CENTURION FRAMING SYSTEMS AND HOMEBUYERS CENTRE: Reducing build times returns benefits for all
Centurion Framing Systems, established by the same family team as Centurion Garage Doors, has been working with BlueScope steel products for 40+ years. In 2016, after gaining a nation-wide footprint with their garage door and installation business, Centurion Managing Director, Steve Canning was brainstorming ways to continue to grow their business. BlueScope State Manager, Greg Jones, suggested expanding into the engineered steel framing market due to their long-time proficiency with steel, and Centurion’s experience with installation. Fast forward less than two years since this conversation, and Centurion Framing Systems has celebrated their one-year anniversary, and already developed a specialised installation process for working with builders across the state of WA, including Homebuyers Centre.
Homebuyers Centre, part of the ABN Group (owned by Dale Alcock), specialises in building houses for the first-home owner market. They offer a multi-step approach for their customers – initially assisting with finance, then land purchasing and finally the build stage. The ABN Group comprises of 20+ companies within the building and construction industry, and Homebuyers Centre is the first of these to use engineered steel house frames made from TRUECORE® steel.
In late 2017, Homebuyers Centre was looking to improve the build times for their two-storey houses. In November that year, they were approached by Centurion Framing Systems who told them about the specialised installation process that they were currently developing. To demonstrate the speed at which their system of framing can be constructed, Centurion then built a two-storey house frame for Homebuyers Centre offsite on their Bayswater premises.
Says Homebuyers Centre General Manager, Simon Birkhead of the initial partnership, “Centurion came back with a really innovative way of building two-storey homes offsite and then transporting them to the site in modules. Then they actually built the two-storey house frame - to show us that they could do it.”
Centurion Framing Systems and Homebuyers Centre completed their first homeowner project together in June, 2018 using frames made from TRUECORE® steel. Mr Birkhead says he immediately saw the benefits of using steel frames made from TRUECORE® steel. “The reason we went to steel is [that] it’s a lot quicker for us. It’s lighter for transport, minimises site waste. And engineering wise it’s obviously a great product with it being straight and true, and millimetre-precise.”
Citing a 16-week build time for a two-storey home built using engineered steel framing, Mr Birkhead realised that this reduced build-time has benefits for his tradesmen and customers too, “Steel framing for us really does improve the construction time of the build. Because it’s manufactured offsite and delivered and installed if it’s raining etc, it reduces the time onsite significantly…It pretty much halves the time of the build using the steel frame method for us.”
Mr Canning reiterates, “What attracted Homebuyers Centre was the speed [of construction], but what they really like is the precision… feedback from the trades who have transitioned across to steel has been nothing but positive… they love the accuracy of the frames and that it is lighter weight than timber frames.” Regarding build-times Mr Canning adds, “Most of the time, they give us the slab and four days later we give them the framing structure. It has revolutionised that build process.”
The success of the first site build was has been so positive for Homebuyers Centre that from March 2018, they transitioned all their narrow/small lot homes to be built using steel framing made from TRUECORE® steel, and currently have over 30 projects in the pipeline.
After opening the doors of Centurion Framing Systems only 12-months ago, Mr Canning attributes their early success to the downstream installation of their steel frames and the impact that this has on the wider team. “To get acceptance you need a manufacturer that is fully engaged in the outcome...the supplier needs to be fully committed to giving a good experience not only for the builder, but for the tradesmen onsite.”
This philosophy is echoed by Homebuyers Centre who pride themselves on a win-win relationship between suppliers and trades. And true to this idea, together Centurion Framing Systems and Homebuyers Centre are currently retraining carpenters on steel framing, and will be rolling out a complete retraining program in the near future.
For more information about Centurion Framing Systems and their unique design and installation process, please visit https://www.cframing.com.au
To discover more about Homebuyers Centre and their customer-centric approach please visit https://www.homebuyers.com.au
Plus, watch this time-lapse video of Centurion Framing Systems installing frames made from TRUECORE® steel for Homebuyers Centre. Watch now.
The content of this case study is based on statements made by the sources listed above and is a reflection of their views and experience. TRUECORE®, BlueScope and the BlueScope brand mark are trade marks of BlueScope Steel Limited.© 2018 BlueScope Steel Limited ABN 16 000 011 058. All rights reserved.