Overseas Steel Framed Housing System

Brief

We were engaged by a developer who was looking to import a steel frame housing system from China.  As well as construction in the UK, it was intended to utilise its low cost to service the developing housing market in Ghana, where traditional concrete block construction was becoming increasingly expensive.

BRD Tech were asked to help evaluate the system generally and its suitability for use in the UK as well as Ghana whose Building Regulation system is based closely on British Standards.

Work delivered

Following a desk-top study of the available information, representatives of BRD Tech visited the factory in Beijing.  Here we were shown examples of the system in operation and were able to tour the factory.  Meetings were held with senior managers and technical staff to discuss how the system could be adapted to comply with UK and European Regulations.

Following this trip, we visited Ghana where our client was carrying out a development using the system.  The houses were supplied complete in kit form comprising of the steel frame, cladding, linings and insulation etc. and are delivered to site in standard shipping containers.

As part of our brief, we produced concept housing designs for both Ghana and the UK markets.  Here in the UK, we worked closely with a number of Local Authorities to demonstrate the suitability of the system.  Separate from the concept design work, it was necessary for us to help our client demonstrate that the imported materials complied with strict European product legislation.  We identified the critical materials and the relevant standards which they needed to comply with and consulted with the Building Research Establishment to formulate a comprehensive schedule of testing.  This testing ranged from large scale component fire tests to simple strength and dimensional stability assessments.