What the heck is lightweight construction?

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Often, when meeting people within the industry, one of the first questions that come up in conversation (after the standard “what’s your name?”, of course) is “what do you do?”, followed by “where do you work?”.

When we tell people we work for Empower Construction, confusion and wonder set in, particularly when we mention lightweight construction.

Are you perplexed by the concept of lightweight construction also?

If so, keep reading! We’ll explain, in simple terms, what the heck lightweight construction actually is!

What is lightweight?

The term lightweight, when used in the construction industry (and not when making fun of the young apprentice, learning the ropes) typically refers to cladding.

This cladding (more often than not) is a non-structural panel that is applied to the facade (outside) of a home or building. It is attached to a timber or steel frame which provides the required structural support for the dwelling. The panels are often made of innovative materials and methods, which are much lighter than their traditional equivalent – eg: an AAC Hebel Panel, made from aerated concrete (think big aero chocolate bar, but substitute chocolate with concrete, lime, gypsum, sand, etc) is 1.6 m/2 (see pic above) weighing approx 70 kg’s, the equivalent of that in bricks is approx 280kg’s! Hence, lightweight! They go up heaps faster too – consider the time it takes to lay 80 bricks versus installing 1 panel!

Why did Empower get into lightweight?

Our founder, Ryan Steyn, began in lightweight over 15 years ago. He pioneered the use of lightweight cladding for the entire build (as opposed to just an upstairs feature) with a major supplier and one of the largest residential home builders in NSW. He was drawn to its innovation, quick installation and outstanding performance, identifying it as the direction in which the industry was moving. This is true to this day, where we see lightweight cladding, in different forms, widely used throughout residential construction.

Why would builders consider it?

Far from the misconceptions and generalisations which are tainting the reputation of lightweight cladding, (largely due to the disastrous effects of subpar products used or applied incorrectly in the high rise residential building sector), there are excellent quality products on the market with outstanding fire retardant, insulative and aesthetic properties. Not forgetting their ease of installation and cost-saving options. Hence, many builders offer lightweight products within their range of designs.

Why would consumers consider it?

Lightweight cladding offers consumers with design versatility, additional features, increased BASIX ratings, environmentally friendly options, faster construction time, outstanding quality and more – it’s a no-brainer as to why it should be considered over traditional bricks and mortar.

Why should people call Empower for their lightweight cladding needs?

We love what we do, and we’ve been doing it for a while now – delivering innovative wall solutions, including high-quality lightweight cladding, rendering and painting services on a large scale (we’ve completed thousands!) for well over 10 years! We are extremely selective with our product range and take pride in our workmanship – ensuring the best result for our clients each and every time.

What we pride ourselves on are the partnerships we have built over the years, and which we continue to build today. We don’t only want you to call us to install your lightweight construction products, but also bricks, eaves and more – we want you to partner with us and have you draw on our expertise to create cost savings and efficiencies for your projects.

If you are a builder and would like to discuss your upcoming projects and designs with our team, contact us via email: sales@empowerconstruction.com.au

Article by Julia Sampo

October 18, 2018

Julia has over 10 years of experience across the marketing field in the construction industry. Her passions include design, building innovation, as well as travel, and the culinary arts.

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