Steel Features and Benefits

Steel Features & Benefits

Termite Eating Steel Design by Caleb Broederlow



Cost effectiveness is achieved across the board in building a home using steel framing systems with the average steel framed house being built in ½ to 2/3 of the time it takes to construct a conventional home using wood, bricks and mortar.

The strength, durability yet lightweight components that make steel framing means it uses less material than wood to construct, reducing transportation and labour costs and increasing construction time.  Forecasted project costs can be achieved due to the precision in methods and manufacture with projects often being completed ahead of schedule.

Long term costs are minimized bringing peace of mind to owners due to the products inherent ability to prevent termite and environmental damage.


Steel framing systems give suppliers an ongoing opportunity to research and develop the product and in the process are consistently improving their systems to meet builder’s needs. Allowing a high quality job to be completed with ease and flexibility and simplifying the process of working with steel frames.

  • Computer aided design (CAD) and manufacture allows houses to be built in almost any style, permitting architects and building designers innovation in design and increased flexibility in meeting owners and developers needs.
  • Steel frames are light and extremely strong allowing long internal spanning of trusses, and reducing the amount of support framing required, eliminating heavy structural sections, on-site labour, wastage and site theft and effectively reduces cost.
  • Steel does not absorb water and therefore eliminates the frustrating drying out process (as wood requires) and prevents unaccounted for
  • Time delays in on-site fabrication due to wet weather conditions
  • Suppliers deliver pre-fabricated and clearly identified for assembly
  • Most suppliers provide complete frame and truss layout and comprehensive on-site erection instructions, removing any guesswork
  • Fasteners and tool manufacturers compliment the steel framing industry in providing published charts showing the correct screws and other fasteners to use and the tools required
  • Frames have pre-punched holes for quick and easy installation of plumbing and electrical services
  • Easy to fix internal linings and external claddings to steel frames and to fit internal fixtures
  • As steel frames are so straight and true, trades people are not using valuable time in having to pack plasterboards, and is often their preferred choice in a framing system

Houses built with steel

Steel frames can be used in extreme environments where traditional building materials are not appropriate. Built to be durable and safe and coupled with building regulations are capable of withstanding certain environmental and man-made disasters.

It is one of the strongest most durable products on the market with 80% of all commercial buildings being constructed of steel and undeniably superior in performance and longevity. It is both environmentally friendly leaving a lighter footprint on the Earth and family friendly as it is chemical free and suitable for asthma sufferers.


2011 Floods, Cyclones, Fires & Earthquakes

Fig 2. Qld flooded houses 2011

Fig 2. Qld flooded houses 2011

Recent floods throughout Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales bore witness to thousands of homes being damaged.

Wooden framing systems are unable to withstand extended flood water penetration over a period of days resulting in immediate weakening of foundations and the core structure of the framing and all wooden materials used begin to warp, shrink, twist, rot and decay beyond repair and costing several billion dollars in insurance claims.

Category 5 rated Cyclone Yasi,

Fig 3.Wooden house destroyed Cyclone Yasi 2011

Fig 3.Wooden house destroyed Cyclone Yasi 2011

the worst cyclone recorded in Australia’s history brought massive devastation to many northern Queensland coastal towns in February 2011 and continued to wreak havoc as its path inland weighted down tearing everything to shreds and proving that wooden framed houses were no contender to the 300km/h winds.

Once solid wooden houses were simply torn off their foundations like matchsticks and debris hurdled like missiles into neighbouring homes and paddocks.

Bushfires are an unfortunate yet common occurrence due to Australia’s harsh and often unenviable summer environment.

At least 59 houses were destroyed and another 30 properties were damaged in Roleystone and Kelmscott, Perth as a bushfire tore across the outskirts of the city fanned by hot summer winds.

The rigid nature of Steel frames offer resistance against floods, cyclones, earthquakes and fire. The Fire resistance of steel framing, and more particularly steel roof trusses and rafters is often highlighted during the bushfire season.

