This method of building, whilst being new to South Africa, has a proven track record in various other countries.
All of the points I will present are based on the proviso that the contractor is suitably qualified and experienced and no shortcuts are taken.
The frames (or skeleton) of the building are generated by a highly sophisticated software system that takes into account all stresses, strains, wind speeds, roof weights and forces that all houses are subject to and produces the frames accordingly Very few building methods, especially conventional method, begin a project with this information already at hand.
The services of a Structural Engineer are required when you build with light gauge steel frames and, as such, all aspects of the strength of the building have to be up to standard. The same cannot be said of most residential units.
If you are the kind of person who likes straight walls, level windows and doors, no plaster cracks then this is the method for you.
Because of the accuracy of this method (down to the millimetre) all your services such as plumbing, electrical and such can be planned down to the last detail and, more importantly, you will achieve them.
A huge plus is that this building method has much less environmental impact than more conventional methods, is more thermally efficient, more acoustically efficient (depending on cladding), and your carbon footprint will be smaller.
In comparison to other methods steel frame construction is very light and therefore requires a much lighter foundation resulting in cost savings. It is also a more suitable type of construction where the soil is problematic.
Because it is so light it is very suitable for adding second floors, rooms and additions to existing structures.
All of the above results in little or no movement of the structure, hence no plaster cracks and very little maintenance is required.
Perhaps, and arguably the most important feature, is the cost saving. If nothing else grabs your attention this surely will - up to 20% and more is achievable by building your home using steel frame construction.
We have accepted the fax machine, cell phone and DVD as more advanced forms of technology - check out this form of building, it is truly a leap forward in construction.
Watch this space for more facts, myths and informative articles on light gauge steel frame building.
TWK Steel Framers
NHBRC Registered Steel Frame Builder
Tel/ Fax: 028 840 1736
Cell: 082 823 7609