Why Steel?

Cold-Formed Steel Framing Becoming the Preferred Building Method in Southern Africa

Light steel frame building (LSFB), also known as cold-formed steel framing, is increasingly becoming the preferred building method in the Southern African Development Community, says Southern African Light Steel Frame Building Association (Safsa) director John Barnard . “LSFB allows for a neat, organised and clean building site with low traffic density. If you add the other benefits such as speed of construction and long-term energy efficiency , one can understand why this method has grown so quickly in popularity in Southern Africa ,” he explains.

Barnard cites the completion of an out-patient hospital in Mbabane, in Swaziland , as a prime example of the LSFB method’s success. The project , which was completed earlier this year, was undertaken by South African supplier and lightweight steel frame products fitter Razorbill Properties, under instruction from the principal agent Ramashka Architects Swaziland , for the Swaziland Ministry of Health . The clinic will serve as a day clinic to alleviate the patient load from the neighbouring main hospital. Provision has been made for a link bridge between the clinic and the main hospital to facilitate a free flow of pedestrian traffic between the two facilities.

South Africa ’s Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission is encouraging the use of innovative building technologies, such as LSFB, for all new hospitals, clinics, schools and student accommodation in South Africa . “The ability to achieve complex and aesthetically pleasing designs with LSFB is no longer in doubt and, given LSFB’s significant contribution to a growing movement of sustainable and cost-effective building , the advantages of LSFB to developers and the environment at large can no longer be discounted.”

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