Media Article: SASFA online training course for building contractors – Nov 2020

SASFA has successfully adapted its 5-day training course for light steel frame building contractors, and presented it online! This was the 31st time this unique and popular course was presented, but the first time as a remote learning experience. It was structured into 8 two-hour sessions during the week 4 to 10 November 2020.
The course is growing in popularity, as an increasing number of building contractors, developers, architects and engineers wish to become more knowledgeable about light steel frame building (LSFB). Successful completion of the course is also a pre-requisite for applying for SASFA Builder Membership.
The course will be presented again on line in early 2021, depending on interest.
The course is split into two sections:
Steel frame materials, components, and erection (5 two-hour sessions), covering an introduction to light steel frame building (LSFB), the steel making process and properties of coated steel sheet, followed by sections on foundations, manufacturing of light steel frames and trusses, construction tools, wall frame set-out, handling, loads on buildings, floor framing, wall framing, roof structures, planning and the installation of services, and
Internal lining, external cladding and insulation (2 two-hour sessions), covering the properties, manufacturing and benefits of glasswool insulation, acoustics, energy efficiency, environmental issues, storage and handling of glasswool, and tools and installation methodology.
This is followed by a section on gypsum plasterboard, covering properties, storage and handling, cutting, tools and application for walls, ceilings and finishing.
Finally, fibre cement board for external cladding is addressed, including the installation of the vapour permeable membrane, sizes and availability of fibre cement – boards and planks, fixing accessories, installation guidelines, and some door and window frame installation detail is presented.
The students who enrolled for the course are based in Gauteng (33%), Western Cape (33%), KZN, Northern and Eastern Cape, and even one from the Seychelles! Average age was 44. Most had some prior building industry experience. Current business roles ranged from owners of building companies, directors, managers, and site foremen. Two of the students were planning to build their own houses directly after the course!
After completion, they all rated the course content, the course literature and the presentations highly. They found the Zoom platform easy to manage – even without any previous experience, and by the end of the course 70% of the students indicated a preference for on-line rather than classroom training! At the end of the course, the students had to write a test to assess their understanding of the subject matter. All of the students on this course passed and received SASFA certificates of successful completion of the course. This brings the total number of students who have successfully completed this course since its inception in 2009, to 492 – of which 34 were from outside the country.
SASFA regards the training of building contractors as of primary importance in the promotion of light steel frame building in Southern Africa. Builders registered with SASFA are invited to accept one or more of these students as interns on their current building sites, to facilitate the exchange of theoretical concepts and to allow the students an opportunity to enhance their practical skills. Contact SASFA if interested.

J Barnard
Director, SASFA
13 November 2020