Light steel and drywall systems an efficient building method

by Darren
Light steel and drywall systems

Marley Building Systems highlights the benefits of dry construction, a building approach that has grown locally over the last decade.

The building and construction landscape is continually changing and there is a global trend towards environmentally-friendly practices. According to Marley Building Systems, there is also a realisation that not all buildings have to be built with brick and mortar.

Light steel frame (LSF) building has been around for more than 50 years and is extensively used in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In the past ten years it has become available to the South African market, offering quality, cost efficiency and speed of erection.

The LSF building method involves sections of structural wall panels made from 0,8mm to 0,12mm gauge, high-strength galvanised steel. These are put together by using rivets or self-tapping screws to form the structural wall and roof panels, which are erected on slabs. Walls are cladded externally with fibre-cement boards and internally with either fibre cement or plasterboards.

According to Amanda Nortje, fibre-cement product manager at Marley Building Systems, light steel buildings’ and drywall systems’ flexibility makes alterations or additions to a building non-disruptive and economical.

“Depending on the thermal and acoustical properties required, dry construction systems can be adapted as needed,” she says. “In addition, because the wall thicknesses are reduced, one wins between 4% and 6% floor space.”

She further points out that the costing is predictable and potentially lower than on conventional construction methods, due to no lifting equipment or bulk materials being required on site.

Minimal wastage
“There is also less scrap and waste when compared to conventional steel and traditional building practices,” Nortje adds. “Almost all cutting and sizing can be done in-factory by automated machinery, which results in virtually zero material wastage, while any waste steel can be recycled.”

Time saving
According to Nortje, a 40m² house can be built in only two days and a three-bedroom house in a mere month, while there are no drying-out periods in wet weather that can result in delays.

Energy efficient
“A range of insulation options are available, depending on requirements, and light steel frame buildings require less electricity to heat and cool to thermal comfort levels than conventional buildings, if designed correctly” Nortje states.

Locally available
Marley Building Systems offers a full range of LSF solutions, including light steel, cladding, lining and insulation materials. The company also assists with technical documentation and regulation and offers technical support.

All products are backed by 100 years of development and expertise from the global holding company, Etex, and no toxic chemicals are used in the manufacturing of fibre-cement boards or in the treating of steel.

Marley Building Systems has dedicated, preferred installers committed to ensure skills transfer to communities and small businesses, and skills training is offered at centres in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Marley Building Systems
Tel: 011 316 2121
Website: www.marleybuidingsystems.co.za

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