When award-winning architect Chris Tate was approached to design a high spec home for one of New Zealand’s best known sporting icons, one of the biggest challenges he faced was the severe constraints of the site.
High on a ridge overlooking Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, the section was extremely steep with difficult engineering challenges. To complicate things further, the access was equally steep, a long, narrow driveway bordered on both sides by established homes making it impractical for large trucks or machinery to negotiate.
While Chris’s primary reasons for designing the home using steel framing were based on his familiarity and confidence with the system and its versatility, there were very real knock-on benefits for the builders.
“It was huge advantage on this job”, says Ben Hatcher from Team Builders 2000. “Being lightweight, two guys can pick up a long frame, carry it around, pass it up multi storey buildings easily.“This home is five levels and we had to pass everything up from the bottom to the top. It saved us a huge amount of time and effort.”
Team Builders 2000 is widely regarded as Auckland’s pre eminent steel frame builders, and one of the things their customers appreciate most is how quickly the framing goes up compared with traditional timber framing.“Our customers really like it”, says Ben. “It’s clean, it’s new, they touch it. They like the initial speed. Putting the frames up is quick, so within a few weeks, the house is up and the customers go ‘wow this is amazing’ when they do a walk through.”Team Builders 2000 source their steel framing from New Zealand Framing, a subsidiary of FRAMECAD.
The division was originally set up as a research and development facility for FRAMECAD, and has since morphed into a successful business in its own right.“It’s been growing steadily and it also acts as a great showcase for FRAMECAD’s overseas customers”, says Kyle Dickinson from NZ Framing. “When they come to visit, they can see that we’re not just selling machines and software – we’re making framing ourselves and have turned it into a profitable business”.
It’s great for us, it gives us a niche market pretty much all to ourselves
“The customer service is great. The laminated plans they provide with the frames are so easy to work off. Each frame is stamped with a number on it so it’s really just a big kitset. Once you get the right fixings and the right equipment to put it up, it’s easier, much easier” – Ben Hatcher, builder.
For multi-level buildings, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that timber, concrete, and hot-rolled steel aren’t always the best options – especially when it comes to the top floor. That’s why so many developers are now looking for ways to save on time, labour, and costs during the construction process.
All 422 load-bearing wall panels for levels three through seven of this 7-story (five levels on two levels of podium) project was fabricated at Douglass Colony's headquarters in Commerce City using FRAMECAD and shipped directly to the jobsite where the building was erected in a total of 40 working days, including all wall panels, flooring systems, and detailing with concrete poured and cured.
Dynamic Steel Frame hold the honour of having constructed the largest light-gauge steel (LGS) three storey apartment building in Australia using the FRAMECAD System. Located in the inner-western suburb of Yarraville, Melbourne, this three-level residential building illustrates how LGS is changing today’s approach to construction
In the US, the framing industry is changing rapidly. Concrete contractors are becoming a rarity and timber continues to offer challenges due to inferior material and a lack of availability. These days, US construction companies are turning more and more to cold-formed steel (CFS), and FRAMECAD partner Intellisteel is revolutionizing how these steel framed structures are built.