Light steel frame building in South Africa is one of the most exciting developments in recent times in the building industry. While this method of building has been used in the US , Europe and Australia for decades, it was only recently introduced to South Africa. It offers quality, cost efficiency and speed of erection for low-rise residential and non-residential buildings.
What is Light Steel Frame Building ?
Light steel frame building consists of structural wall frames and roof trusses, manufactured from cold-formed light gauge galvanised steel sections (very often produced from recycled steel). Exterior cladding can consist of a single skin brick wall or fiber cement board, fixed to the wall frames. Services – electricity and plumbing – are installed in the wall cavity created by the light steel frames, as is the insulation material. Gypsum board, fixed to the light steel frame, is typically used for internal wall cladding and ceilings.
Advantages of Light Steel Frame BuildingLight steel frame building offers a wide range of benefits when compared with conventional building or other framing materials, in terms of quality, cost, durability and speed.Reduced wastage, lower logistical costs and reduced time of construction could offer cost savings of 20% or more, compared with conventional building.In addition, it can be a lot more eco-friendly than conventional building methods, as it has a lighter foot print on the earth and makes extensive use of recycled and biodegradable materials.
The Hartebeest Jobs Work Skills Project, in conjunction with Wickedfood Earth, Everite, ClotanSteel and AfriSam run a two month Seta accredited hands on course in various aspects of light steel construction, and related building practises.
The course was open to all residents of the valley, and was aimed primarily at skills improvement for anyone wanting to enter the building industry. In November 2010 five students completed the course.