Choosing the Right Construction Materials for the Job at Hand

There’s no doubt that there are plenty of choices when it comes to materials for a construction project, this makes it a challenge; especially knowing what’s chosen could mean the success of the entire building. Anyone starting a project will find that there are plenty of opinions which is best, from concrete, to RSJ steel, to wood and other metals, what’s chosen means a lot as far as the integrity of the finished project.

It takes a group of professionals to choose the best construction materials. There is the construction project leader, sponsor, architect, future owner, contractors and suppliers to name just a few. Each one has a say in what construction materials should be used for the plan at hand. As long as there’s a process laid out for them, the end decision of whether or not to carry out wood elements, RSJ steel, concrete and a plethora of other materials will be simple. Here’s a breakdown of all the key players and what they are responsible for:

Architects: The architect or designer is in charge of creating the concept that will build the project. They make plans for the building so it’s both aesthetically intriguing and functional. They will suggest building materials such as RSJ steel beams and wood frames to name a few. They bring to life the design, which is an exciting responsibility.
Contractors: The contractor actually deals with the materials at the site of the proposed building. They are concerned with safety procedures, and are trained to handle them correctly. Whatever is chosen it should make the project easy as possible.
Owners: The owner or sponsor relays their preferences and requests to the project. They have both their wants and needs met in a sensible way. They set the budget and put the project into the hands of the architect and contractor.
Suppliers: The supplier lays out the needed materials that are agreed upon by all, and is sure that they are available, affordable and can be delivered in a timely manner.

What Supplier to Use

Once all of these individuals within the team have agreed on whether to use concrete, wood, RSJ steel or anything else then they have to choose where to get them. Once they are available and within the budget and delivery dates and other logistics are addressed the supplier should be chosen. Delivery and storage also play a part in who supplies materials. Perhaps the right amount won’t be available in time, or maybe there’s no place available to store it until needed.

All this plays into what’s chosen and from which distributor, as well as how much storage will cost. Sticking to the budget is very important. A construction manager has to consider all of this when making choices and plans.

Quality and cost are huge factors when it comes to supplier choice, there’s no denying that. There are high quality items that cost much more and are more difficult to get, and there are alternative materials that can work just as well. All of this must be discussed by sponsors, owners, suppliers and architects.

Testing the Potential Materials

A smart action to take which is often implemented by those involved in the project is to test things out before they are actually used. If the supplier that is settled on is a new one, and there isn’t any familiarity with the RSJ beams from a steel stockholder, for example, then an example of the item being used or “in action” will help build confidence in it. It’s a great way to compare the choices and make a clear decision on which material will be used.

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