The 440-apartment complex above Sainsburys supermarket and basement car parking. A steel frame structure built by BAM with a BLP Member manager. Steel frame with Bison beam slabs, Metsec walls, cement board insulated exterior and balconies. The internal roof garden over the Sainsbury store is the size of a football pitch.
BLP Members were involved in the construction management of both the Hub and Vizon developments on adjacent city blocks in Milton Keynes. There is an interesting comparison of construction methods using Concrete frames versus Steel frame buildings.
Using Whole Life Costing and discounted cash flows with net present values. From a construction view point the concrete option appears to be about 30% more expensive at the construction stage, but when operational energy is accounted for, studies have shown this approach dwarfs the embodied energy and the appraisal is reversed showing a saving of 6% for the concrete option.
That is, initial building costs with concrete structures are high but the savings on energy over the life of the building can be superior to that of steel frame structures. This puts the steel option at a disadvantage energy-wise though design factors may compensate. Hence the need to work with the design team and allow them to challenge design models. Whole Life Costing is not an exact science and needs to be interrogated by expert consultants considering a clients perspective on the commercial and environmental issues.
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