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Charl van Zyl, Silverline Group CEO

The South African construction industry is rapidly evolving due to the increasing demand for Light Frame Steel Building (LFSB) methods, which is fast becoming a preferred option for large corporates and retailers due to the durability of the structures and the rapid turnaround time necessary for construction.

This is according to Charl van Zyl, CEO of Silverline Group, a construction company that specialises in the construction of Light Frame Steel buildings, who says that due to the various benefits of the alternative construction method, the industry has grown by 21% in the 2012/ 2013 period.

Van Zyl says that according to a survey conducted by the Southern African Light Steel Frame Building Association (SASFA), an increased volume of the steel produced in South Africa is used for complete buildings, including walls, as opposed to roof trusses only.

“This is a key sign that LFSB method is becoming a popular construction practice for commercial projects. It also reaffirms the growing acceptance of LSFB by architects, engineers, and builders.”

“Architects, engineers and builders are realising the effectiveness of LFSB in comparison to conventional brick and mortar. Light Frame Steel is stronger than traditional materials, and offers advantages with regards to energy consumption, speed of construction and quality of the finished project. The advantages are endless.

He adds that apart from the versatility of Light Frame Steel, it is also one of the most recyclable and sustainable building products, which has also contributed towards the demand and growth in the industry.

Van Zyl says it is projected that the industry is expected to grow by 15% during 2014.

“These projections and the strength of the Rand, is encouraging more industry professionals to utilise this method to maximise their return on investment, while still producing world-class environmentally friendly projects.”

Silverline has played an extensive role in the successful growth of the LFS industry, especially in the franchise sector.

“Due to the demand for light weight steel construction, we have successfully opened over 30 outlets around South Africa in just three years. This growth is due to the franchise model we have implemented, a first in the South African construction industry, which offers franchisees an investment opportunity with exceptional return-on-investment (ROI), including a support and mentorship structure.”

He adds that the company’s business model has been created to assist franchisees and contractors tackle any project by utilising their specialised construction software and products.

Van Zyl says that this model has contributed towards the company’s recent international partnerships.

“Earlier this year, we formed a joint venture with Framecad, the world’s largest manufacturer of Roll Forming Machines and LFSB software development, as well as Lafarge, a leading producer of building materials. These international partnerships enable us to grow our franchise model internationally and be able to partake in construction projects in various countries.”

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