Saturday, June 14, 2008

Steel Construction Industry at a Stand Still

Spent the day moping about the office ( I am sure my wife will agree that it is better than moping about at home).

I applaud the Pahang MB and excos for suggesting a 30% cut in their Entertainment Allowance. Personally, I feel it shows initiative, and definitely more sincerity than the paltry 10% by the Malaysian national leaders. From the readers’ letters to the newspaper, it looks like a lot of people feel that way too.

I am not an economist but I do believe that subsidies are not good in the long term but I do think the price hike was too sudden and too steep. Any economists out there who there who are willing to enlighten me on this?

I did try to do some marketing. I called some of my clients to enquire whether there was any work for me. Their answers were virtually similar – just finishing existing jobs, no new jobs at the moment. Most sounded quite moody but that’s understandable, it’s a tough and worrying time for most people.


Personally, I think the most damaging aspect of the 41% increase in fuel, has created an unstable business environment that virtually prevent business from proceeding. For example, the cost of material, transport cost, etc is so uncertain that it practically impossible to do a costing for any project. A client of mine has described the cost of material is nowadays like the stock market, the prices change everyday. Until that is settled, all we can do is wait (and pray – for those who are religiously inclined).


A pleasant surprise, I just got a call and looks like I got a small project. Basically my client (a contractor) have proposed steel roof trusses (made up of RHS & SHS) for a bungalow. The owner and the architect is agreeable to the contractor’s proposal but require the contractor to provide Engineering calculations to prove that the trusses are structurally adequate. There’s where I come in, to provide the necessary calculations. This is not much work but my first new project since the price hike!

Actually I have just completed another truss job last week. A 40m long truss is attached to 2 columns, to provide lateral stability. As there is a large opening in the building, the client’s consultant is worried about the effects of wind uplift on the existing steel roof rafters. He suggest that a steel column to be connected between the rafter and the 40m truss. The intention being, the uplift forces on the rafter to be transferred to the new truss. My job is to determine whether the truss can cater for this uplift force and if it is able to, also design the connections for the members. The analysis has been done and submitted and waiting for their comments (and hopefully my payment – ha! ha!) Actually getting paid, is one of the most difficult part of my work.

Hope everybody enjoy their weekend. Keeping fingers crossed that next week will be better.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Steel building construction has 48% of the total market share of construction. It includes commercial buildings, industrial buildings, temporary shelters, storage units, churches and air hangers