And we got more than standard results
The NASH Standard is a major step forward for the building sector. The NASH Standard is the first and only industry standard to be referenced in the National Construction Code, the cornerstone for building regulation in Australia.
And the standard is changing the face of Australia’s housing industry. NASH reports that the standard doubled the steel-framed housing market. Before 2005, it was around 7% of the market in terms of number of houses and project value; in 2015, it was 14%. More efficient frame designs developed under the standard have also led to savings in construction costs of $30 million per year.
The use of cold-formed steel framing for multistorey apartments has also increased. Before 2005, steel frames were almost never used for apartments. In 2015, the Victorian Building Authority estimated 35% of new apartments in the state used steel frames. NASH believes that this significant rise is mostly because the increased use of steel frames for housing increased builders’ confidence in steel framing.
Swinburne and NASH have also worked to educate prospective users of the NASH Standard through national and international workshops and conferences.
Hard work rewarded with international interest
This unique standard has also attracted international interest. In 2008, NASH Part 1 was adapted in both New Zealand and South Africa, and it was quickly included in both countries’ building codes. Regulatory bodies across SouthEast Asia have also shown great interest in the standard.
The standard was built on extensive research into cold-formed steel for residential construction. At Swinburne, the research program has focused on two key areas:
- earthquake resistance
- lateral load design.
Other Swinburne research areas complemented this core work, including the exploration of steel residential structures in bushfire conditions and connections in steel structures.
And an award
The work has produced testing methods, designs, and general robustness and resilience assessments of cold-formed steel residential construction. For these contributions, Professor Emad Gad was awarded the Australian Steel Institute’s Emeritus Professor Greg Hancock medal in 2016 for contributions to steel design and the steel industry.
Project lead: Professor Emad Gad