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Six reasons why metal housing should be built in Russia
24.02.2021
24.02.2021
Six reasons why metal housing should be built in Russia

Only 13% of buildings in Russia are constructed on the basis of a metal frame, whereas in developed countries the share of this technology in construction exceeds 50%. Historically, brick and monolith prevails in Russia, but in the near future metal will become more in demand. Experts of “Ferro-Stroy” company give six arguments in favor of the metal frame housing construction.
Prices for new buildings in Russia increased by 20% last year. Among the many reasons is the increase in the cost of construction. Materials, equipment and fuel prices are constantly rising. The company “Ferro-Stroy” sees the solution to this problem in the use of steel structures that increase the speed of construction, reduce costs, make it more “replicable”, efficient and environmentally friendly.
Speed
The speed of construction is a parameter that directly affects the cost of the building. The longer it takes to erect, the more working capital, materials, labor and marketing costs, etc. are required. And from this point of view, Russian builders still mostly choose the most expensive technology – monolithic.
A ten-story monolithic house with seven entrances is erected in 10-11 months on average. The same panel building takes 5 to 6 months. Meanwhile it takes only 4 months to build a similar metal frame object. How do you save time?
Firstly, the so-called “wet stage of work” when the frame of the monolithic building is formed and then it gains strength is excluded, – comments Grigory Vaulin, the general director of the Ferro-Stroy group. – Of course, in summer time such work is preferable to the winter time, but taking into account the long cold period in Russian climate the “wet phase” is extended. In this case, the metal frame is manufactured in the factory and assembled directly on site as a construction set. Climatic conditions do not affect the process.
Second, metal frame houses are built inline. When the upper floors are not yet built, the lower floors are used to build exterior walls, insulation, partition walls, and finishing. To put it simply, the building is erected in parallel processes, not sequentially. Doubling the speed of construction makes it possible to reduce the cost, and thus adapt the market price of housing to the increasingly modest means of buyers”.
Competitive cost price
Building a building made of steel is cheaper than that made of monolith. This is primarily due to lower material intensity, as well as the high speed of construction, which we talked about above. The metal building is about twice as light as a monolithic building. Accordingly, the cost of the foundation is reduced, and logistics costs are reduced by half.
As already noted, metal buildings can be assembled in any season, bypassing the long “wet phase”. Accordingly, costs for construction equipment are reduced. For example, for the construction of relatively small houses enough truck cranes on wheeled chassis. In addition, the need for manpower at the construction site decreases, respectively, the payroll, as well as the construction cycle, that is, the duration of payments.
Mass practice of construction of apartment housing out of metal structures in Russia still does not exist, so it is difficult to accurately estimate the average cost of erecting such objects. Depending on the region, the availability of metalware on the local market, the cost of delivery, staffing, space planning solutions can vary greatly in the cost of construction. However, according to the calculations of Ferro-Stroy experts it is 5-15% lower than for similar buildings made of monolithic frame. World experience also confirms these calculations. For example, in England to build an 8-storey house of 16.5 thousand square meters from the metal frame is 5% cheaper than its monolithic counterpart, while the cost of the building frame is 15% lower than the cost of monolithic.
Green
Although the cost and speed of construction are still key factors for Russian companies, we can not ignore the global trend of “green building”. There is a new criterion – the so-called “carbon footprint”. This is a comprehensive assessment of the amount of carbon dioxide that will be released into the atmosphere during construction, operation, reconstruction and dismantling of the building. In doing so, analysts add up all emissions, even those arising from the mining or production of metal, concrete, bricks, etc.
From this perspective, steel structures are 99% recyclable. In fact, all metal returns to the economy in one way or another in the form of new steel structures, bridges, rebar, cars. At the same time, houses made of concrete and panels are extremely difficult to dispose of, a striking example of which is the renovation, which created the problem of disposal of demolished five-story buildings – millions of tons of construction waste, which must be removed, recycled, and often simply thrown away.
International studies in this field show that a house built on a metal frame is 20% less harmful to nature due to the high percentage of recycling, and simplicity in production and delivery of materials. The carbon footprint of a metal building is 20% less than that of a monolithic building.
Room for planning decisions
It is commonly believed that monolith has no competitors in terms of the breadth of possible planning solutions. This is not true, because according to this characteristic the steel buildings are not only inferior, but even superior to the residential buildings made of reinforced concrete.
The metal frame does not imply load-bearing walls inside the building. Unlike monolithic or panel buildings, the structure of which is supported by load-bearing walls or pylons, in the metal frame the load-bearing function is performed by vertical columns along the perimeter of the structure. And even for a 20-story building the size of such a column does not exceed 40×40 cm, while the wall with a similar carrying capacity – 20×150 cm. Thus, the sellable internal area of the building increases by 10% in a metal-frame house. Accordingly, there is an opportunity to plan a more efficient slicing of rooms
In addition, over time the metal frame building can be radically reconstructed, as, for example, happened with the hotel “Ukraine” and the World Trade Centre. Virtually the entire internal volume of the building, with the exception of the communication ducts, can be reconstructed.
Flexibility of technical solutions
In multi-family housing construction on the basis of a metal frame two technologies can be used – steel and reinforced concrete structures and structures of thin-walled galvanized elements. Steel and reinforced concrete structures are a hybrid of steel frame and monolithic reinforced concrete. In fact, it combines the advantages of monolithic and steel frame technology: the height of interfloor spans is increased, concrete protects structures from corrosion and fire.
Thin-walled steel structures are made of galvanized steel. They are also used to create exterior walls and floors, but sometimes the whole frame consists of profiles made of galvanized sheets. This technology has the advantage of low weight, which speeds up and simplifies construction. Usually thin-walled galvanized elements are used to build low-rise buildings. They form a frame, which is then insulated and clad.
In this case, other quality characteristics (heat insulation, sound insulation, fire resistance) facilities on the steel frame are not behind monolithic or concrete houses.
“Replicability” of construction
The variability of monolithic construction is often cited as an argument in favor of monolithic construction. Concrete structures allow you to create buildings with a variety of architectural forms and layouts.
In the case of metal structures there are no such obstacles. In this case, unlike the panel cathedral elements, the constituent parts of the steel frame is smaller and does not directly affect the architectural features of the building. As a construction set they can be assembled into structures of different configurations. This is especially important for developers of residential complexes of the mass segment, which can vary the architectural shape of the various queues or buildings, using the same structural elements.

“We should also note the marketing advantage of buildings made of metal structures, – concludes Grigory Vaulin, CEO of Ferro-Stroy Group. – There is an opinion in mass consciousness and among many market participants that panel construction is typical for mass segment residential complexes while monolithic construction is suitable for business class buildings. From this point of view, the metal frame is a universal solution, because both Stalinist skyscrapers or New York skyscrapers and typical warehouses in the Moscow region were built using this technology. In fact this technology can be used to build any class of housing.

Ferro-Stroy erects multilevel parking lots, multifunctional sports and recreation centers, office and business buildings, schools and kindergartens using a metal frame. Ferro-Stroy has an engineering center for the development of new metal frame products, which is involved in research and development in this area. BIM-design technologies are introduced, and practical experience in metal construction is constantly taken into account.

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