Full LGSF House – Raised Eaves – SElf Build

Full LGSF House – Raised Eaves – SElf Build

Former Army officer Brian Orpin is adopting novel tactics for his latest battle with a self build project in Livingston, Scotland.

His new build family house, due for completion by Easter 2013, showcases a very Modern Method of Construction (MMC) using a Light Gauge Steel Frame (LGSF) “Complete Solution” designed and manufactured by West Yorkshire firm U-Roof Ltd.

Having previously completed a block of 10 flats above a retail development in Hipperholme, West Yorkshire, Brian’s house is one of U-Roof’s latest full LGSF houses , a natural progression for the company who are already well recognised as a leading supplier of complex roof structures in the self build industry. Brian detached property proving to be a wise choice for the serial self builder.

It’s clear that the versatile u-shaped design fits the bill for this super insulated, self build residence.

U-Roof is a bespoke CAD ‘Meccano’ style panel system – utilising a patented u-shaped, cold rolled galvanised steel profile amongst others – that fix together easily without the need for specialist skills or tools. It offers considerable savings on time and cost as well as offering almost instant precision, long lasting strength and significantly more ‘room in the roof’ than a traditional approach with timber. Any structural requirement to incorporate unwieldy hot rolled supports within the roof can be kept to an absolute minimum.

The original concept was conceived by West Yorkshire-based engineer David Thurston. U-Roof is attracting the attention of a growing number of self build enthusiasts such as Brian as well as house builders and architectural practices.

The engineering is excellent and the whole frame LGSF house looked great once complete, however we had to make a few modifications in close liaison with the U-Roof team to bring the whole structure to life. The climate up here would have made it difficult to work with a timber frame especially during a year that was one of the wettest on record! Another benefit of working with lightweight steel is that we didn’t require a crane. The levels of air tightness will stay consistently high for years to come due to the fact that, unlike timber frames, the steel won’t shrink, warp or rot and will not develop draught gaps. As a full LGSF house structure it is early days for U-Roof but many of the small issues that arose were ironed out easily.

explained Brian.

Chris Corbett of U-Roof was closely involved in the complex design and commented:

We had to marry up the steel U-Roof ‘skeleton’ with an oak frame that formed a structural as well as aesthetic feature. Brian’s exacting requirements, in terms of achieving a well insulated LGSF house, led to him avoiding using SIPS panels due to a number of cold bridging issues. The U-Roof system has, until recently, been used mainly for complex roof arrangements but over the past 18 months we’ve adapted our approach for a full building frame and the results, in terms of strength, longevity and flexibility, are clear to see. When it comes to house building steel frame structures have been used since the 1960s but only on a small scale with a limited number of systems available. The design of the U-Roof lightweight high tensile steel sections offers many advantages over existing approaches such as timber and other steel systems.

The creation of more space within the roof area was one of the plus points as Brian explained:

I’m very happy with the space in the eaves and in the hip ends. This will prove useful and make it much easier to maintain.

The U-Roof system exceeds all British targets for construction energy efficiency with insulation and is a perfect fit with the ethos and objectives of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) as well as the Code for Sustainable Homes, a set of guidelines introduced in May 2008 that measures the sustainability of a new home against categories of sustainable design and rates the ‘whole home’ as a complete package.

There’s also no threat of infestation or warping and its lightweight nature offers significant health and safety benefits.

Inventor and U-Roof founder David Thurston added:

It ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to building a roof and we are now seeing it increasingly being adopted as a full frame solution that is not only fit for purpose for one off self build projects but also for the construction of vertical extensions within heavily built up areas such as the centre of London.

A recent publication (P262 Rev A) made available by the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) and backed up by the National House Building Council, provides test evidence that when used in a “warm frame” construction, such as Brians LGSF house, the lifetime of the galvanised structural frame has an expected life span in excess of 200 years. (Please see our downloads – technical page for a copy of the document).

Brian’s new family home will clearly stand the test of time and win every battle going with the unpredictable Scottish weather