“We’re Probably Going to Go for a More Traditional Technique”
Innovation may be what drives our civilisation forward, but in the meantime, it can sometimes get in the way of how we’re used to doing things.
Currently, around 99.5% of teams in the UK who are currently building below-ground structures aren’t even aware there’s another option to traditional in situ or precast concrete; prefabricated steel.
Here at Premier Substructures, we understand that once designs are in place, it can be difficult – or seem nigh-on impossible – to go back and change them. After all, you’d be rocking the boat and it could impact on your tender, having quoted the works based on the original specification.
Below, we’re going to highlight how we’re able to work with our clients in the early stages of a project to help overcome this problem.
The biggest challenge our clients face is when a designer has already come up with all the design. If the traditional design is specified during the tender bid, this in turn means the main contractor has to quote a tender-compliant bid.
However, they can offer alternatives, such as prefabricated steel, as a USP. The biggest risk here is that if the tenderer proposed another method (like us), and there is a glitch or issue during the build phase, the risk is taken by them.
In contrast, if they install traditionally as per the initial tender design, the risk if there is a problem will more than likely sit with the designers because that is what they were specified to install (depending on the contract type).
One of our recent clients, Northfield Construction, was able to bypass this challenge by engaging with the engineer on a project early on in the pre-tender design phase.
Luckily, Northfield Construction already knew about us, and was able to discuss what we did with the engineer before the initial plans were in place.
As practical individuals, they loved the benefits of prefabricated steel, and knew it was important to discuss the plans in the initial stages.
Fortunately by using this approach, both parties could see the benefits of using our method of constructing on that specific project. We were then specified for the project, so that all main contractors could use us as a subcontractor.
This way of working allowed the client to achieve the end product they wanted, and for us to be part of the construction process, rather than being an obstructive change during the post tender/preconstruction process.
The end result was that Northfield Construction was very pleased to have chosen us for the project – having seen the results we had delivered in the past, and for this job. They realised that long-term, it was the best option, as our substructures are guaranteed to last over 100 years.
Clients are usually overwhelmed with how effective this method of below-ground construction is, and are generally once bitten, twice shy when it comes to the risks associated with below-ground in situ construction methods.