When new school buildings for the Global Leadership Academy in Jeffreys Bay were designed and constructed, the architect, Jacobus Scott, had to come up with innovative solutions in order to create a world-class education facility, on a very tight budget.
One of the challenges was the roof over the multi-use gathering area, which required an ultra-long span, different roof levels and specific placement of windows. Build IT in Jeffreys Bay were appointed to the project, just months after opening their truss plant.

The initial plan was to install two 19mm hot-rolled steel girders to support the trusses spanning perpendicular to the supports, but this was not practical due to the limited working space and also not cost-effective.

A winning solution
It was then decided to make use of the MiTek Ultra-Span system and to span the trusses parallel to the traditional supports, essentially producing enlarged rafter/purlin type trusses. Ultra-Span girders were created at the ends to support short-span trusses to comply with the required minimum ceiling height. This idea was also adopted in the middle section of the roof to act as stability braces for the window panels.

The window panels were made with MiTek’s wall-framing product, which allows for very specific window sizes and provides a flat surface for fixing these windows. The window panels were manufactured in various parts to ease installation. These were then fixed on top of Ultra-Span girders and stabilised by the incoming trusses.

To achieve the large span, the 19m trusses were preassembled in braced pairs and then lifted into position on the roof, thereby ensuring fast erection of the roof structure skeleton and enabling other installation works to continue on a stable platform.

The project was named joint winner of the MiTek Light Steel Frame Building (LSFB) category of the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC) Steel Awards 2017.

“The MiTek team designed and installed a cost-effective solution that not only looks impressive, but also effectively solved many design and engineering problems that we just couldn’t overcome with a traditional roofing system,” says Stefan Kleyn of the Global Leadership Academy.

MiTek Industries SA
Tel: 011 237 8700
Website: www.mitek.co.za

Project information


Fabricator: Build IT Jeffreys Bay
Project: GLA School Hall – Jeffreys Bay
Approximate mass: Ten tons
Roof area: 585m² = approximately 17,5kg/m² (complexity of roof added to the mass)
Maximum clear span: 19m
Project duration: Six weeks

Caption main image: The challenge was the overall span and different levels of the roof, as well as the specific placement of windows.