Prospective home owner’s and/or builders should contact one or more of the steel frame suppliers or specialist steel frame builders listed on this web site.
The steel framing industry in New Zealand is highly innovative, using to full advantage computer technology, the mechanical properties of steel and the structural engineering principles of cold-formed steel sections. Manufacturers have developed their own unique systems, each with its particular features, which are described in their literature. They will discuss these with you.
To start the process all that is necessary is for either you or your builder to submit a normal (1:100 scale) plan of the house, or extension, or other building showing details such as floor layout, elevations, and room dimensions. The frame supplier will be able to quote you a price. When you proceed the frame supplier will also be able to supply all the necessary components such as brackets, fasteners etc from the same basic information.
Steel framing is supplied as a fully engineered system. If seeking supply of light steel framing for commercial or institutional premises, or for dwellings with unusual requirements, it is advisable to discuss the complete building specifications with the frame supplier so that all possible loads on the structure when in use can be allowed for.
If you are an owner builder, steel framing is especially attractive as little trades skill is needed for erection. Nearly all frame suppliers produce installation manuals or sets of instructions, and some basic and instructional videos. Because steel framing is an engineered product it is important to adhere strictly to the supplier’s instructions on the number and positioning of fasteners, brackets, bracing etc.
Members of NASH tend to be frame suppliers but several are builders who fabricate their own frames and/or specialise in building with steel (these are listed on this website). If a specialist steel frame builder or fabricator/builder is not in your local area you may experience difficulty finding a contract builder who will build in steel. This is not because there is anything wrong with steel framing. Builders generally have carpentry backgrounds and prefer to stick to their tried and tested methods. Many have not experienced the ease of building in steel and the potential savings in time and cost. Once again, consult with the nearest frame suppliers. Frame suppliers sell to builders, and are therefore likely to be able to nominate someone who is familiar with their systems.
Steel: Building Better