Benefits of the ConX® System

Stakeholder Advantages

Benefits of the ConX Steel Framing System

  • Typically 2 to 5X faster than conventional steel (Faster ROI, Lower Peak Capital)
  • ConXtech’s finite set of connectors and steel shapes and weights reduces material lead times
  • Factory built assemblies significantly accelerate delivery of structure.
  • Less on-site disruption (existing facility is often still operational during construction) due to just-in-time delivery of frame assemblies, fewer field personnel, shorter construction duration, elimination of emissions from field welding, and reduced noise, traffic congestion and on-site waste
  • AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction) and IBC (International Building Code) approved; PIP (Process Industry Practices) compliant system
  • Common connectivity expands opportunity for modularization of piping, equipment, HVAC and other systems and finishes beyond the structure
  • Predictable structure simplifies maintenance and reduces associated time and costs
  • Less overall waste in an efficient factory environment. ConX = 2-3% “drop” vs. industry avg. = 6-8%
  • Typically lighter and greener structure vs. conventional options (up to 30% less steel)
  • ConX bi-axial connections distribute loads efficiently throughout a structure and enable simplified, less costly footings and foundations
  • No field welding = speed and safety and lower CO2 emissions from fossil fuels
  • Transient field labor is replaced with factory labor that can live near their workplace
  • ConX is the only moment frame steel system that can be designed for disassembly and reassembly
  • ConX brings a lower Total Installed Cost vs. any other structural option
  • Accelerated schedule lowers overall risk and brings structures into service more rapidly
  • Welding and associated special inspection of connections takes place in a safe and controlled factory environment
  • Faster design through delivery than any other structural alternative
  • One connection used redundantly simplifies interface with other systems and finishes (e.g. fire-sprinklers, ceilings, cladding)
  • Brace and shear wall free structure enables unprecedented freedom for interior layout, exterior design, window placement and future reconfiguration
  • Entire team can organize around digital chassis with high value digital Building Information Modeling (BIM) at earliest stages of design
  • Redundant use of standardized structural connection holds potential to simplify and accelerate the approval process
  • Inherent seismic, progressive collapse and blast resistance of the ConX System meets the most stringent building code criteria including: ATFP (Anti-Terrorism Force Protection), UFC (Unified Facilities Criteria), AISC Seismic Provisions and California’s Office of Statewide Healthcare Planning and Development (OSHPD) requirements. Read more about the codification
  • Premium moment-frame/space-frame structure with inherent bi-axial performance (without cost premium)
  • Gravity stabilized structure can be quickly and safely lowered and locked™ together on-site

Building to a Higher Standard

ConXtech® offers innovative steel frame systems for a vast array of structural uses. Owners can now build premium quality industrial, healthcare, high-density, mixed-use, commercial, parking and other structures utilizing a well conceived and efficiently executed system. ConXtech can optimize land use by enabling higher occupancy buildings when compared to wood, and more affordable when compared to conventional steel or concrete. ConXtech delivers multistory structures at a lower Total Installed Cost than any comparable alternative.

The componentized nature of ConXtech’s systems allow structures to be designed and built more rapidly, processing plants to be operational sooner, and units/space to be occupied, rented, leased or sold earlier – all which accelerate your return on investment.

The ConX System enables a spatially and dimensionally accurate ConX Digital Chassis to be established at the earliest concept stage. All stakeholders then leverage the chassis as the collaborative platform for efficient integration. The result is fewer iterations and a more predictable cost efficient project delivery. The value of ConXtech’s structural platform has been validated by Cumming, an international project management and cost consultancy firm that offers fully integrated services throughout design and construction. Cumming represents project owners by providing the technical expertise, leadership, and resources needed to drive the process towards successful outcomes that are on time and within the client’s budget. Specializing in the commercial, hospitality, retail, entertainment, education, healthcare, and high-end residential sectors, Cumming has more than 500 team members and has 27 offices worldwide.

Whether it’s a pipe rack, data center, medical office building, high density residential project or another structure, owners demand high quality at a reasonable cost. The ConX System provides a premium structure at a non-premium price, while reducing the long term maintenance liability.

