Originally posted at Howickltd.com
Transitioning To Offsite And Fast-Build Construction With Steel
Synergy Steel Co-Founder and President Michael Iagnemma remembers well the day he suggested his family-based business should move from wood framing to steel panelization.
Just over 10 years after the business was established in 2004, Michael began taking an interest in what he believed was “a better way of doing things”. He had been watching developments around steel framing in New Zealand, Australia and Canada and saw an opportunity to introduce this concept to the US.
He told his brother, Brian (who is also his business partner) that they should look to offsite manufacturing as well as providing turnkey labor. Brian agreed, and the Synergy Steel success story got underway.
Michael’s early investigations involving New Zealand revealed that Howick was well positioned to provide the innovative steel roll-forming technology required – resulting in a range of machines being supplied over the years.
Stealing An Advantage
Today Synergy Steel is known for its focus on light gauge steel, framing automation and fast-build construction technology. Its client base includes residential and commercial construction firms within a growing number of states across the US. The company also has its own construction development operation.
Cold formed steel panelization and the adoption of smart design technology is at the core of Synergy Steel’s business operations – it is a mix that has attracted plenty of interest and is the catalyst for on-going success. Essentially, Synergy Steel offers clients full turnkey, fast-build construction solutions by combining 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology with the newest cold formed steel framing and panelization techniques. The Iagnemma brothers say the benefits of this smart design technology approach cannot be underestimated – accordingly, they have dedicated one arm of the business, SynTech Design, entirely to virtual design.
The company was relaunched in 2018 with three subsidiaries: Synergy Manufacturing, Synergy Construction and SynTech Design (the company’s all-important virtual design platform).
The Iagnemma brothers speak of “very calculated growth” leading to a backlog of work now stretching to 24 months and involving roughly 5,000 units.
Despite the global pandemic, new factories are planned for 2021, as is further investment in technology and machinery.
Growth is particularly strong at the firm’s SynTech Design arm, where a growing number of staff focus on converting two dimensional drawings into 3D virtual modeling.
Brian Iagnemma highlights this design and technology side of operations as unequivocally the most important aspect of the business. “It’s what truly separates us. We blend our lean concepts with BIM technology, factory management and on-site installation.”
Brian explains that BIM technology means that structures effectively get built twice. “We build virtually before we construct.” With 3D modelling, a detailed picture is created providing precision which defines specific material requirements, as well as identifying potential issues associated with each job. Synergy Steel even developed its own, meritorious virtual design platform to help with this – another aspect of its success story.
New projects, new hires, new factories, new clients… they are all part of the remarkable growth story being enjoyed by Synergy Steel. Recent project acquisitions are adding to demands, and among others include:
- Tremont Station, with requirements for the creation of a spacious townhome development in Charlotte, NC
- Grove Manor, for the development of a growing community featuring ranch-style homes in Waxhaw, NC
- University Apartments in Rock Hill, SC
- LaFrance Square in Atlanta, GA
- And Edison Park, in Nashville, TN, where the firm will be building feature townhomes and stacked flats.