UnitingCare Queensland selected light-gauge steel framing made from TRUECORE steel, supplied by BlueScope Steel (BlueScope), for the construction of its Sunrise Beach Aged Care facility.
The innovative application of light-gauge steel framing has accelerated construction progress on the Sunrise Beach Aged Care project, outpacing traditional construction methods.
UnitingCare Queensland opted for the framing solution to mitigate project risks and ensure the fulfilment of program requirements set by the Noosa Shire Council.
Lavinia Dack, group general manager property at UnitingCare Queensland, said the decision to use light-gauge steel framing has more than paid for itself in construction time savings.
“We are thrilled with the building speed achieved through the adoption of light-gauge steel framing,” said Dack.
The reduction in construction time has proven to be an important factor in guaranteeing the successful completion of Phase 1 of the Sunrise Beach Aged Care project by mid-December this year.
Sunrise Beach Aged Care will welcome its first residents in early 2024, following the completion of Stage 1 operational spaces.
Reflecting recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, Sunrise Beach Aged Care is designed to operate like a small household, offering residents a greater quality of care and lifestyle.
Light-gauge steel frames were prefabricated offsite and used to form the backbone for each of the villas.
Badge Constructions project manager Kent Belcher said the framing has an impressive strength-to-weight ratio, allowing for wide-spans and flexibility in the design.
“It’s important we considered the choice of framing material in the design of the build, as ultimately that’s what’s responsible for allowing us to deliver the finish that sits behind each of these homes,” said Belcher. “By having the steel wall frames prefabricated before arriving onsite, it allows our project managers to have a deeper level of input at the design stage, so we can consider elements like safety and PWD grab rails, TV recesses and other services we might need to factor in for residents.”
“It also helps that once the frames are installed in position, they can be signed off, to allow us to continually progress the build schedule, without delays.”
Steel framing won’t burn, is termite proof and doesn’t need to be treated with insecticides, which is an important consideration for the welfare of Sunrise Beach Aged Care residents. It also won’t warp or shrink, an added bonus for Queensland’s tropic environment.
Mitchell Crisp, principal of local steel fabricator Ultimate Steel Framing, said the use of lightweight steel framing improved flexibility while working within the project’s limited space. He also noted that the light properties in the steel resulted in reduced manual labour.
Another benefit of the steel, he says, is the product stays straight and true, ensuring that the frames remain consistently accurate to the specified measurements.
Prefabricated steel frames offer the added advantage of pre-punched service holes, he explains, allowing for seamless installation of services without the need for additional drilling.
The Sunrise Beach development is one of the largest applications of light-gauge steel in the Noosa region, including over 40,000 lineal metres of TRUECORE steel. The steel was supplied by Australian steel manufacturer BlueScope, and fabricated locally by Ultimate Steel Framing, supporting UnitingCare’s commitment to using Australian products and local suppliers.
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