ConX dramatically improves on wood frame building solutions by drastically reducing mold, rot, and shrinkage concerns. ConX is non-combustible and provides a more sound and sturdy structure built to resist earthquakes, wind and other elements. The insurance industry has been quick to recognize many of the advantages ConX brings, and we are pleased that selected insurance providers now offer substantially lower Wrap-up and other insurance premiums on projects which utilize the ConX System. For more information about special insurance premiums for ConXtech projects, contact Chris Brown at Brown & Riding: cbrown@brownandriding.com or (213) 593-3411.

Overall, ConXtech provides a better and greener structure for a more desirable project. ConXL, our system for commercial, office, hospital and other structures which require large open floor plans, is the ideal choice for those concerned about sustainability and want to attract the growing list of tenants who are environmentally conscious.

The flexibility of the ConXR System is optimal for mixed-use projects that are the hallmark of re-urbanization. Building owners can lease the ground-floor to retail businesses at a premium. Renters or condominium owners above can enjoy the convenience of retail, restaurant, and other services right in their own building.

With ConX, owners enjoy a new era of higher quality, lower-maintenance and more profitable projects.

Bringing Value Beyond the Steel Frame

The ConX® System is specifically designed for the four to twelve story market, where wood is often not an option, and conventional structural steel and concrete are not economically viable. With ConX, four to twelve story steel structures are now affordable; developers can build higher on a smaller footprint, maximizing land use with greater densities.

The ConX System is structurally superior to many conventional building methods; developers can offer a variety of new designs with demonstrable quality and safety enhancements. Where standard wood structures are code limited to 50 or occasionally 65 feet, ConX allows developers to typically build as high as eight stories above a podium in Seismic Zone 4 without shear walls or brace frames, and without incurring any code-related penalties. In non-seismic zones, developers can erect much higher ConX structures.

In today’s changing real estate market, it is ever more important for developers to remain agile. ConXtech delivers a value proposition that just a few years ago might have been unachievable. Imagine finishing the exterior facade of your structure first, and then phasing the interior layout, TI’s or finishes at a “just in time” pace as the space is occupied. Imagine the flexibility that a structure without shear walls or brace frames brings you when it comes to unit planning and future use. More options can remain open for your tenants by keeping floor plans as flexible as possible until space is leased or sold.

Rapid, just-in-time manufacturing means that components are delivered to the building site as required and assembled quickly, efficiently, and safely. This equates to faster builds, better products, shorter schedules, virtually no on-site waste, and an overall increased return on investment.

ConX delivers ways for developers to substantially accelerate the delivery of the finished project while dramatically lowering peak capital needs, increasing quality and ROI.

With ConX developers can expect a precise and reliable system approach that offers new opportunities to reduce costs, increase profitability, and deliver the highest quality – more quickly and safely.

With urban land at a premium, wood frame structures limit opportunities to maximize the development potential of high-density mixed-use and urban infill projects. Conventional steel and concrete construction methods are expensive and have their own limitations, such as the requirement to align the vertical load paths in residential units above a podium with the parking structure below. Often the optimal layout for residential units is designed at the expense of the optimal layout for parking or visa versa. For example, ConXR has no requirement to align the load path of the structure above the podium with the structure below the podium, thus, optimal yields can be realized from disparate parking and residential grids in the same building.

The ConX System is so precise that the structural component of a budget can be determined early in the design process. This precision, along with cost savings the system brings to overall efficiency, can make the difference between making a project “pencil” or not.

ConX brings potential for reductions in wrap-up rates and insurance costs for developers. A safe environment, a shorter construction schedule and high quality structure generates a favorable risk profile for assembly, workers comp, course of construction, builder’s risk, and construction defects. For more information about special insurance rates for ConXtech projects, please contact John Arents at (925) 609-6565 or jarents@hubinternational.com.

The precise and elegant simplicity of the ConX System means that all of the pieces come together easily in the field. Before field construction begins, custom components for your project are pre-built in a high-tech manufacturing facility. The cutting, drilling, milling, and welding of components and assemblies for your project are pre-built to tolerances as close as six one thousandth’s of an inch.

