The Southern African Light Steel Frame Building Association (SASFA) held a well- attended workshop in Knysna to present light steel frame building (LSFB) as a possible solution for the replacement of houses destroyed during the recent spate of fires. The event was sponsored by ArcelorMittal, Marley Building Systems and Saint-Gobain.
Proceedings began with a presentation on the LSF manufacturing and building processes by John Barnard, Director SASFA. He also discussed the wide range of advantages that LSFB offers. Of specific interest to the Knysna market is the speed of construction, the very low water use on site, the incombustibility of the steel frame and the cladding and lining materials, and the logistical advantage stemming from the low mass of the LSF materials. All the major banks accept light steel frame building in principle, as does the NHBRC.
The rapid development of the LSFB industry in South Africa during the past 10 years was illustrated by slides of a range of successful LSF building projects, from the initial modest residential projects to office buildings and large commercial complexes in recent years.
The major material suppliers then presented their products used in LSFB. Jan Kotze from ArcelorMIttal covered high strength galvanised steel sheet used for the frames and roof structures, and Chromadek used for roofing. He pointed out that consumers must ensure that they get the product that was specified and paid for.
Annemarie Robertson discussed Marley Building System’s branded cladding and lining materials, viz Kalsi and Equitone (fibre-cement board), Siniat (gypsum board), and Promat for fire-resistance.
Finally, Izak Scholtz from Saint-Gobain presented their lining and insulation products, stressing the quality assurance programmes and the assistance offered to users on site, as well as the high degree of recycling of materials used in the manufacture of their products.
The presentations gave the audience a lot to think about, and it led to a series of questions and lively discussion. The workshop was concluded by the announcement that the foundations for the first LSF house in Knysna would be cast within two days, and the 200m² double storey house would be completed within 3 months.