The construction industry in the Bahamas was lucky during the worldwide pandemic in that we were able to keep working, with new protocols in place protecting ourselves and those around us. As we start to get the COVID-19 vaccine distributed among our population, both locally and internationally, we look forward to seeing projects that were on hold become active again and new projects begin.
This process has already started for us, with a Star Building job in Exuma being released for fabrication. We have started installation of a building expansion here in Nassau, and have another building on island waiting to be installed in the Exuma Cays. We have seen increased inquiries across the Bahamas, including Andros, Freeport, and Eleuthera. We placed a large building order for a storage facility that we have worked with before.
This uptick in business is also happening across the USA. For this reason (and other reasons related to foreign tariffs and trade in America) the price of steel has seen an unprecedented and drastic hike in price in the past few months. Along with this cost increase is coming increased lead times – simple building projects may take 12-16 weeks to be designed and fabricated. This is not unique to pre-engineered metal buildings (PEMB) – structural steel, secondary framing (purlins, girts, angle, etc), and metal wall and roof panels are all seeing increased lead time. This applies to all the major and minor manufacturers, from Butler Buildings to Nucor to Star Buildings, all building contractors are seeing the same market increases.
How do you mitigate these increase in costs and lead times?
Proper planning will go a long way. Working with TMC Engineering Ltd and our knowledgeable project managers has many benefits, including:
- Complete compliance with the Bahamas Building Code, and the knowledge to know how to provide a better building than the bare minimum required
- Local knowledge of best building practices
- Established relationships with engineers, architects, general contractors, subcontractors (electrical, plumbing, fire, etc) and accessory suppliers such as windows, doors, and more.
- Proper building integration with conventional materials (such as masonry)
- Best practices for designing around hurricane wind loads
- Building design optimization to save on foundation costs
- Optimization of building parts to reduce both inland and ocean freight
- Only a local phone call away for any questions and support
- Warranty on both the materials and the installation of the building is included in all of our contracts
- Manufacturers direct representative for Star Building Systems. We speak directly with everyone from customer service, estimating, components, design, fabrication and logistics.
- We can provide alternative building systems, such as VersaTube
Additionally, we also work with smaller building manufacturers to reduce the lead time of the project. This is typically more expensive, but sometimes the ability to have your project completed weeks or months ahead of schedule is worth the trade off.
If you have an upcoming project, be it a thought or a complete set of plans, please give us a call. We would love to work with you on designing, fabricating, and erecting your steel building!