When it’s time for field assembly, the ConX interlocking collar technology allows the beams to lower and lock onto columns where they are bolted. Welding on-site is minimal, reducing the need for on-site labor which leads to lower construction and overhead costs, a reduction of safety risks to workers, and lower costs for special inspections.

Developers are challenged with striking the balance between bringing optimal value to the municipalities and communities in which they wish to build, while looking for ways to reduce construction costs and increase investment returns.

Working with municipalities can sometimes be challenging, and compromises are often made. With ConX, the duration of construction is shorter resulting in less disruption to traffic, less site produced noise and substantially reduced on-site waste; these and other advantages makes ConX a more politically desirable solution.

Exercise Your Full Creative Capacity

For decades, architects have been challenged with the trade offs between specifying wood, concrete or steel for mid-to high rise projects. The physical, code and quality limitations associated with wood frame, and the cost premium associated with conventional steel and concrete construction have left a void in the urban skyline. That void, between five stories where wood reaches its maximum height, and below twelve stories – where steel and concrete typically becomes economically viable, is where ConXtech delivers the ultimate structural solution.

ConX offers a revolutionary integrated structural system without compromising architectural style. Highly configurable and flexible, the ConX System is able to accommodate variable-bay spacing and floor heights. Typically, up to eight floors can be designed, without a requirement for shear walls or cross bracing. Architects can now maximize exterior openings, infinitely configure interior spaces, and create multi-story interior volumes with unprecedented freedom.

Perhaps the single most important benefit for architects in the high-density residential space is the freedom to place a ConXR structure on a flat concrete podium without the necessity to align the load path of the ConXR structure above the podium, with the concrete columns supporting the podium below. This enables completely independent layout of the residential and parking grids and the opportunity to optimize of both.

ConXtech can provide guidelines to assist design teams in understanding and most efficiently utilizing the ConX System. Please contact us at info@conxtech.com and let us know what type of project you are considering.

The simple modular components of the ConX System along with our software toolkit ConXCAD, gives architects the ability to select the structural grid early on in the design process, yet make adjustments to that grid with minimal re-work, as the design evolves. Architects can now allocate more of their time and creativity to the functionality and aesthetic details of a project rather than the structural engineering requirements.

Zone permitting, the ConX System also gives your clients higher buildings without many of the traditional structural considerations and constraints. New types of high-density, mixed-use structures especially for inner city, redevelopment, and urban infill projects become fiscally and structurally feasible —structures that are more efficient and more rapidly delivered.

ConX is designed to efficiently manage gravity loads and seismic forces among its interconnected columns and beams. The unique moment connection with bolted collar system efficiently handles severe lateral loads, such as those produced by earthquakes. This core benefit is a vitally important factor in seismically active areas around the world, where integrating architectural design with conventional structural systems is always a challenge.

Engineering With Proven Technology

The ConXL™ SMF connection is codified  by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and published in AISC 358-16 Prequalified Connections for Special and Intermediate Steel Moment Frames for Seismic Applications for use by structural engineers worldwide. It is also approved by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) for use in California hospital facilities and the Division of the State Architect (DSA) for use in California schools. ConX is LA city (LABDS) approved and meets special detailing requirements for the most demanding seismic loading as well as the current U.S. Department of Defense anti-terrorism standards for blast and progressive collapse resistance.

The inherent robustness, as well as the simplicity of a systems approach enables the Structural Engineer of Record (SEOR) to quickly grasp and efficiently apply the ConX technology. Engineers quickly become proficient in designing with ConX because the system utilizes a finite number of structural connections to achieve a wide range of structural configurations. The system has been scrupulously reviewed, tested through 90+ full-scale destructive tests, documented and proven – with over 10 Million square feet designed/built to date. The ConXtech team is here to assist you in designing with ConX, but the inherent simplicity means it won’t be long before you are the expert.

ConXtech has created a Design Instructions for the Structural Engineer document to assist engineers in understanding and most efficiently utilizing the ConX System. To obtain your copy of the document, please contact us at info@conxtech.com.

