success or safety of the project. For example, stairs and decking are needed to make the steel structure usable. This area provides a rich avenue for adjusting the cost implication of the entire project. This is because the configurations of the miscellaneous components can be adjusted in several ways in order to cut costs. For example, the decking can be finished to a lower level of smoothness in order to reduce the labour cost of polishing those components.
Go over each component of the structural steel designs with the fabricator and identify any areas where cost savings can be attained in case the overall cost seems to be higher than what you can afford. The fabricator will give you expert advice on how to manage costs without sacrificing quality.