An external firm (L2C – Leads 2 Construction) was mandated to perform a comparative study to evaluate the costs of building materials for a structure built with Fermacell product, compared to a more conventional way with an 1 ½ " acoustic concrete topping on each floor in a light-weight four-storey light-wood frame structure.
It has been established that major savings in construction costs are achievable in this type of construction, ie at the levels
1) of the foundation elements,
2) of the structural slab,
3) of the lateral load recovery system and
4) of the floor system and joists.
The building was not chosen to benefit or disadvantage Fermacell product. The analysis represents a concrete example where Fermacell product could have been used to reduce the quantities of materials from the other structural elements on the project. The analysis is not a guarantee that savings can be replicated in all projects or situations and does not replace the expertise of a structural engineer.
Description of the building
- The building consists of 4 storey wooden floors and a concrete basement
- The area is 16 400 sq.ft.
- The structure is made of wood joists, roof trusses and load-bearing walls in a light-wood frame
- The building rests on a concrete transfer slab
- The soil consists of gray till of medium to very dense compactness. The seismic class of this soil is class D
- Resumption of lateral forces is performed using shear walls nailed with OSB panels
In this first part (1 of 4), we will discuss the economy at the level of the foundation elements.
According to the report, a potential 5% reduction in costs would be possible for foundations. Much greater savings could be made if reducing weight of the building through use of Fermacell dry flooring boards would avoid the use of deep foundations, such as piles or structural slabs.
We could even think of adding an extra floor since the weight reduction of the floors is cumulative. A 6-storey building with Fermacell dry flooring boards would be only 10% heavier than a 5-storey building with concrete topping.
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