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Remote Area Housing with Steel Frames by Homefab, Article from NASH

steel house frame

ABORIGINAL HOUSING FOR CAPE YORK

It is unquestioned that there is a need for more housing in aboriginal communities. This is proving a huge challenge for all involved - high costs, long delays and insufficient local involvement. A new model is being adopted in the Cape York region in North Queensland for building houses in remote centres, that could have much wider implications.

The Cape York region faces challenges that are common to a lot of remote areas. Some of these include:

  • There is very little economic activity in the community and hence limited opportunities for training and work.
  • Most of the local people of employable age have only a rudimentary education.
  • The communities often only have limited access during the wet season. Therefore most construction occurs during the dry season.
  • It is very expensive to import trades people to work on remote communities.
  • The area is subject to tropical cyclones. Most houses are designed for C2 wind classification (61m/s) in accordance with AS 4055. This combined with the increased internal pressure that must be designed for in cyclonic regions means that the design wind pressures are 3-5 time those required in most of Australia.
  • The weather in northern Queensland is particularly hot and humid in the wet season. This has led to incorporation of covered breezeways and patios where people can live comfortably a lot of the year. This is even important as most of the people in aboriginal communities cannot afford to continually run air conditioning.

New houses for Hope Vale

At the Hopevale Community 5 houses are being currently being built. QBuild, a business unit of Queensland Department of Public Works, in conjunction with the local community developed a specification for the houses appropriate for the local climate and functional needs. Homefab Steel Truss and Frames designed the houses to meet the specification using termite resistant materials. The houses achieved a between a 7.5 and 8 star energy rating when analysed used the BERs energy rating software. This 8 star rating was achieved by the incorporation of the following features:

  • 900 overhangs around the house to shade the walls
  • The use of covered patios and carports to protect the worst exposed walls of the houses from the sun.
  • 75mm stud walls with Aircell Permishield 65 to provide both insulation and a thermal break.
  • The wall cladding was either fibre cement or corrugated Colorbond steel sheeting.
  • The corrugated Colorbond roof cladding was combined with Air Cell Insulbreak 65 insulation.
  • Both the wall and roof cladding used light colours to improve the reflection of the heat.

Following the tender process, Homefab was awarded a tender to supply the houses in kit form to Hope Vale. By packaging it this way, the cost of transport was significantly reduced as the various items could be packed to ensure full loads. Hope Vale is 4 hours north of Mareeba and 5 hours north of Cairns. Therefore it is critical that items are not left off trucks and Homefab have devised systems to ensure complete deliveries.

This construction management model is proving very successful in providing well-designed and much needed facilities for the Hope Vale community and has also been used in other remote locations.

Frame & kit supplier: Homefab Steel Truss and Frame

men inside steel framed house

steel house framed in cape york



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03 9809 1333

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NASH Profile

03 9809 1333

ENQUIRE HERE

ENQUIRE NOW






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