BUILDING: Breedezicht Project Wins Awards
Recent Western Cape Business News
IN a year when the number of entries in the Light Steel Frame Building (LSFB) Category of Steel Awards 2009 grew significantly, it was not a single house that stood out from the rest but rather three houses in the same estate –the Breedezicht Estate at Witsand in the Western Cape.
“The award-winning houses showed professionalism comparable to anywhere in the world. Their finishes are incredible with straight and level lines and vertical and square corners. Add to this the simplicity of running services in a cavity wall ready to receive them and in double quick time and this project demonstrates in a world class fashion one of the most exciting building technologies for the future,” the judges said.
The Steel Awards held in September was hosted by the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC).
At Breedezicht the environmentally conscious developer opted to introduce LSF construction in addition to conventional brick-and-mortar and decided on architecture reminiscent of the Vermont and New England styles to compliment the coastal environment.
With only the architectural drawings and no experience in the construction of LSFB homes, the contractors joined forces with a Cape Town LSFB expert and on arrival of the first house from the factory - the frame of which having been manufactured in a mere four working days - a support team was already waiting to demonstrate how to erect a steel frame house.
As each structure is a uniquely engineered product, the LSFB system produces a home of exceptional strength and solidity whilst affording easy, fast and accurate installation.
One, a double-storey luxury house, erected on a standard engineer-designed slab, took only four months to complete from start to finish while the Vermont style, single-storey, took only three and a half months to complete.
The judges noted some of the cost-saving qualities of LSFB. Firstly, because installation is so fast, there is saving on labour. Secondly, numerous trips were required to deliver materials to the brick and mortar sites while an entire LSF unit was delivered in one trip saving significantly on input costs. On this point the judges also noted that this saving was more significant at Witsand, which is a relatively remote location.
Thirdly, considering the typical climatic conditions of a coastal town on the Garden Route - cold and rainy winters, hot and sometimes humid summers – good thermal insulation, which keeps the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter is an enormous cost-saver.
Another important factor that may have impressed the judges about the choice of LSFB at Breedezicht was the resultant reduction in environmental impact in this particularly sensitive coastal area. A minimal amount of waste was generated by this project while the amount of dust, grinding, residue, off-cuts, water usage and pollutants were reduced to a minimum.
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