Skip to main content

What Building Construction System Is Right For You?

You have been planning for a new building for months, maybe years, and now the stars have aligned and you have the property you need and the funding to build your facility, but, do you know what construction system is right for you and your project?

If you do not build new construction everyday you might not know that there are options out there, each with their own intended applications and accompanying benefits and challenges. In this day and age, there are three primary building systems:

1. Concrete Frame Structures

Concrete frame structures are a very common and might be one of the most common modern building systems used around the world.  This type of building structure consists of a frame of concrete supported or reinforced by rebar or steel bars. The mix of concrete and steel provide a very strong and relatively inexpensive building system.

Concrete structures can be built traditionally or your builder may use Tilt-up construction  process where the building's walls are poured directly at the jobsite in large slabs of concrete called "tilt-up panels" or "tilt-wall panels" which are then raised into position around the building's perimeter forming the exterior walls.

Concrete frames are great for:
  • Skyscrapers
  • Roads, bridges, and sidewalks
  • Dams and Power Plants 
Tilt-up Construction is more often used for:
  • Low to mid-rise office buildings
  • Retail centers
  • Warehouse and distribution centers
  • Call centers
  • Manufacturing and other commercial / industrial structures 
Concrete frames are beneficial for:
  • Almost any walling materials can be used with them.
  • They can accommodate heavy loads. 
  • They can be clad with any kind of cladding material.
  • Concrete can be recycled, time and time again. 
  • From a designer’s perspective, concrete offers a dramatic range of colors, finishes and unlimited design possibilities.
  • Concrete structures are highly energy efficient. 
  • Concrete facilities provide flexibility should the occupancy of the building change.
Concrete frames are challenging for:
  • Concrete is susceptible to water and freezing temperatures, resulting in cracks and damageswhich need to be monitored and repaired.
  • Because it is porous, concrete is susceptible to staining and molding issues.
  • The material is also heavy, which makes it impractical for some jobs.
2. Steel Frame Structures

Steel frames are just that, mild steel. However, when it comes to steel systems, you can deliver them traditionally or in a modular fashion. For the modular systems, there are three different common approaches:
  • Kit of parts – where the same columns, beams, girders and connections are used throughout the project to aid in the speed of both fabrication and erection of the steel. Also known as the “erector set” approach. 
  • Panelization  - uses, you guessed it, panels for the floor, room and lateral systems. Sometimes the panels are assembled off-site, and sometimes they are assembled on but at ground level. 
  • Modular (volumetric) – requires individual components of the projects to be fully assembled off site then delivered just in time for erection and installation. This is also know as the "building block" model and is commonly used for manufactured residential housing developments and criminal justice facilities.
Steel frames are great for:
  • High rise buildings 
  • Industrial and warehouse buildings 
  • Residential buildings (mainly light gauge steel)
  • Temporary Structures 
Steel frames are beneficial for:
  • Steel is very strong and durable.
  • Steel framing is known for flexibility, bending without cracking when exposed to wind and even earthquakes. 
  • It also has elements of plasticity or ductility allowing it to slowly bend out of shape versus cracking like glass.  
  • Steel structures rarely fail or collapse and when they do, it is not sudden. 
  • Steel structures are relatively lightweight, quick to erect, and cost effective. 
  • Steel structures also lend themselves to Pre engineered buildings which are factory-built buildings of steel that are shipped to site and bolted together.
Steel frames are challenging for:
  • Steel quickly looses its strength under fire and requires added support with fire protection. 
  • Steel is prone to corrosion in humid or marine environments.
3. Wood Framed Structures

Wood framed structures, or stick-built facilities are made of wood. The wood could be lightweight, like what is primarily used for residential housing,

Wood frames are great for:
  • Residential housing units, both single family homes and multi-family or student housing. 
Benefits of wood frames include:
  • Wood is light and allows quick construction with no heavy tools or equipment, nearly every component can easily be carried by hand. An added benefit to being light, wood has a high strength-to-weight ratio. As a result, properly designed and built wood-frame structures perform well during seismic activity.
  • Wood adaptsto any geometric shape and can be clad with a variety of materials.
  • Wood-frame structures have numerous nailed connections and joints. This provides inherent ductility – much more so than most rigid masonry and concrete systems. Wood-frame buildings can flex, absorbing and dissipating energy when subjected to sudden earthquake forces.
Wood frames are challenging because:
  • It is prone to fire.
  • The Georgia market is currently experiencing a severe labor shortage for wood framers. 
  • It is not strong enough to resist major wind events such as tornadoes and hurricanes.
Each of these systems has earned their place in the design and construction industry. Consider your budget, schedule, desired aesthetics, durability and maintenance when choosing or give us a call if you need help making an educated decision.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Loy Howard, President & CEO of Tanner Health System

Q: Share with us a little bit of your background at Tanner Health System?

