BlueScope Steel has been awarded the Insurance Council of Australia’s 2011 Resilience Award for Durable Housing for an innovative house design made to endure Australia’s extreme weather conditions.
Entrants were asked to submit resilient housing design concepts that incorporated inherent protection through design and material selection from five extreme weather elements (hail, flood, bushfire, extreme rainfall and cyclone).
The company worked with work together with PIDCOCK Architecture and Sustainability and used input from industry experts such as Lysaght Pty Ltd, the National Association of Steel Framed Housing (NASH) and others to ultimately deliver the winning design.The design integrated elements of BlueScope Steel’s existing building products range, such as cladding and roofing materials, along with new concept steel composite products and well accepted design elements into a modern take on the ‘Queenslander’ architecture.
The design consists of two storey modules separated by a screened breezeway offering a covered external living space. This approach, developed with the architectural input of PIDCOCK, ensured the design provided good liveability and aesthetics, as well as delivering the resilience outcomes.
Resilience measures incorporated into the house design include an overhanging steel roof that protects external walls from hail; a composite steel and concrete wall system that seals and resists flood waters; corrugated steel walls with rockwool insulation that resists fire; and oversized gutters and downpipes to endure extreme rainfall.A large range of steel products were chosen for the house design, including steel framing, roofing, cladding and guttering, due to steel’s inherent durability in tough weather conditions, its non-combustible nature which provides protection in a fire and its weather tightness which provides effective protection against heavy rain.
As well as being designed to withstanding these harsh conditions, the design aims to allow the building to remain structurally sound, while also enabling disaster affected families to remain living in the home post-disaster, with aesthetic damage being readily cleaned up or repaired if required.
Pat Finan, executive general manager of Global Building and Construction Markets at BlueScope Steel, said: “BlueScope is very proud to receive this award, which highlights the resilient and durable nature of steel and steel composite materials to extreme weather conditions. Our submission provides an innovative housing option to prepare Australian communities for extreme weather conditions and assist disaster affected families to remain in their own homes post-disaster”.
The award, supported by the Australian Institute of Architects, saw 78 entries submitted this year from a wide variety of entrants including large multi-national engineering and construction firms, architects and private citizens.
Queensland’s recent natural disasters affected many of BlueScope Steel’s customers and some of its staff. The company says this inspired its Steel Research division’s Building Applications team to develop their winning entry. The Insurance Council of Australia is the representative body of the general insurance industry in Australia.