Our metals industry should be driven to make steel the material of choice for designers. A way we can achieve that, is by simplifying the design process through the use of electronic tools and guides.

The current market share for steel in construction is 50% nationally. We’ve had particular success in warehouses and multi-storey office buildings.

Composite construction has proved popular over the last twenty years. In fact, it’s largely accounted for the dominance of steel frames in multi-storey buildings.

However, the amount of design effort required to properly design these members according to modern international standards such as AS/NZS 2327 has proven a barrier for uptake.

Simplifying the process

In 2018 our Steel Research Panel felt that it was important to develop electronic tools to support AS/NZS 2327. This would mean our membership could better exploit the benefits of this standard – particularly given the recent amendment to B1/VM1 of the Building Code.

Here, the design of composite members to AS/NZS 2327 will become an Acceptable Solution from 1 April 2019.

In response to this need, we’re currently developing composite floor design software to AS/NZS 2327 exclusively for our membership.

This will have the capability of designing composite slabs together with the supporting composite beams.

How it will work

To enable designers to access the full range of floor decks available in New Zealand, the software requires both geometrical and section properties of these products.

Whilst we’ve already obtained properties for three deck profiles, we’d like to invite all New Zealand manufacturers to supply information on their products so the database is more broad scoping. In return, we’ll ensure this data is included within the software free of charge on receipt of all the required information.

This is an amazing opportunity for you – as it means your product will have greater chance of uptake by potential customers.

Data must be received by 5 April 2019 – please fill out details specified here and email to Stephen Hicks once completed.

For those deck manufacturers who don’t wish to supply their information at this stage, there will be other future opportunities to do so. However, please note, this will incur a cost to make changes to the software.

Keeping our industry competitive

AS/NZS 2327 is the first joint NZ & Australian design standard for steel-concrete composite multi-storey buildings.

Our software will unlock the benefits provided by the new design standard AS/NZS 2327 for our membership. Allowing more efficient designs to be achieved than using traditional hand calculations. In the long term reducing costs and providing increased satisfaction to the Developer or Asset-owner.

If you’d like to know more about our activities in developing standards and electronic design tools to ensure that the New Zealand steel sector remains competitive in the global market, please contact our General Manager Structural Systems Dr Stephen Hicks.

Update shared by our General Manager Structural Systems Dr Stephen Hicks.