Metal roofing industry body Southern African Metal Cladding and Roofing Association (Samcra), a division of the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction, has completed the draft of the new standard for cladding, aimed at assisting engineers and specifiers in cladding work, says association director Dennis White.
The introduction of the new cladding standard is expected to take place during the first half of 2015.
White says the subjects that are covered in the new standard include types of material used, durability of coatings and the criteria for the design and installation of profiles. “It also includes a comprehensive procedure for the testing of profiles and the presentation of results, which will assist both engineers and specifiers in the selection of cladding profiles.”
He adds that the standard, which relates to SANS 10400 part L, will be published after the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) accepts it as a national code.
Samcra is also actively participating on a number of SABS technical committees, “which has given the association valuable insight into the workings of the construction industry as a whole, as well as other allied industries”.
One of the positive outcomes of Samcra’s involvement in the SABS technical committees is that the concept of making compulsory the marking – with the manufacturer’s name, material grade and coating type and thickness – of all coil used in the production of cladding has been widely accepted by the technical committees after the association advocated for it, says White.
“Hopefully, this will contribute to the eradication of the corrupt practice of substituting inferior building materials, often from foreign countries, for those which have been specified.”
Further, he notes the association has done preliminary work on the establishment of approved test facilities for cladding profiles. “It is our intention to reach an agreement for the establishment of such facilities to coincide with the introduction of the new cladding standard.”
Labour education and training is another area in which Samcra has committed to invest time and resources. “Like most participants in the construction industry, the cladding industry also suffers from an acute shortage of skilled labour, particularly in the field of installation, where there is no formally recognised, regulated trade,” says White.
He says the lack of regulation in the cladding industry is a problem, especially since it consumes a substantial 22% of all steel used for construction.
“But I am pleased to say that our lobbying activities for tighter control of the supply of noncompliant cladding materials into the construction industry are beginning to pay dividends as relevant government departments increasingly take note, with some already investigating the matter,” says White.
In the meantime, Samcra reported a 33% increase in membership during 2014, “which now includes some of South Africa’s best-known companies”, such as multinational steel manufacturing company ArcelorMittal South Africa, flat product steel producer BlueScope Steel, metal rooﬁng products supplier Macsteel Roofing, roofing material manufacturer Global Roofing Solutions and mild steel supplier BSi Steel, notes White.
He adds that, with respect to membership, the intention is to include every company with a stake in the industry, from the producers of coated coil, metal cladding, tiles and associated product manufacturers to contractors, developers, financial institutions and relevant government departments.
“Membership numbers will ensure a vibrant, well-run and successful cladding industry going into the future,” he concludes.