In Auckland’s desirable suburb of Kohimarama, home owners looking to steel as a means of building smarter and more sustainable homes. FRAMECAD New Zealand have provided the steel framing for two Kohimarama luxury homes, built in 2013 and sold in early 2014. The houses, designed by Auckland architect, Allan Shanahan, feature five bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms as well as spacious living areas both upstairs and downstairs. Each house has a pool, extended outdoor living area and sea views. Steel framing was chosen for both its sustainability qualities, and because it offered the best fit for the home’s modern design and the challenges of the build.
Steel framing is a 100% recyclable material and results in minimal waste, making it a more sustainable choice than timber. Steel framing will not bow or twist and that there is reduced moisture, making the buildings long lasting and healthier to live in. The reduced waste of steel framing was another key motivator in the decision to use steel in the project. Steel framing waste can be as little as 3%, meaning that home owners know their home has been sustainably built, and build costs are reduced. ‘Home buyers now are educated and they want to make the right sustainable choice, and that choice is steel’ says Daniel Spencer, Business Development Manager for FRAMECAD New Zealand.
The Kohimarama houses feature high, long walls as part of their design. This striking architectural element is another reason that the developers opted for steel framing.
Steel framing is always straight and uniform, meaning that there was no need to carry out costly and time-consuming straightening of the frames once on site. The high degree of dimensional accuracy and the stability of steel framing results in consistently straight walls, square corners and a high level of interior finish, for the life of the build.
FRAMECAD New Zealand delivered the frames to site, and framing erection was fast despite the challenges of the site. ‘Steel framing was a good choice for this project’s site, because space was at a premium. By having pre-assembled frames delivered to site, the builders were quickly able to erect the framing. There was no need for the space, and the extra time and cost, that goes into having framing assembled on site which you would get with a timber build’.
Steel framing is also a lot lighter than timber, up to 70%, meaning it is much easier to ensure health and safety compliance on site, with reduced labour time required to move the framing.
The Kohimarama homes are part of a rising trend of buildings being designed and constructed with sustainability in mind. With steel offering strength, durability and design flexibility, it seems a natural fit with the green building trend underway.
Just about everywhere else in the world, steel framing is recognised for its many benefits. You can use low skilled workers to put it together and they can’t mess it up. It’s building by numbers – Meccano construction. Also, it’s ant and termite-proof.
The main challenge of this construction was the complexity of the veranda roof design with overhangs, different roof heights and the main roof structure which did not line up with the veranda roof.
The system is cost-effective, so budgets go further. Our clients can create more housing for the same money. And you do it in a much faster time, so you cut labour costs. You also save on delivery costs, because you can flat-pack a lot more steel trusses onto a truck. You’re scoring all the way.
It was the most practical solution to an urgent problem to get some facilities up and running as quickly and simply as possible. I sent the plans the next day and they immediately went ahead and built quite a number of these units in a very short space of time