In a ConX structure, each primary connection within the steel frame is a moment connection which typically eliminates the need for brace frames or shear walls within the structures. This enhances architectural freedom thus reducing time expended coordinating between engineering and architectural teams as plans evolve.

ConXtech provides guidance and support to the SEOR and has a compliment of established capabilities in engineering, detailing, manufacturing (fabrication), and construction. This collaborative effort often begins with the SEOR providing conceptual drawings or architectural plans to ConXtech. Applying a variety of simple rules of thumb, columns and beams are arranged to adapt to the proposed floor plans in a way that can optimize ConX framing capabilities. Framing overlays (gridlines) are produced electronically – and can be efficiently distributed for review, input and approval by all of the relevant parties.

Once the framing plan has been agreed upon, the SEOR is aided in the development of their analytical model of the structure with the appropriate stiffness and strength of all the elements. ConXtech can help optimize the entire frame to meet code specified drift and strength limits, and provides further guidance in the design of the building floor system for composite action, vibration performance, and service deflections taking advantage of the bi-axial fixidity of the ConX connections. ConXtech can create an independent analysis model of the framing in order make recommendations to the SEOR as to the most efficient column and beam sizes for the building frame.

In addition to the ConX collar assembly, ConX structures employ a set of pre-engineered gravity connections, web opening details, beam lateral bracing, column splice details, column bases, as well as optional cladding attachments, stair details, and foundation details. Once the SEOR has finalized the framing plan, ConXtech can provide electronic drawings of the general notes, and details with supporting calculations for review and inclusion in the CD document set. ConXtech is also developing a ConXCAD toolkit that will assist the entire team in collaboratively integrating the ConX System into Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Analysis programs.

During the review process, ConXtech is ready to serve as a resource in assisting with the response to any plan check comments by drawing upon the wealth of relevant data gathered in past plan checks, peer-reviews and pre-qualification reviews.

After the building is approved for manufacture (fabrication), ConXtech can provide a Certified ConXtech Fabricator with complete collar assembly components, frame member shop drawings, QC and QA plans, and expert guidance in the proper methods of fabricating the building frame.

During construction, ConXtech is available to provide expert advice in the erection of the building frame, inspection of the installation, response to RFI’s, periodic observation, and final compliance verification.

At every stage of the project, from conceptual planning through to final compliance, ConXtech’s experienced staff stands ready to assist the SEOR on questions related to design, detailing, analysis, approval, fabrication, and construction of the building frame.

Rapid, Organized and Predictable Workflow

ConXtech® can lower the risk for Design Build, EPC and other Contractors by offering a predictable, robust and sustainable structural steel building system called ConX. Often referred to as a Full-Scale Erector Set™, ConX is a faster, better, safer and greener steel framing solution when compared with conventional steel or concrete. Innovative steel connection design, technology and automated processes from concept through delivery, all contribute toward unprecedented quality, efficiency and structural performance of ConX buildings.

The unique and robust bi-axial moment collar design makes ConXtech’s steel connection system especially well suited for geographies with high seismic demands and where UFC requirements for blast and progressive collapse resistance are applicable. Healthcare, data centers, military facilities and compounds (including high density housing), federal office buildings, as well as a variety of industrial applications can all benefit from the ConX System.

ConXtech brings fully tested, AISC and OSHPD approved connection technology to the building industry. A finite number of precisely manufactured connectors, components and assemblies can be manufactured to achieve even the most demanding structural and aesthetic design criteria. The company employs BIM tools, CNC machining and robotic welding to streamline structural design and manufacturing, through field assembly processes. This systemized approach not only accelerates construction, but results in simple yet high performance structures.

