Following a considerable and successful track record in the use of light gauge steel systems in the Middle East, ORCA decided to move back to the UK a few years ago. Our system is being used in the construction of nursing homes, clinics, schools and housing across the country.
Whilst light gauge steel is a well-tried and tested product, we feel that our approach to its use is radically different and better. We bring together a number of factors:
• Design-led systems to maximise efficiencies in manufacture and assembly, and “designing out” problems before they arise.
• Full integration of our manufacturing software with Revit, Autodesk and BIM modelling, with automated data transfer.
• Careful engineering of components and processes to reduce material content and waste.
• Simplified and smaller fabrication units generating lower fixed costs in factory and plant; and allowing mobile manufacturing on site where appropriate, simplifying the supply chain and offering just-in-time logistics.
As a result, we can offer the advantages of:
• Accuracy – we can achieve much tighter tolerances than traditional or timber frame, offering significant advantages in relation to airtightness and thus thermal performance. We can achieve high Code for Sustainable Homes ratings, and can achieve Passivhaus standard.
• Speed of erection – we have our own in-house erection teams.
• Reduced requirements for plant and scaffolding during erection.
• Flexibility in both design and delivery.
• When using roof panel cassettes, usable loft space in houses.
• Stability – high levels of rigidity and no shrinkage.
• Reduced fire risk during construction, compared with timber frame.
• De-risking the construction process, particularly by removing bricklaying from the critical path. The shell of a house can be weather tight and available for first fix trades within 2 to 3 days.
• Very competitive pricing, compared with both traditional and timber frame.
Networking and promotion with organisations who recognise the potential benefits of technology and off-site manufacture.
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