Forgoing high-quality fabricated steel grating products in the name of cheaper materials may save time and money, and reflect well on a budget sheet. However, reduced product shelf life and the potential danger of using building components not up to Australian safety standards proves that value-based construction materials are ultimately cheaper in the long-term.
When cheap materials become expensive
Successfully trading cost for quality to lower material expenses is a common myth across the building sector, spanning civil, commercial and industrial projects, mining and even government construction. Numerous incidents have arisen in recent years around the construction of commercial and residential buildings nationwide to prove this.
Last year Melbourne CBD apartment blocks had glass balconies spontaneously shattering because the material wasn't tested to meet Australian environmental conditions - and that's not the only example. In 2014 an apartment building in Melbourne's Docklands burst into flames, forcing over 500 residents to evacuate. Flammable cladding, similar to the kind that ignited the Grenfell Towers tragedy in 2017, was to blame.
This opened an inquisition into the rising use of cheap and potentially deadly materials in Australian construction projects. Engineers Australia's Multi-Disciplinary Committee found in 2015 that the building industry was increasingly focusing on cheap, not high-quality, construction materials, with the problem particularly acute in NSW and Victoria. Brian Seidler, executive director of the Master Builders Association, commented to ABC News following the release of the 2015 committee report:
''Australia is being inundated with non-conforming products from countries without any standards - yet clients specify they be put in place.''
Apartments in Melbourne have experienced first-hand the dangers of using sub-par construction materials.
Building and infrastructure products that aren't up to Australian quality standards can lead to a range of costs for developers, builders, contractors and suppliers down the track:
Increased wear-and-tear on cheaper materials means they'll need more regular repair and maintenance.
Cheaper materials that become damaged faster need to be replaced sooner.
Product deterioration or damage can lead to structural damage and possible injuries or other unforeseen issues further down the track.
Construction sector project managers and estimators need to consider their product suppliers carefully when deciding on materials used on-site. If the products don't meet Australian compliance standards, your budget will go out the window further down the track.
Sourcing Australian-made, high-quality construction products
Another common mistake made when looking for building and infrastructure materials is discounting the Australian market as too costly. Overseas products are often not designed and manufactured to Standards Australia specifications for quality and safety compliance. This is problematic if the products are not cleared for use in a building compliance inspection. Additionally, overseas shipping costs are often higher than anticipated and delivery timelines subject to any number of delays.
When using Australian-made materials, you can be certain they've been designed to meet each specification set by Standards Australia. Product suppliers should also manufacture building components to meet individual state requirements.This means you get a high-quality, fit-for-purpose product that will contribute to a more robust and valuable end result. This peace of mind may come at a higher cost than a solution picked from the bottom rung of product suppliers, but isn't it worth it?
Product pricing based on real value is cheaper in the long run.
A pricing strategy based on value is the mark of a product supplier committed to delivering the best for its customers. It demonstrates foresight to treat materials as solutions to construction problems and a willingness to back a longer-term business relationship. Ultimately, higher-quality materials delivered by a supply partner is worth the investment.
Weldlok®: A commitment to value-based building and infrastructure materials
Value-based construction products pay themselves back in reliability and functionality. Project managers and estimators in civil, commercial and industrial, mining and government construction sectors can be certain that a little more now means a longer shelf life and a lowered risk of compromised or dangerous product wear-and-tear later on.
These are the values that underpin the Weldlok® brand. A key name in the NEPEAN Building and Infrastructure division, our high-quality steel grating products have been used nationwide, from civil infrastructure drainage grates to under-turf applications in sports stadiums. Built and rigorously trailed in National Association of Testing Authorities-accredited facilities, Weldlok® steel grating offers construction sector personnel a versatile and durable product.
Weldlok fabricated steel grating and handrail systems are made to last.
Our manufacturing facilities and branches located in NSW, Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland are equipped to handle customer requests for unique product specifications. In addition, our customer service and support teams will help you pick a product that is fit-for-purpose and indispensable to your next construction project.
Value-based construction materials come with value-based cost - we offer a pricing strategy to our customers that is fair and offers discounts to meet tight budgerts. It's part of our wider commitment to developing long-term partnerships in the construction sector. We take the time to analyse customer problems and develop solutions that fit within specifications. This means you get a high-quality and fit-for-purpose product that pays itself back in the long run.
For more information about the Weldlok® range of products, contact the expert team today.