Benefits of the ConX® System

  • Predictability in cost and schedule
  • Inherently seismic, blast and progressive collapse resistant. Meets ATFP progressive collapse and blast loading requirements without a cost premium over gravity systems or comparable field welded moment frame systems
  • Bi-Axial Moment Frame/Space Frame. No shear walls or brace frames means reduced congestion for floor plans and layout
  • Infinite configurability. The same robust ConX moment collar solution for nearly every primary connection in every structure
  • No field welding required – Substantially accelerates process by increasing labor productivity and lowering risk in dangerous (potentially volatile) environments
  • Vastly reduced lead times due to a finite set of ConX components, design simplicity and steel members which are readily available
  • greener solution than any conventional alternative. Lighter structure, efficiently built, lower CO2 emissions overall, vastly reduced manpower in the field
  • Design and regulatory approval simplicity compared to conventional alternatives (essentially two primary connector systems)
  • Reconfigurable as needs evolve. Potential for disassembly and re-assembly of structures

For an example of the benefits, watch this video of a ten-story portable tower assembled in three days.

Benefits of ConX for ConX Certified Fabricators

A growing network of fabricators – Meeting global demand with an innovative steel system

ConXtech makes its innovative connections available to a network of ConX Certified Fabricators. Leaders in the industry have begun to license ConXtech’s fabrication technologies, fixturing and methods to differentiate themselves by offering a true bi-axial structural system. Cost and time efficiencies, improved quality, readily available steel shapes and up to 2X productivity “under their existing roof” with the same manpower are just a few of the benefits.
Contact info@conxtech.com to learn about how to become a ConX Certified Fabricator and what it can mean to your business.

Structural steel simplified – Improved safety, quality and accelerated delivery

In the fabrication and erection environment worker safety is paramount. The ConX System was conceived with the safety of those who fabricate and erect steel in mind. From ConXtech’s innovative fixturing and jigs to process driven workflow, the system was developed to mitigate risk while enhancing productivity.
ConXtech not only offers fabricators and erectors a way to distinguish themselves by offering a superior structure at a lower cost, but we have developed a safer way to deliver a sustainable structure in significantly less time. ConX components and assemblies are precision-fabricated in a high-tech environment where much of the welding can be automated. Whether the fabricator elects to weld robotically or manually, ConXtech’s proprietary weld prep and fixturing positions the assembly to be welded in an ergonomically ideal horizontal position which enables higher deposition rates, reduces waste and re-work and increases production.

The Connection That Changed Erection®

In the fabrication and erection environment worker safety is paramount. The ConX System was conceived with the safety of those who fabricate and erect steel in mind. From ConXtech’s innovative fixturing and jigs, to process driven workflow, the system was developed to mitigate risk while enhancing productivity.

ConXtech not only offers fabricators and erectors a way to distinguish themselves by offering a superior structure at a lower cost, but we have developed a safer way to deliver a sustainable structure in significantly less time. ConX components and assemblies are precision-fabricated in high-tech environment where much of the welding can be automated. Whether the fabricator elects to weld robotically or manually, ConXtech’s proprietary weld prep and fixturing positions the assembly to be welded in a ergonomically ideal horizontal position which enables higher deposition rates, reduces waste and re-work and increases production.

At the job site, pre-welded beam and column assemblies arrive ready to be assembled and provide one of the safest structural steel construction environments possible. Assemblies are easily and rapidly erected by lowering and locking them into place, with minimal use of sledgehammers or plumb and alignment tools. As a result, the construction environment is substantially safer and cleaner than a typical construction site.

Iron workers primarily work from inside personnel lifts rather than walking steel beams, thus the requirement for those workers to be climbing steel is substantially reduced. Because of the rapid systematic construction, the building is dried-in much sooner than in conventional construction, reducing many of the typical risks. The frame system offers many secure attachment points for retractable safely lines (yo-yo’s) providing workers with easy access to overhead fall protection points in almost all scenarios while working on the structure.

Workers enjoy working with an intuitive and simple system like ConX. They find satisfaction in erecting as many as 200 pieces of steel per day (per team of 6) in an organized construction environment that assembles simply, remains uncluttered, and provides unprecedented safety when compared to conventional steel erection.

Optimizing Land Use with Higher Density

With the acute need for urban revitalization, ConXtech offers municipalities a fast, economical, and more sustainable way to meet the need for higher densities around public transit in the urban environment. The potential to build taller buildings more economically enables cities to preserve more open space for parks and other public areas, as well increase tax revenues by bringing together high-density residential, office, restaurants, shopping and entertainment to revitalize entire communities.

