October 06, 2013
Steel framing positive for Maori housing projects
A Hamilton urban Maori trust has invested in a steel framing company as a way to drive down building costs.
Glen Tupuhi from Te Runanga o Kirikiroa says the five kaumatua units it opened in Hamilton last week benefited from the economics of using steel rather than wood.
He says other Maori organisations have invested in steel building in the past with mixed success.
But problems with the supply of suitable timber has created an opportunity for different building techniques to be tried.
"We know of builders who are having to send packets of timber back, they are refusing to accept them on the sites, because it's sapwood, it's all the knotty stuff, it's the second grade, third grade stuff. Because you are asking a builder to throw away his skilsaw and his hammer and start working with steel, so they don't like the product, but gradually over time there are people in the industry who are more and more leaning towards steel as a better product," Mr Tupuhi says.
Te Runanga o Kirikiroa has also set up systems to help iwi and whanau put together housing projects and access the government’s social housing project funding.
Copyright © 2013, UMA Broadcasting Ltd