P-DfMA Platform Design for Manufacture and Assembly using Light Gauge Steel

In recent years the construction industry has been embracing innovative approaches to improve efficiency, reduce costs and accelerate project timelines, many of which fall under the banner of Modern Methods of Construction. One approach gaining popularity is Platform Design for Manufacture and Assembly (P-DfMA).

This concept can be simply summarised as the adoption of a ‘kit of parts’ approach towards design, whereby buildings are designed as varying configurations of a pre-defined and standardised set of components and systems.

The core principle of Platform DfMA is to develop a standardised platform that can be adapted and reused for various building projects, whether these be residential developments, such as modular housing, or infrastructure projects, such as schools and hospitals.

P-DfMA with light gauge steel offers a number of benefits to the construction industry, and voestalpine Metsec has the manufacturing experience and design expertise to offer real scalability and efficiencies to a project:

Design efficiency

voestalpine Metsec offers a wide range of standardised components. These can be easily adapted and combined to suit the specific design and performance requirements of different building projects. Architects and designers have the flexibility to customise and optimise the platform design while benefitting from the efficiency gains of using pre-engineered components.

Off-Site Manufacturing

One of the key advantages of voestalpine Metsec’s Metframe system is its off-site manufacturing process. The steel framing components are fabricated in a controlled factory environment, reducing waste and ensuring precision. Off-site manufacturing also minimises on-site labour, noise and disruption, resulting in faster construction and shorter project timelines. Read through the Metframe brochure here.

metsec metframe
Metframe off-site panels being installed

Efficiency and cost savings

By leveraging voestalpine Metsec’s manufacturing capabilities and standardised components, P-DfMA projects can achieve significant efficiency improvements. The reduced construction time and labour costs can lead to substantial savings compared to traditional construction methods. Additionally, the ability to optimise material usage helps in cost control and waste reduction.

Sustainability and Green Building

Light gauge steel offers a resource-efficient and environmentally responsible choice for P-DfMA projects. Steel is a highly recyclable material, that can be recycled and repurposed to minimise waste sent to landfill at the end of a building’s life. This cradle-to-cradle approach aligns with circular economy principles and makes voestalpine Metsec a compelling option for a sustainable construction future.

Digital integration and BIM

voestalpine Metsec has embraced digital technologies and Building Information Modelling (BIM), becoming the first Tier 2 Designer and Manufacturer complying with BIM Level 2 for Design & Construction in the UK. This enables us to achieve the seamless integration with the P-DfMA approach, providing stakeholders with the potential to collaborate more effectively throughout the design and construction phases, reducing clashes and rework. The digital integration also enhances project visualisation, enabling better decision-making and efficient coordination across the various disciplines.


Performance and quality

The use of standardised components means that performance testing and certification will already be in place, simplifying the specification process when it comes to stipulating the desired characteristics, such as thermal, acoustic and fire performance.

Standardisation of components also assures consistent product quality and standards of installation through improved familiarity with materials and methods, ultimately leading to better buildings.

Return on investment

In addition to the potential for improving margins through reduced costs, the time efficiencies returned by P-DfMA in design, manufacture and installation offer developers and clients the prospect of faster returns on investment, as the entire design and construction process is streamlined and buildings are ready for use as quickly as possible.

The construction industry is undergoing a remarkable transformation with a greater focus on efficient, sustainable building methods. At the heart of this revolution, P-DfMA not only ensures faster, more cost-effective and sustainable construction but also sets the stage for a future where buildings are designed, assembled and delivered with unprecedented efficiency and precision. As the demand for smarter construction methods grows, the collaboration with voestalpine Metsec for P-DfMA can shape the industry’s future and redefine how we build our world.