Fast and efficient installation
Straight and true resulting in a beautiful finish
Lightweight yet strong
Increased site safety
Read their story

Using framing made from TRUECORE® steel helped to ensure a tight timeline was met for this award-winning retirement living project.

Project Goal:

To construct 15 single-storey independent living units with associated civil works and landscaping within an extremely tight schedule of 12 months.

Key Benefits Delivered:

Darrell Davies, Operations Manager at Normus Urban Projects calculated the following benefits in using prefabricated light gauge steel (LGS) framing for this project:

  • Time and Cost Efficiency:
    • The conversion from ‘stick timber’ framing to prefabricated LGS made from TRUECORE® steel reduced the construction program by six weeks.
  • Lightweight yet Strong: 
    • Precision-engineered frames, made from TRUECORE® steel required less trades on site at the point of frame installation than would have been needed for ‘stick timber’ built framing installation.
  • Improved Safety and Waste Management:
    • The prefabrication of the LGS frames, reduced waste and labour required for frame installation, which assisted to reduce the associated safety risks.
  • Straight and True:
    • Prefabricated and dimensionally accurate, strong and straight, framing made from TRUECORE® steel meant less onsite adjustment.


South Australian based residential builder, Normus Urban Projects was engaged by aged care services provider, ECH, to complete the Penneys Hill Estate project within only 12 months. This project was a design and construct contract for 15 single-storey independent living units with associated civil works and landscaping.

With a challenging construction timeline for the Penneys Hill Estate project, traditional ‘stick timber’ construction was replaced in favour of prefabricated LGS framing made from TRUECORE® steel, with the view of saving time and improving onsite efficiency. Normus engaged Maxispan Steel Building Frames to fabricate and install the wall frames and roof trusses for all 15 units. Normus estimated that the conversion to prefabricated LGS framing made from TRUECORE® steel reduced the total building program by approximately six weeks.

The LGS frames and trusses made from TRUECORE® steel were prefabricated offsite and were erected upon delivery, improving site access during the build and resulting in less waste onsite. The lightweight nature of framing made from TRUECORE® steel also meant that installation was faster and involved less trades when compared with ‘stick timber’ framing according to Normus.

Framing made from TRUECORE® steel will not shrink or warp over time, therefore the frames remained straight and true. This eliminated any need to identify and straighten walls prior to plasterboard being installed, resulting in further time savings during construction. 

Reflecting back on the decision to use framing made from TRUECORE® steel, Darrell Davies said, “Using TRUECORE® steel provides the builder with the confidence that they are using a product manufactured to exacting quality standards by one of Australia’s biggest manufacturers, BlueScope”.

Since the Penneys Hill Estate was completed in 2019, it has won multiple awards including the 2019 HIA SA Housing Award for ‘Specialised Housing’ and ‘Steel Frame Project’. The project was also nominated by the client, ECH, for the UDIA SA Awards ‘Small Scale Development Residential’ and was the State award winner.

Project Details:

  • Project: Penneys Hill Estate
  • Location: Penneys Hill Road, Hackham, SA
  • Client: ECH Incorporated
  • Principal Steel Products: Framing made from TRUECORE® steel and COLORBOND® steel in the following applications:
    • Roofing and Fascia: COLORBOND® steel in the colour Woodland Grey®
    • Gutters: COLORBOND® steel in the colour Monument®
    • Garage Doors: COLORBOND® steel in the colours Woodland Grey® and Surfmist®
  • Builder and Designer: Normus Urban Projects
  • Steel Fabricator: Maxispan Steel Building Frames
  • Source: Darrell Davies, Operations Manager, Normus Urban Projects

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Disclaimer – The content of this case study is based on statements made by the source listed above and is a reflection of their views and experience. Same/similar results are not guaranteed for each user and outcomes may vary across projects. COLORBOND® and ® colour names are registered trade marks of BlueScope Steel Limited.