Research / Staff

Housing, the environment and increasing industrialisation are challenges facing the construction industry. New forms of construction that reduce the environmental impact, improve quality, provide flexibility and simplify the supply chain are needed. The concept in this project is for a lightweight, easily fabricated and sustainable construction system for use in residential to medium-scale buildings and in the refurbishment of existing buildings that meets these challenges. The light weight comes from an efficient combination of thin cold-formed steel components with surplus plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) into a composite construction system that can be fabricated using simple techniques. Transportation can be reduced by adopting a hybrid assembly procedure. This combination outperforms existing engineered timber systems, reducing the weight for attic rooms by up to 25%. It provides the builder with greater flexibility and control over the supply chain, by offering greater opportunity for customisation. The system also responds to the need for a cradle-to-cradle approach to design. The steel components can be recovered and re-used to construct new building components.