Three floors at once: Korea’s new concrete build system

Rising labour costs have prompted South Korean steelmaker Posco, in partnership with a number of Korean contractors, to develop a new, patented  building system allowing three floors of a building to be erected at once

The company unveiled its "Posco Box" (P-Box) pillar-and-ledger beam bonding system last week. The idea is to connect horizontal concrete beams to a steel pipe filled with concrete. As the pipe is 15m high, it allows builders to add three floors at a time, reducing construction time. The technology also saves costs by up to 15%, according to Posco.

Kim Jin-won, principal researcher at Posco Steel Solution Research Institute, said: "The existing reinforced concrete method has been difficult due to the recent increase in labour costs. We expect that this technology will increase the demand for new and more economical and stable technology at home and abroad than labour-intensive conventional methods."

The system has been made possible by the use of high-performance steel – Posco says its HSA600 hot-rolled product has a tensile strength of 600 megapascals. The company adds that it is the only steelmaker that is capable of producing this material.

The P-Box bonding method, developed after a three-year research period, has been designated as new construction technology by the Korean government, giving it eight years of intellectual property protection.

The technology has already been applied to more than 11 buildings.

The system was developed in partnership with Halla Corporation, Hanyang, Hoban Construction, and planning and engineering company P&Coms, as well as the Korean government.

Image: Posco’s schematic of its P-Box

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