So who are Icarus LSF?
We’re a team of manufacturing, construction and project management specialists that create and deliver off-site engineered light gauge steel solutions for developers and contractors seeking shorter programmes, reduced costs, improved quality and reduced risk. We engineer the superstructure of a building, design and manufacture the light gauge steel components required, assemble into a panelised solution and install (very quickly!) on site.
Can you tell us a bit about the history of the business?
We began producing light steel framed structural solutions in the mid-1990s, then as part of a much bigger traditional contractor. But in 2014, with the support of outside investment, we stepped away from the wider business to allow us to focus purely on meeting the growing demand for offsite construction - specifically pre-panelised light gauge steel construction. As well as giving us the ability to invest in a state-of-the-art 50,000 sq ft factory in County Durham, the move allowed us to focus purely on light steel framing and offsite construction – which ultimately helps us to provide a better product and service to our customers.
So what makes Icarus LSF different?
It depends what we’re compared to. Up against other modern methods, it’s the nature of our solution that makes us different. The fact that it’s a pre-panelised rather than volumetric solution means our clients benefit from offsite construction without some of the challenges that come with developing volumetric solutions; and because we use light gauge steel, our clients receive a product that’s incredibly stable, dimensionally accurate, very high strength and manufactured to strict specifications.
Compare Icarus LSF to other companies that roll light gauge steel, and it’s our end-to-end capability that sets us apart. People come to us because we engineer the solution, design it, manufacture it and install it, rather than offering only one or two of these key components. Our approach gives them simplicity and certainty by essentially transferring a significant amount risk to us – and we’ve got a huge appetite for this risk as we’ve fine-tuned our business to manage it effectively.
Without giving away the secret ingredients, are you able to tell us how you do this?
I’d say we’ve got five key ingredients: expertise, reliability, innovation, flexibility and passion. Ingredients I believe all businesses need, but ones that are increasingly important in the modern world of construction.
How have you managed to get the right level of expertise?
It comes down to experience and talent. From design and engineering through to manufacturing and delivery, we’ve ensured we have the best talent the market has to offer. Our understanding of the materials we work with and the application of those materials to the built environment is second to none. Our team do a great job and, combined, we have 130 years of light steel framing experience.
You mentioned reliability – why do you feel this is so important?
Our customers employ us repeatedly; because we do what we say we will do. We’ve worked hard to instil a culture that strives for quality and doesn’t let people down – and that’s because we understand the comfort-factor involved in traditional construction methods and know that right-first-time delivery is the best way of reassuring our customers that modern methods work.
What about innovation and flexibility – how do you keep these high-up on the agenda?
Our business is about doing things differently – adding as much value to a construction project as possible. We ultimately strive to get more-for-less; whether it’s by improving a building design to remove the need for costly structural members, or installing integrated edge protection to remove the need for scaffolding. We assess each project to identify the optimum design, manufacturing and installation solution; and if it needs something that hasn’t been done before, our experts collaborate to develop a solution.
When it comes to flexibility, we understand that the world is always changing, from the needs of the housing market to the needs of the M&E consultant. So we empower our people to act quickly when things change, rather than being restricted by red tape and bureaucracy. Our best practice procedures are standardised, but our actions use common sense.
Your final ingredient was passion. How would you sum up what Icarus LSF are passionate about?
We’re passionate about two things. Being the number one supplier of light steel framed solutions into the built environment; and removing waste and inefficiency from the construction industry through radical innovation in building practices. The first, because our employees simply want to be the best; the second because we all understand what is possible when you think differently about construction.
So where can you help people looking to make the move to modern methods?
For those ready to procure a light gauge steel solution, we can quickly mobilise engineering, design, manufacturing and installation resources to fulfil any immediate light steel framing construction needs they have; either using our tried-and-tested pre-boarded, pre-panelised form of construction or a modified form of construction to meet their specific construction needs. We have significant experience delivering both single dwelling homes and multi-rise residential and student accommodation schemes, so they will be in safe hands whatever their construction needs.
For those at an earlier stage in the journey to modern methods, I would recommend a visit to our North-East design and manufacturing facility; as well as a tour of one of our live sites. With the proliferation of offsite construction methods, there are more avenues than ever to explore when deciding which MMC route is right for a particular client – pre-panelised light gauge steel should certainly be in the mix when deciding and we’re always happy to help people learn more about our own flavour of MMC.