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How LGS is changing the face of construction in New York City

New York City

In the United States, and New York City in particular, modern LGS-based construction methods are becoming increasingly popular.

Developers and builders working in dense urban population areas are looking to save costs by sidestepping union stronghold on on-site labour.

In the 1970s, union members had a monopoly on New York City’s skyline, with card-carrying union workers making up a whopping 90% of the city’s construction workforce at that time.

But today, times have changed. Costs are on the rise and with skilled workers in short supply, it’s a crucial time for the city’s construction industry.

Non-traditional construction such as Light Gauge Steel (LGS) is helping solve skilled labour and cost issues in dense urban population areas like NYC.

LGS, combined with the intelligent FRAMECAD System, can move a significant portion of construction costs upstream to the design phase, eliminating the (costly) need for skilled construction labour.

FRAMECAD’s extremely accurate design software enables the automation of engineering calculations and status reports, which speeds up the specification process and improves the quality of output, diminishing the need for skilled labour on-site.

Considering non-union labour is proving to be a drastic 20 – 25% cheaper than union labour, lower costs mean higher profit levels and the ability to take on larger scale projects for both builders and developers.

FRAMECAD has been providing LGS construction solutions around the world for over 25 years and has developed relationships across industry leaders, governments and businesses around the world. Our new eBook, “The Future of Construction – The case for Cold Formed Steel” takes an in-depth look into the benefits and best applications of LGS buildings throughout the global construction industry.



Modular construction threatens the stronghold that unions have traditionally held on construction labour.

Like many of the world’s cities, New York City is facing major housing and spatial issues.

Modular construction, utilising LGS as a building material, is being used to create micro apartments, which are small by typical apartment standards – between 82 and 160 metres – and designed to optimise space and maximise the sense of openness.

But crucially, these micro apartments can be prefabricated at off-site indoor facilities and transported to be erected on site without the need for union labour.

And, due to their small size they allow New York City, a town with limited space to grow, to help resolve their increased demand for one and two person homes.

LGS and modular construction as a method of rapid construction is praised by the city’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, as it is “faster, less expensive and allows for high levels of quality control and significantly reduces waste and truck traffic. It’s also safer for workers as construction is done inside in controlled environments.”

Through LGS modular construction, more than 20,000 affordable housing units were able to be built during the city’s 2015 fiscal year, the highest single-year gain in 25 years. That quantity of apartments could house 50,000 New Yorkers, according to the mayor’s office, which aims to create 200,000 homes for financially struggling city residents over the next 10 years.

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If you'd like to find out more about the advantages of LGS as a building material and in particular, how the FRAMECAD System will drive ROI and value for your business, download our eBook for free today.

If you’re considering LGS systems for a specific project or are considering establishing a LGS manufacturing or construction business, talk to a FRAMECAD expert today.

Discover how the need for the rapid construction of quality buildings is defining the future of construction