Panel Construction - Steel in Residential Construction.

Wall panels, floor cassettes and roof trusses may be prefabricated in a factory and later assembled on site, as in Fig. 5.33. For accuracy, panels are manufactured in purpose-made jigs. Some of the finishing materials may be applied in the factory, to speed on-site construction. Panels can comprise the steel elements alone or the facing materials and insulation can be applied in the factory. The panels are connected on site using conventional techniques (bolts or self drilling screws).

The main advantages of panel or sub-frame construction are:

• speed of erection of the panels or sub-frames
• quality control in production
• reduced site labour costs
• scope for automation in factory production.

The geometrical accuracy and reliability of the panels and other components is better than with stick-build construction because panels are prefabricated in a factory environment. The accurate setting out and installation of foundations is a key factor to achieve rapid assembly of the panels and to obtain the maximum  efficiency of the construction process.

 Site assembly of light steel wall panels
Fig. 5.33 Site assembly of light steel wall panels

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