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News - 04 April, 2018

Major savings thanks to optimal design

In a Design & Build project, Voortman Steel Construction fulfils the roles of both lead designer and contractor. We calculate the steel structure and the roof and wall cladding for the building and optimise the design. VSC designers create the design themselves, in which they coordinate overall and detail engineering.

We investigate where savings are possible and can thus constitute a well-founded choice for the final design. Should we opt for a relatively heavy steel section with less labour or a lighter steel section with more labour? Weighing up kilos, production and assembly costs, preserving and transport costs results in the optimum design. The result will be a heavier structure in one case and a lighter design in another.

Practical examples

This working method delivered a number of major benefits for a recently completed project:

  • Smaller foundation pads with the benefit of better wieldiness during handling and installation. The use of multiple wind braces side by side reduces the tensile force on the foundation pads so we can fit smaller foundation pads.
  • The column spacing (grid size) was altered, as a result of which thinner cladding could be used. This brought about a major saving in material consumption and labour.
  • A variant study was conducted for the roof structure. A price per kilo was calculated for four variants based on the tonnage of steel and the number of labour hours. The final roof structure was selected on the basis of the lowest price per kilo.
  • The design was also productionised for manufacture by the Voortman Steel Construction machine inventory. This meant that the largest possible share of the structure was manufactured on our automatic drilling/sawing line, with a significant saving in man-hours as a result.


The leading benefit of a combined request is therefore that the steel structure, the roof and wall cladding and the amount of labour are fully coordinated because everything will have been calculated by a single outfit. This generates major savings for the customer in the overall design of his new industrial premises. Because we are carrying out this type of project increasingly often, the name of our system build department has been changed to Voortman Design & Build.