The Loft

The Home Base blog

Steel the Show

Alternative forms of construction are worth serious consideration


Walking through the heart of this modern, airy and light-filled home, it’s easy to forget it was built to convince new home builders that alternative forms of construction are worth serious consideration.

Instead, visitors are struck by the home’s clever footprint, the many interesting textures and finishes both inside and out and the ingenious design tricks.

The Rural Building Co’s Robert Kirkovski, who designed the property, says he was motivated to distract visitors from thinking about the home’s steel-frame construction.

“We built this home in conjunction with the land developer and they had a clear objective,” Robert says.

“They wanted to demonstrate that steel-frame construction can be modern and everything that typical double brick construction is.

“I wanted people to walk through the home and like the home and then find out along the way that it is a bit different to what they are used to.

“And that is what we have achieved, because unless it is pointed out to them, most people don’t even realise that it is light-weight construction.”

The attention to detail and innovative approach to designing and building the home netted it two gongs at this year’s Housing Industry Association Green Smart Awards.

The home’s steel frame is clad in James Hardie’s revolutionary Scyon cladding.

“The prefabricated frames are made off site and then put together on site,” Rob says.

“The way this one is built results in a reduction of on site waste by two thirds. There is less embodied energy and a lower carbon footprint.”

He says another benefit of using this type of construction is that it creates more floor space.

Another obvious benefit was the increased speed of construction.

Steel frame construction in combination with Scyon cladding allowed for a huge amount of creative flexibility, Rob says.

“With this type of construction you can get higher walls and greater angles and you can create something really modern. The home feels good inside, it has lots of natural light and it is designed to catch the breeze. We have also been able to make it look really interesting on the outside because we have used lots of different finishes.”