Scope Magazine – Move to modular building systems

The face of building is gradually evolving in New Zealand, with one notable shift being a move to modular buildings constructed with cold formed steel.

With the development of software technology that incorporates both architectural and engineering design, larger scale commercial buildings can now be designed with more efficiency, meaning buildings are erected faster and are more cost effective.

The performance statistics and capabilities of cold-formed steel are certainly being recognised through the Christchurch re-build, where buildings of strong structural
integrity are being required within short time frames.

One recent example of this modular structure is the Pacific Motor Group commercial premises in Whangarei, designed and built by the Coresteel Northland team owned by Wayne Hill and James Senescall.

Coresteel uses proven design technology and a flexible portal system that allows for modular buildings of virtually any size and shape. Featuring a 46 metre span ceiling, unispan floor, separate workshop, undercover car parking and separate Ford and Mazda showrooms, the Pacific Motor Group build is a great example of Coresteel’s capabilities.

Partnering with Dimond, the build includes close to 3500sq.m of Dimond DP955 on the roof. Design components including aesthetic cold formed curving, a six-metre cantilever over a creek, nested purlins and even a two bedroom internal apartment. This project proves that Coresteel can cater to any design requirements.

Coresteel manages projects from design and engineering through to manufacturing and construction, ensuring efficiencies in design and delivery that guarantee a faster build.  The Pacific Motor Group premises took just 24 weeks to construct, including storm water attenuation and car parking.

These efficiencies translate into genuine cost savings. The typical cost of professional fees, including engineering and architectural fees, can be anywhere between 10%-15% of the total building cost. In comparison, the Pacific Motor Group only attracted 4% of the total building cost, combined with Coresteel’s cold form system saved the building owners over $500,000.00. Stage Two of the project – a Mitsubishi and Suzuki building – has been awarded to Coresteel on the back of the overwhelming success of Stage One.

Coresteel’s unique Bracketless Portal System and ability to manufacture larger steel sections than any other company in New Zealand gives them a unique position in the market. The construction of Coresteel portal frames uses no external brackets as the connections are manufactured as part of the column and rafter, with the members simply bolted together to form the portal frame. The purlins, girts and windposts are connected using a total of six different brackets to form the entire building structure, with all connections standardised to limit tools changes and product requirements on site. This simplicity of design results in a number of benefits including better raw material utilisation, and improved manufacturing, transport and erection times.

This results in a building that is designed and engineered to the highest standards, while minimising manufacturing and construction time frames. Coresteel’s National Manager,
Haemish Reid, says modular building systems are the way of the future. “They guarantee efficiencies with both design and delivery and they ensure a more cost-effective project. These days building owners are looking for someone who can offer a ‘turn key project’ that will save them time and money, from designing to manufacturing and installing. Coresteel can offer the whole package.”

Coresteel is experiencing many enquiries for large scale projects. This has in turn generated offshore enquiries particularly in the Asia/Pacific, Australian and South African markets. This again proves that Coresteel has a superior system that is becoming known not only nationally but worldwide.

Dimond is pleased to have been a part of this job and are continuing to partner with Coresteel to deliver cost-effective buildings which make use of the latest technology and are built to last. We look forward to mutually successful projects in the future.