Quantte are Portugal based consultants on LGSF, including design, manufacturing, and erection of buildings. They also offer software design and production training courses to individuals and companies wanting to upskill in all areas of light gauge steel framing production.
Renato Rayol is the Brazilian entrepreneur, principle, and key driver behind this specialized LGSF consultancy. “At the end of 2015, the economy of Brazil was very slow, so I decided to move to another country. I chose Portugal because of the language (like Brazil, Portuguese), and I also knew that the LGSF system was used here. In Portugal, I changed the focus of Quantte, from a construction company, we moved more into consultancy. I Developed LGSF projects, courses, and consultancy for construction companies that wanted to work with this specialized construction. I didn’t know Portugal or the size of the market. But before leaving Brazil, I exchanged emails with some builders who allowed me to develop the first consultancy projects for a few Portuguese companies”, said Renato.
While most of the projects Renato has completed have been in Portugal and Brazil, in just four years, Renato has also developed projects for France, Spain, and a few African countries (all projects that were commissioned by construction companies in Portugal).
Renato first became interested in LGSF in 2006, the last year of his architecture studies. “Initially, I was looking for a construction system that could be done with only a few workers, and then I discovered a technical manual that had been published by CBCA (Brazilian Steel Construction Center). And so I started looking for more information about LGSF”. Only in 2010, at the age of 27, did I finally participate in a practical course in the city of São Paulo. Soon after, I found the courage to start my company, Quantte, and build my first project in Manaus (the city where I lived, in the north of Brazil)” said Renato.
Renato and Quantte are also the official commercial distributors and representatives of FrameBuilder-MRD in Europe, his preferred LGSF design software. “For this reason, I decided to create a course to teach the use of Framebuilder” Said Renato, who currently one of the only people offering online LGSF software training. In 2019 around 50 Portuguese students participated, and there are plans to expand into the Brazil market and English based training in the near future.
Renato has also offered hands-on practical manufacturing and assemble courses since 2017 and is one of the few practical training centers in Europe where he trains around 80 professionals per year wanting to upskill. “Annually, we typically hold at least three courses in the cities of Leiria, Lisbon, and Porto. Leiria is in a central part of the country and where I live, and Lisbon and Porto are the two largest cities in Portugal. In 2019 we expanded and held 5 classes 2 in Leiria, 2 in Lisbon, and one in Porto,” said Renato, who holds his training courses in the winter months so to not interfere with professionals who are busy building in summer.
And as for LGSF acceptance in a traditional construction market like Portugal, Renato added, “In Portugal, it is very difficult to find qualified labor for civil construction, so LGSF ends up being an interesting solution because it is possible to build a construct with a small team. The LGSF market is made up of almost 100% residential projects and is used a lot in the renovation of old historic buildings”.
Light gauge steel used in projects across Portugal is typically S280 Z275. As Quantte does not have a machine themselves, they purchase the studs/profiles direct from manufacturers. Pricing is around euros 1,100 + VAT per ton for simple stick frames and between 1,500 to 2,000 + VAT per ton of engineered profiles (i.e., 1.10 euros per kilo for stick profiles and between 1.50 and 2.00 euros for engineered profiles).
As a young entrepreneur making his mark in LGSF, what does the future hold for Renato and Quantte? “We have an extensive database of LGSF builders and assemblers who have attended our courses in the past few years. This year we will launch a ‘network of builders’ to serve potential customers in Portugal. Quantte will start advertising LGSF design services and light steel buildings direct to end buyers. “We will broker services and generate work for construction companies, contractors, and designers, which ultimately will assist everyone who has attended one of our training courses. This way, we will be able to generate work for the more than 150 former Quantte students”, said Renato.