Our business at Wrightstyle is the design, fabrication and installation of high-performance steel framing systems.
It’s a complicated process that involves skilled and experienced people at every stage of every contract.
The first stage involves us working with the architect or main contractor to define what’s required and the level of protection.
That can be anything from different levels of fire protection through to ballistic or blast resistance.
It’s a process that our Chief Design Manager Chris Peters has long been familiar with. Chris works on CAD programs that render in either 2D or 3D.
Many other companies can only design in 2D, and our 3D capability gives us a distinct advantage.
For a start, it allows us to show the architect or contractor a rounded picture of the steel assembly.
The program allows us to “fly” around it, and clearly demonstrate from every angle how the framing system actually looks and works.
Second, it allows the design team to see where potential problems might lie and build and test design solutions.
Third, it also helps us understand the nature of the design commission. In turn, therefore, that shows the compatibility of each part of the assembly.
Last, particularly for older buildings which may not have detailed interior drawings, it enables the design team to take a 3D survey.
We’re currently working on a contract at Paddington Station on the Crossrail project. For that project, we first made a 3D survey of the site.
It allowed us to better visualise the interior space. That enabled us to design steel framing systems that would be fit for purpose and visually appealing.
Undertaking such a survey was also an important first step in a recent contract to design a three-sided structure to enclose an exterior fire escape.
Improved safety with steel framing systems
The project helped to transform a tired London 1960s high-rise block, building in new and improved levels of fire safety.
The 10-storey Leyton Green tower block, in Leyton, east London, had already been extensively refurbished.
Our task was to complete a glazed tower to provide enhanced staircase access and, more importantly, a protected escape route.
The project involved designing three sets of curtain walling, each of which was slightly different.
Designing in 3D allowed us to clearly visualise where the physical connections would be made, and precisely design each section.
While that process could be accomplished in 2D, the scope for error would be greater and, therefore, the length of time on-site.
Once our team, and the client, are happy with the design, the next step is to fabricate each part. For that, we use a manufacturing process in which pre-programmed computer software dictates the movement of machinery.
It’s an automated process called Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and greatly increases the speed and quality of manufacturing.
Chris will tell us all about it in a separate article.