Summit Homes Group is one of Western Australia’s most well-known, award winning residential builders and with forty years of experience they have built a reputation for building high-quality homes. In recent years, Summit Homes Group has offered steel house framing made from TRUECORE® steel in many of their home designs and have been at the forefront of innovative lightweight steel construction methods.
Summit Homes Group General Manager Metro, Tony Harvie explained that they’ve been working with BlueScope since 2010 and that roof trusses made from TRUECORE® steel are currently used in over ninety per cent of their home builds.
“Our single-minded commitment to building homes of the highest quality is unwavering, so we're always seeking the most effective and efficient processes. That's why we're now offering a fully engineered steel roofing system option made from TRUECORE® steel on all our homes. Just like us, it's innovative, strong and durable,” he said.
Since 2010, Summit Homes Group has embraced the advantages that frames made from TRUECORE® steel bring to their customers including being 100% termite and borer proof, durable and dimensionally accurate. The introduction of BAL fire zone building requirements also played an important role in Summit Homes Group’s decision to build with lightweight steel frames. When used as part of the NASH bushfire standard, frames made from TRUECORE® steel can provide simple design solutions to achieve compliance when building in a bushfire zone1.
Using frames made from TRUECORE® steel has also allowed Summit Homes Group to push the envelope in home design. Their impressive strength-to-weight ratio has enabled Summit Homes Group to create designs with innovative and non-conventional roof lines, architectural features and long spans.
However, perhaps the most significant benefit of building with roof frames made from TRUECORE® steel is the fast and efficient installation which has enabled Summit Homes Group to complete their builds quickly and has helped homeowners to move into their new homes sooner than if they had a traditional timber stick roof. Summit Homes Group manufactures their frames made from TRUECORE® steel in a weatherproof facility which can operate twenty-four hours a day and this controlled environment not only ensures the frames are built to exact specifications, but helps reduce the chance of delays. And there’s less onsite adjustment needed as the frames are precision engineered and dimensionally accurate.
Tony Harvie also explained that frames made from TRUECORE® steel allow for a much cleaner building site as their off-site fabrication helps to minimise mess and waste on the job. According to Mr Harvie there is a misconception that tradies don’t like working with steel. “We are finding there are more trades upskilling to steel and our experience has been that trades that traditionally used timber, like roof carpenters, and who have made the switch to steel wouldn’t go back. It’s actually been a great advantage to some of our trades – we’ve been able to give them a regular flow of work and their cash flow has improved in some instances due to the speed in which they can install steel roof frames. We commonly hear feedback from our trades that its cleaner and quicker using steel,” he said.
Summit Homes Group’s innovative truss roofing system made from TRUECORE® steel is clearly an exciting development for WA home builders. However, this construction method has been proven and tested on a commercial-scale many times before and lightweight steel construction has also been used by residential builders in other parts of Australia for many years. Therefore, Western Australian homeowners can be assured that it’s a strong and proven building method.
Their truss roofing system made from TRUECORE® steel is offered to Summit Homes Group’s clients at the same price as a stick timber option, is fully engineered and each build receives an Engineer’s Certificate which helps to further reassure homeowners.
Recently, Summit Homes Group has met the challenge of speeding up second storey home renovations with a revolutionary approach to building. Innovative second storey modules are built at Summit Group’s headquarters under stringent supervision and quality control and then transported to site and craned into place. They’re built using a fully engineered steel framing system made from BlueScope’s TRUECORE® steel and roofing made from COLORBOND® steel. These upper storey modules are helping to achieve a fast and efficient build which help to save time and therefore money.
Mr Harvie explained that a key advantage of this method of building is that “homeowners can stay living in their homes whilst the upper-storey module is being constructed offsite. This can mean a real financial benefit to homeowners if they need to rent another property whilst they’re waiting for their home renovation to finish. And as there are less rain delays, we can more accurately forecast the build time which is really helpful to our clients.”
There are other benefits too as not only can this method of building save time and therefore money, the modules are ideal for small block sizes and can offer enhanced noise protection and thermal properties due to the advanced cladding system that is used. The offsite solution is also used to build granny flats and studios which can be craned into an unused space in backyards, helping to minimise disruption to homeowners.
“Our offsite modules are a wonderful innovation and something we’re very proud of. We’re thrilled with the speed that we can build these extensions and granny flats, whilst maintaining our Group’s dedication to building excellence and our commitment to building WA’s best homes,” said Mr Harvie.
Summit Homes Group enjoys a close working relationship with BlueScope, the manufacturers of TRUECORE® steel and as Tony Harvie explained, “partnering with BlueScope allows us to deliver a high-quality product to our clients and they appreciate us using local suppliers like BlueScope, it gives them and us a lot of confidence.”
“We love working with TRUECORE® steel, from a builder’s point of view it’s terrific to work with. We’re proud to have used the versatility of TRUECORE® steel in some of our latest Summit Homes designs, such as the Mod, Australiana and Semara, as well as all of our double storey Summit Homes designs and New Generation Loft designs.”
“We believe lightweight steel framing made from TRUECORE® steel is the future, which is why we’ve invested so heavily,” said Mr Harvie.
If you’re interested in finding more about Summit Homes Group and building with frames made from TRUECORE® steel, please visit their website.
1 For further information on building to the NASH Standard – Steel Framed Construction in Bushfire Areas please visit nash.asn.au