The ConX System is component-based, simplifying the manufacturing and assembly process, which saves field construction time and is far less disruptive to the surrounding community during construction.

ConXtech optimizes land use and increases efficiencies in delivery – from master planning through the construction to finished buildings – and allows municipalities to realistically guide developers toward sustainable development as they plan and create vibrant communities.

Urban planners are interested in the environmental, economic, and social benefits of urban renewal and retrofitting. They are constantly challenged with balancing the re-urbanization and revitalization of cities while minimizing the impact of that growth and development on the community.

Municipalities benefit from advantages inherent in the systemic and modular nature of ConX, including greater flexibility in building design, reduced construction-related traffic congestion and noise around the site, reduced site generated waste and clutter, and a vastly consolidated construction schedule.

The dream to bring back the vibrant urban core must be planned wisely, and it must also take into account the convenience and public and safety issues associated with building in sensitive urban environments.

Building with ConXtech makes for a cleaner and safer work environment when compared to building with more conventional methods. Because to a large extent, most welding is done at the manufacturing plant and a minimum done on-site, ConX dramatically increases worker and site safety. Minimal on-site welding means fewer laborers climbing steel. In most cases, iron workers installing the system work from inside personnel lifts. And since the structure goes from foundation to being completely decked and closed-in very quickly, the risk of injury is substantially reduced. Overall this well organized, clutter free construction environment means safety for the public as well.

After construction is complete, the quality and safety of the building are dramatically improved when compared to more conventional constructions methods and materials, especially in demanding seismic zones. ConX has undergone 17 full-scale tests at the University of Arizona’s Structural Lab in Tucson, and 60+ full scale destructive tests in ConXtech’s own bi-axial test facility.

The ConX steel frame is free from the environmental problems that have plagued wood frame structures in the past, is non-combustible, and not susceptible to mold or rot. The structural integrity of ConX means greater fire safety, greater seismic safety, more rapid and flexible development and the opportunity to build quality communities for the long term.

Benefits of the ConX Steel Framing System

The ConX System promotes organization for all trades involved in the construction process by establishing a streamlined design and construction workflow – one comparable to a state-of-the-art manufacturing process specifically designed to be free of disruption and other common construction site constraints.

With just-in-time precision manufacturing and a continuous flow of materials, ConX easily lends itself to utilizing smaller, highly flexible and efficient trade crews working at the same time in a fast-moving, well-organized and safe construction site. Projects that used to take years to complete now take only months.

With the traditional horizontal platform construction technique, many trades had to wait until the entire roof was on before they could get to work. Vertical construction of a full-height building frame allows smaller sections of the building to be roofed or dried-in early in the construction process. Large areas of the building no longer need to sit unavailable to subsequent trades for long periods of time. MEP and other trades can start within weeks of the commencement of construction, often concurrently, optimizing crews.

The simplicity of a ConX structure greatly simplifies Integrated Product Delivery (IPD). AutoCAD, Revit, Tekla and other BIM tools can be used to simplify not only the structure, but fire sprinkler, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) and cladding design. A simplified structure means trades can work from a dimensionally and spatially correct interactive structural model to efficiently layout their scope very early in project. Electronic models are coordinated with detailing and fabrication teams and structural components are precision manufactured to ensure dimensional accuracy. With ConX, what you design is what you get. A dimensionally accurate frame offers the opportunity for follow-on trades to pre-fabricate and more simply integrate non-structural building components.

Efficient workflow saves time and money. Traditional construction accepts a linear approach to scheduling trades. It also tolerates a degree of imprecision in materials and workmanship. Trade crews expect to wait for other trades to finish before they can begin, and once they do begin, they know that they need to re-measure and customize materials on-site.

Because ConX beams are pre-cut with openings for fire sprinklers and MEP, very little cutting or fitting is required on-site. Trades can now arrive at the building site with confidence that the measurements of the structure and the pre-cut penetrations precisely match the original layout. The precise nature of the structure offers follow on trades the option to precut and preassemble components making their on-site installation more efficient.