With sustainability now locked in the global spotlight, the construction industry has had to implement some major mindset changes in recent years
In today’s environmentally conscious world, contractors and sub-contractors have been forced to confront the impact of their operations on the environment.
The design of sustainable drainage systems and the commissioning of renewable energy sources have received much attention but there’s also a strong emphasis on obtaining materials for all new developments and infrastructure projects more locally. If building materials and components can be purchased close to site, this option makes sense. The avoidance of long-distance transport has many benefits, including improved air quality, a reduction in the strain on the highway network and road surfaces and an increased cost saving to all stakeholders.
Metal Decking Sustainability
The use of composite floor construction is now commonplace, and when it’s the preferred design solution the metal decking sub-contractor is a critical part of the supply chain. Steel composite floors have distinct advantages over in-situ reinforced concrete slabs, all of which enhance the sustainability of the structure. There’s no requirement for the traditional removable formwork and its associated forest of props, installation is rapid and there’s an overall reduction in the self-weight of the slab. Following trades can therefore move in without having to wait out the concrete curing process, resulting in a more streamlined programme, and the decking itself provides a safe working platform immediately after installation. A lighter slab also means less load on the steel frame and foundations, and therefore reduced quantities of steel, concrete and reinforcement. In its final state, a steel framed structure with composite floors is inherently very stable.
Metal decking doesn’t necessarily have to be used as part of a composite floor system. On its own it can act purely as permanent formwork for non-composite, fully reinforced concrete slabs, again avoiding the use of propping systems and compressing the programme.
Established in 1987, the SMD Construction Group is now recognised as a market leader within the metal decking industry. We are a nationwide supplier of all metal decking products and, as such, we can deliver our products across the UK from any one of our regional stockyards with minimal impact on the environment, and with much needed savings in transport costs. Our customers can rely on us for their metal decking needs, no matter where their projects are located.
The SMD Stockyards are located in Leeds, Brentwood and Ashbourne and also in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire. We maintain high levels of stock and extensive product options in each location. This not only gives us excellent nationwide coverage for decking deliveries – we also have the ability to provide off-the-shelf materials at short notice to accommodate those all-too-frequent on-site design changes. Contractors working on small projects with short lead-in times can walk into any one of our stockyards, choose their materials and drive away with them. For our part, we aim to deliver products that our customers have ordered from the stockyards within 24 hours of the order being placed.
As well as floor and roof deck sheets, we also maintain a supply of accessories such as shear studs, edge trims, filler blocks, fixings and GRP (glass reinforced plastic grating). All the yards are able to cut the deck sheets to the sizes required, free of charge, so customers have the exact quantities and lengths they need. The deck sheets are cut to length, labelled and bundled according to the gauge and profile to ensure safe and easy loading out on site.
Of course, we don’t simply supply decking across the whole of the UK. We install our own products, and our site teams are as regional as the stockyards. All our installation teams are made up of dedicated, experienced professionals with the capacity to handle projects of any scope and to get the job done efficiently and effectively and more importantly ‘locally’.