Light Frame Homes, based in Brackenfell Cape Town, have been involved with light steel frame structures for over 5 years now. They provide a turn-key solution for the home owner looking to benefit from advanced building methods utilising building materials that are able to provide high performance to their structures.
From roll-forming the steel reels through to the erection of the frames on site, LFH are able to service and clad the structure to meet and exceed requirements that have currently been set out in the SANS 204 Energy Efficiency code (currently still out for public comment). From residential through to large-scale packaging facilities, LFH have an energetic team able to provide solutions from simple smaller structures through to multi-million rand facilities.
“Brackenfell House” was designed originally as part of the Othello residential development under LFH’s parent company, Lance Dickson Developments. The idea to construct the very same unit (built out of conventional brick masonry) out of light frame steel was the task LFH were instructed with. Questions such as time of construction & cost were soon to be answered.
The double storey light frame steel unit was completed in just 9 weeks as compared to the 16 weeks for the conventional method of construction. Both houses won national building awards as testament to the quality of construction shown with both house types. Internally, the light frame steel house was lined with gypsum boards with only the internal fireplace constructed in conventional brick masonry. Externally Nutec Fibre cement flat sheets were used and flush painted to form a smooth external finish. OSB boards were used as backing to the 9mm Nutec flat sheets and also to provide a thermal break between the external and internal environment. A timber staircase, designer kitchen layout, tiled flooring on the ground floor with carpet flooring upstairs, fitted with up-market finishes through out, the light steel frame house provides the occupant with consistent room temperature and style that remains contemporary even by today’s standards.
The end result was a great success. Going back to the questions asked earlier, with regards to time and cost of construction – The light steel frame house took 40% quicker to build and with feedback 4 years later, the crew reckon they could cut that down to at least 50% of time-saving. Cost-wise, the saving was marginal, in the region of 5-10% “dependant on the skill level and competency of the contractor…” according to LFH.
This non-the-less set a precedent for high performance structures of the future, being built “today”…