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Sustainable Construction

Alternative Materials for Construction

Design Concepts and Stuctural Schemes for Steel Building

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Dry Wall Construction

Click here to find more information on dry internal partition walls.
Click here to know the considerations for design of wall partitions.


Advantages of Sustainable Construction

There are many advantages for our society to switch from the current high reliance on concrete-based construction to steel construction. Besides helping to reduce the depletion of natural resources and to enhance the resilience of our construction industry, steel construction also improves productivity, site condition (generate less noise and dust) and it offers better quality control since the components are fabricated under factory condition and assemble on site.

Challenging structures such as the huge disc-like structure of the new Supreme Court Building is constructed using steel. This project is a good illustration on how steel helps in enhancing architectÂ’s creativity. Besides, steel components are generally slimmer and can support a longer span. A significant saving in foundation is possible as steel has a higher strength-to-weight ratio as compared to bulky concrete structures.

In recent years, high impact resistance dry wall - another form of sustainable construction - is also gaining popularity amongst the residential and commercial developments. Dry wall has many advantages over the conventional wet construction method (i.e. using brick wall or concrete wall). Dry wall construction is cleaner, lighter, faster, and can be easily handled by fewer workers. Projects such as St Regis Residences, The Sail @ Marina Bay, Residences @ Evelyn, The Pier @ Robertson are just some examples of those that have adopted dry walls to replace conventional brick walls. More projects are joining in this trend as the industry players gradually recognize the benefits in using dry wall system.


Key Differences

 
Concrete-Based Construction
Sustainable Construction (Steel and other Dry Construction
Cost
Less costly
Increase overall construction cost by 2-3% compared to concrete-based construction.
Speed of construction
Slower in construction - need time for formwork, reinforcement work, concrete strengthening and removal of formwork
Faster in construction - projects are generally able to complete earlier using steel construction.
Manpower saving
Labour intensive
Less labour usage, savings of 20% to 30%.
Quality
Re-work and rectification more common as it is more dependant on the skill of workers
Better quality as components are factory-fabricated, standardised, therefore less dependant on the skill of workers.
Sustainability
Demolition waste from concrete buildings not reusable for building structures
Steel elements are highly recyclable material, with over 50% of steel currently being produced from scrap.
Aesthetics
Larger components sizes, shorter clear span (max. span approx. 12m)
Improved creativity as steel design can be more flexible, looks slimmer and can cater to longer span structures (max. span for steel trusses can stretch to more than 20m).
Weight
Heavier in dead weight
Steel has a higher strength-to-weight ratio, less requirement on foundation.

Below is a quick look at how sustainable construction can reduce or even replace sand and concrete:

ROOF
Conventional - Concrete-based construction

Sustainable - Steel construction
  100% saving in sand as no concrete is required.
PARAPETS
Conventional - Concrete-based construction

Sustainable - Steel construction
  100% saving in sand as no concrete is required.
FLOOR
Conventional - Concrete-based construction

Sustainable - Steel construction
  30-40% saving in sand when using metal deck with minimum concrete topping.
STAIRCASES
Conventional - Concrete-based construction

Sustainable - Steel construction
  Prefab staircases are made of steel and are prefabricated off-site, 100% saving in sand as no concrete is required.
BEAMS AND COLUMNS
Conventional - Concrete-based construction

Sustainable - Steel construction
  80-100% saving in sand when using steel frames with minimum concrete infill / encasement.
INTERNAL WALLS
Conventional - Concrete walls / brickwall with sand plastering


Sustainable - Dry wall
  Dry wall is made of cement board or highly compressed gypsum fibre. No sand is required.
EXTERNAL WALLS
Conventional - Concrete walls / brickwall with sand plastering


Sustainable - Metal Cladding and Glass
 
Prefab claddings are made of metal or glass. 100% saving in sand as no concrete is required.
EXTERNAL WORKS
Conventional - RC drains

Sustainable - Recycled materials
 
100% saving in aggregates when using recycled aggregates.
EXTERNAL WORKS
Conventional - Concrete road kerbs

Sustainable - Recycled materials
  100% saving in aggregates when using recycled aggregates.
EXTERNAL WORKS
Conventional - Carpark

Sustainable - Steel construction
 
Automated Mechanized Car Parking System