There is a building boom going on in many capital cities in Australia and it seems that almost everywhere you look, cranes dot the horizon. Building is great for the economy and there are currently $4.8 billion worth of projects under construction in Sydney with a further $3.1 billion approved for completion by 2025. Buildings are also a great reflection of the contemporary architecture and style of any era and it is refreshing to see the diversity in many of the designs of this new generation of city buildings.
Many large buildings use steel decking as the base product for concrete slabs, specifically for suspended slabs and there are a number of steel decking products commonly used in construction.
All of them work to varying degrees and all have their own features and price-point, but equally each has their drawbacks and limitations. The main problem and add on-cost of most steel decking is that it needs lots of support (or propping) while the concrete is drying. This can be a major problem on a construction site, working around a forest of props, often having to wait for days till the surface is hard enough to access the site – and on a multi-level building, this scenario is repeated on each level.
Truedek Steel Decking is different to any other system on the market. Where there are wide or difficult areas to concrete, Truedek can span an impressive 7+ metres, eliminating the need and cost of propping. Manufactured with a pre-camber, Truedek is engineered to finish flat under the weight of the wet concrete and each panel becomes part of the working platform as it is laid. Truedek is made in four heights (90, 110, 140 & 160mm) to suit different slab requirements making it very versatile – and as the lengths are custom-made to suit each job, there is no cutting or waste.
In the construction industry the legacy of the big, impersonal concrete monolith blocks of decades ago is making way for more creative and interesting construction. There is a new attitude and architectural pride of designing and building artistic, interesting, aesthetically pleasing – even quirky structures, resulting in a greater diversity of shapes making up the skyline.
While this is a more positive and attractive look for the cities of the future, the majority of building designs – however creative or complex, still have to fit into a number of very practical restraints, not the least of which is cost and there is a fine line between prudent design and impractical extravagance.
Almost every architectural firm or studio promotes their own philosophy of their perception of great architecture, usually featured as a mantra on the home page of their website however, no matter how imaginative and creative, in a commercial world, the greatest design is what is pragmatic to the needs and can be cost effectively constructed.