A: I have been president and CEO of Tanner Health Systems since 1994. We certainly have grown dramatically in that time period, as our community has grown. We’ve expanded from two loosely associated hospitals to what will soon be a five-hospital system. We have grown in medical staff from less than 100 to more than 400 physicians. We’ve transformed into a regional medical center during that time period.

Q: What do you find to be the most rewarding part of your job?

A: Working with the community. As a community hospital, it’s starting initiatives and programs and seeing them play out over time. Through serving patients, that helps patients and families stay close to home for high quality health care so they don’t have to commute to Atlanta. I think it is very rewarding that people are better off today and healthier because of the programs that we have started. That really is what excites me every day when I get up…

Mill Town Music Hall's 'Ship Has Come In' with Clint Black Appearance

Legendary Country Music performer takes stage on Sept. 20, for an intimate acoustic evening of music
Bremen, GA. - Mill Town Music Hall is excited to announce that country music superstar Clint Black will be performing with his acoustic band on its stage on Friday, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. Black is a prolific singer-songwriter who has long been heralded as one of Country music's brightest stars. To date, Black has written, recorded and released more than a 100 songs, a benchmark in any artist's career. Mill Town Music Hall focuses on wholesome, family-friendly music and events and is located conveniently off I-20 in Bremen (1031 Alabama Avenue).
R. K. Redding Construction (RKR) of Bremen, a full service, multi-disciplinary construction management and general construction contracting firm, is the premiere sponsor for the Clint Black concert. RKR commissioned West Georgia's own Steve Penley to paint a portrait of Black that will be presented to the performer at Mill Town Music …

R. K. Redding Construction’s Casey Pollard Selected to Join the Associated General Contractors of America's Construction Leadership Council

BREMEN, Ga. (March 18, 2014) – R. K. Redding Construction (RKR) Project Manager Casey Pollard has been selected by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America to serve on its national Leadership Council Steering Committee for a three-year term from 2014-17. Casey also serves on the Board of Directors for AGC Georgia Chapter and as the Chairman of the AGC Georgia Young Leadership Program.

“I am honored that my colleagues at AGC have recognized my contributions to the organization by naming me to this committee,” said Pollard. “I’m looking forward to serving in this leadership position during the next three years and helping lead AGC to a successful future.”

Pollard has served as Project Manager or Assistant Project Manager for RKR on dozens of projects, including 12 school projects in Paulding County. He oversaw the Burnt Hickory Elementary School, which was awarded First Place in the 2009 AGC Build Georgia Awards.

A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Pollard has …

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal

A Sandersville native, Nathan Deal served in the U.S. Army at Fort Gordon in Augusta after graduating with college and law degrees with honors from Mercer University. He then began a private law practice in Gainesville, the hometown of his wife, Sandra. While she taught in Hall County public schools, Deal began a career in public service, working as a prosecutor, judge, state senator and U.S. Congressman for Georgia’s 9th District. He was elected Georgia’s 82nd governor in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. The Deals have four adult children and six grandchildren.

What do you find to be the more rewarding part of your job?

As governor, I’m privileged to meet people from all walks of life, in every corner of our great state, and to hear their stories.

Site Selection magazine has ranked Georgia #1 for business for the past 5 years and the state has become the #1 state in feature film production, what makes Georgia so special?

When I took office in January 2011, I made a promise to the people of…

Interview with University of West Georgia President, Dr. Kyle Marrero

Q: What is the day to day like for you as UWG President?

A: It’s interesting to be a president of a university in today’s environment and it’s not what someone might think it is. It certainly encompasses many facets with the belief that transforming lives via educational obtainment being at the center. I think the most successful presidents are the ones that always remind their administrators, faculty and staff that any strategic planning or implementation of any actions or initiates need to be reviewed through a filter and lens of student success. What will this mean to focus and to allow our students to be the most successful - not only here as they enter our gates - but also beyond our gates. Our job is to prepare the students to be ready for an ever-complex world. The reality of the job is interesting, because it’s a 16- hour-a-day job, which I love and feel incredibly blessed to be a part of. And, there are multiple constituencies to serve and to help align, which can be challeng…