With traditional wooden frame systems, during a fire, flames are ignited in the roof after burning embers are swept under the eaves and into the roof cavity. It is here that the embers ignite the wooden trusses, and lead to the loss of homes. With steel frames, this does not occur.


Fig 4. Wooden constructed house buckled and bowed in 2011 Christchurch Earthquake

Fig 4. Wooden constructed house buckled and bowed in 2011 Christchurch Earthquake

Earthquakes rocked the cities of Christchurch, New Zealand and Sendai, Japan in March of 2011 toppling homes and buildings and killing hundreds of people going about their day to day activities.

Earthquakes are unpredictable in terms of magnitude, frequency, duration and location. Wood behaves in a predictable and consistent manner and is proven as lumber warps, twists and bows.

Due to the strict process used to manufacture light gauge steel and its inherent properties of strength and durability it is capable of significantly reducing damage caused through "inertia" in an earthquake, as there is less weight to move.

Professor Clifton said while attending a seminar being conducted at the time the Earthquake struck in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011, "Structural steel frames do that. This is called ductile design, where engineers allow the steel a certain flexibility to cope with seismic activity. "What it means is that when a building is overloaded in an earthquake it doesn't collapse, but it suffers controlled damage." (Clifton, P 2011)

The disturbing facts surrounding the damage termites do to houses built with wooden frames and trusses in Australia are commonly known by consumers and the building industry as reports are frequently released by the media.

With 70% of serious damage done to homes by termites alone, many people know of someone who has been affected.

Factual Data:

Fig 5. Comparison size of regular ant to termite.

Fig 5. Comparison size of regular ant to termite.

  • Termites cause more damage to Australian wooden framed homes than fire, floods, storms and tempests combined
  • Accounting for $860 million dollars in remedial costs to Australia every year.
  • Home or Building Insurance Policies often do not cover the repair costs of timber damage caused by termites.
  • A single colony may consist of more than one million termites, the most voracious timber pest
  • In Queensland, 1 in every 2 houses are at risk from termite attacks, with infestations the worst on record on the Gold Coast


At least four basic factors affect the termite damage risk to your home - and your pocket:

  1. where your home is located
  2. how its foundations are constructed
  3. what concealed structural materials are used, and
  4. how vigilant you are in inspecting and maintaining your home.

Unlike wood, steel house framing systems are 100% termite proof preventing the use of additional chemical treatments to protect from pest attack and providing an increase in discerning owners and builders with peace of mind.

steel-home-familybn copy

Building Steel Framed Homes



  • Cost effective
  • Reduction of site wastage, and theft
  • Strong and durable yet lightweight
  • Quick to build
  • True and straight
  • Design innovation
  • Flexible
  • Capable of withstanding harsh environments and natural disasters such as floods, cyclones and tsunami
  • High tolerance and design flexibility in earthquakes
  • Environmentally friendly and a lighter footprint on earth
  • Ecologically friendly
  • Chemical friendly
  • Family friendly and mould free
  • 100% Pest & Termite Free


  • Uses less material to manufacture and construct
  • Made out of light gauge recycled steel
  • Average steel framed house being built in ½ to 2/3 of the time it takes to construct a wooden framed home
  • Eliminates doors and windows jamming, sagging ceilings and creaking floors and walls
  • Plastering requires no packing
  • Designers can span long distances with less support structures required allowing for contemporary spacious open plan living
  • Houses can be built on steep slopes without the complications faced by wooden framed homes
  • Does not rust, warp, bend or twist
  • Quality steel and superior strength
  • Fire retardant and ideal in bushfires
  • Engineered to cope with seismic activity in a controlled manner
  • Made from recycled scrap metal
  • Preservation of our forests and natural resources
  • Contains no chemical products and does not emit CO2
  • Safe for the whole family and ideal for allergy and asthmatic sufferers
  • Termites are not able to eat through steel

Additional Features:

  • Building Insurance available
  • 50 Year Warranty on steel manufacture
  • Long-term durability and sustainability
  • Peace of Mind from termites, harsh weather conditions and natural disaster

Market Research Report written by Christel Broederlow

Copyright (C) 2011 Broederlow Drafting

Comparisons & Performance

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