Efficiencies: Maximising Space and Other XBeam Benefits

Efficiency has always been at the core of engineering, design and architecture. It’s about looking for ways to get better results without compromising on quality, or to improve quality without compromising on time, money, space or any other valuable resource. Thanks to years of research and some innovative engineering, the XBeam platform solution delivers superior strength without additional weight; in fact, it’s almost twice as strong as steel, yet it’s up to 65% lighter and can span more than 10 metres – all while supporting greater loads than traditional steel beams can. The space you have to work with is a finite resource, but one that can get side-lined for the sake of money and time. That said, it’s just as important to think about maximising and utilising space effectively as it is to think about time and money, since the three are closely interlinked.


The maths is simple enough: the more weight you have on and from the roof, the more structural support you need to hold it up. A plant room on the roof of an apartment block, for example, might necessitate big columns intruding into liveable spaces, reducing the sellable footprint and the value of the space.

Given that the XBeam is up to 65% lighter than steel and can span more than 10 metres while supporting greater loads than traditional steel beams, there’s huge potential for better design. With a lighter structure, you’ve now gained space – and freed up your design from unnecessary limitations.


There’s also an important aspect to weight and height: vibration. This is something we explored in a previous ebook ‘Anti-Vibration: Understanding and Isolating Vibration’ – in particular looking at how good engineers and architects design with low centres of mass to reduce stresses on the entire system. This is why aluminium and composite plant platforms are becoming the preferred choice over steel, especially at height: a lighter option means less stress on the entire structure due to the vibrations of wind or earthquake loading.

Versatile solutions

The fact that our aluminium and composite products are lighter than traditional steel, and are designed as modular solutions, means that we’ve been able to work with spaces where steel wouldn’t have been possible.

We’re increasingly fitting suspended, rather than on-roof, walkways and platforms since our products are light and can be designed to fit a space (and reduce vibration risks). And since they don’t require hot works, there’s less interruption of regular business (which, as we’ve seen, saves time and money).

The modular system is also a real boon for a lot of clients, especially those with existing spaces. Recently we completed a platform inside an existing council pool system, on the second floor of an existing plant among ducting and metal work. The modular design meant we could carry up the platform in parts and by hand, quickly building a new space that simply wouldn’t have been possible or practical with a steel (or similar) solution.

Maximising existing spaces

The benefits of a lightweight, modular system don’t stop there. They’re also a great way to make use of an existing space – and save the cost of an overhaul or bulldozing.

In our ebook ‘Nine Compliance Hurdles Architects Need to Know’, we talked about asbestos roofs and the fact that, while it’s long gone from new projects, you’re still likely to encounter it in existing spaces. Rather than walk across a brittle, hazardous roof, an aluminium walkway can extend the lifespan of an older building.

Find out more

Click here to download our latest ebook “Efficiencies through Monkeytoe and the XBeam” to find out more about how Monkeytoe are building the beam that’s raising the bar and improving efficiencies on and off site.

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