Shed Cyclonic Regulations

Posted on : January 31, 2012

Shedeye Investigator – The Australian Story

Introduction

This discussion is broken into two points regarding LHL testing. The first is with a rollforming perspective, and the second from a shed manufacturing perspective.

The main aim is to generate discussion to educate and learn from the current regulations concerning LHL Standard Cyclic Test Method for Cyclonic Areas. It was officially phased in on the 30th April 2009 to meet the Building Code of Australia Specification B1.2.

Interpretation of Low-High-Low Cyclic (LHL) Testing

 Basically it is simulated wind conditions (cyclonic) method using low, the high, then low pressure sequence to test the wind loads on metal roof cladding in cyclonic conditions. This LHL test is considered better to represent typical cyclic regime on metal roof assemblies than the DABM test method that was in the Northern Territory and the Australian Standard AS4040.3:1999 test method previously used in Queensland and Western Australia. The test involves includes the roof assembly including the roof sheets, fasteners and the battens and their support fasteners.

From April 2009 all cladding and batten manufacturers need to demonstrate that their metal roofing assemblies specified for cyclonic areas of Australia have been tested using the LHL test method. More details are available in Technical Alert No 08/1 at www.eng.jcu.edu.au/cts .

Rollforming Manufacturer Perspective

So to understand the basic test of the roof assembly – each manufacturer must get their roof sheeting (all profiles specified for cyclonic regions) tested under LHL. There are numerous testing stations in Australia and the one chosen here for example only is the James Cook University Cyclone Testing Station. Also in this discussion the roof cladding type is corrugated – produced by all of the rollforming companies in Australia and also used in cyclonic regions in Australia. The LHL stipulates that for a company to sell corrugated roof sheets in cyclonic areas – it must undergo LHL cyclic testing. The BRAND corrugated roofing is sold by some of the big multinational rollformers throughout Australia. The Company here is Company ZZZ, and to comply it sends it corrugated roof sheeting to the cyclone testing centre to meet compliance to the LHL test. This sample is rollformed on one machine that converts the coil (flat sheet) to corrugated roof sheets. This is assembled with battens and fasteners then tested under LHL. Once the LHL tests have successfully completed Company ZZZ can then supply corrugated roof sheeting to all cyclone areas in Australia. Company ZZZ has numerous corrugated rollformers as well as the one that supplied the sheets for LHL testing and yet all the corrugated roof sheets are compliant to LHL.

By stipulating that the company brand of corrugated has to be LHL tested, they are accepting that all the corrugated rollformers held by that company are identical. For another company to provide corrugated roof sheets to cyclonic areas – they too have to complete LHL testing. This assumes that the profile and rollform machines are different from company to company. Those in the rollform industry know that this is not the case, and apart from some minor variations between machines it is the profile of corrugated (along with the feed coil properties) that determine the strength and its ability to undergo LHL test compliance. Yet Company XXX has to undergo LHL testing even though all its machines are identical to Company ZZZ machines. This is the only industry where identical products are testing not the manufacturing process.  The LHL testing should in fact be the responsibility of the rollform machine provider – and most of these (especially Australian and New Zealand machines) would all supply compliant corrugated roofing sheets. There should be compliance for these rollform machines to be registered to conform to LHL testing. Yet Company ZZZ who has gained LHL compliance for its rollform machines can buy a new corrugated rollformer from China that may not meet the standards previously obtained from its original sample material. It is the machine that makes the corrugated roof sheet and so testing of one machine from a multinational company will allow inferior product by the company utilising untested machines.

Shed Manufacturers Perspective

From a roll former’s point of view, if it can be demonstrated that structural roll formed products with the same girth and BMT thickness such as roof sheeting and top span that is identical in profile, and manufactured from the same coils of origin that have undergone the LHL testing criteria, what is the real purpose of having the product tested while there remains a question regarding the safety of the total structure? For example, the manufacturer of roll forming materials may argue that while the LHL testing applies only to the roof cladding and “immediate members” that support the roof cladding, failure to include the importance of the connections at the apex, knee, and tie downs, begs the question; how does the manufactured product miraculously become only when the supplier has had the immediate members tested in a wind tunnel that simulates cyclonic conditions?

It is in the real world where actual wind tunnels exist, moreover, regardless of whether the product has been endorsed by shedsafe, structures will continue to fail even before completion.  So concerned are the self appointed gatekeepers to the shed industry, they have aligned themselves with the BSA and other bodies in conducting seminars across the country, advising erectors how to construct sheds so as to avoid the structure  collapsing during construction.  Shed erectors are playing roulette at the hands of shedsafe’s smoking mirrors illusion, hence, the shed erector will be potentially at fault if it can be shown there was a failure on the erector’s part in failing to use his skills in making sure that the whole shed was acting as a diaphragm in order to hold it together in the event of a storm or freak wind that often collapses the frame during construction. In other words, wherever there is an accident on site during construction resulting in person(s) injured or killed, the shed erector, rather than those who endorsed the shedsafe product, will be liable.

Now for a comedic look at the situation.

 A recent inspection of a 3x3m garden shed is an example of the hypocrisy within the industry.

A Building inspector was recently surprised to notice that a garden shed structure was actually made from a .75 mm stud frame with 12mm tie downs at each stud, along with two extra 12mm tie down’s at each corner. He was further surprised to notice bracing on each wall and three 64mm top spans on the roof fastened with 12x 14×20 tek screws with 0.42BMT cladding properly secured to the top span, yet while he was surprised at the extent of the structure, given that most 3x3m garden sheds don’t have a frame at all, he nevertheless failed the inspection because the shed manufacturer had not stated on the plan that the cladding had a reference to the LHL testing.

When the customer advised the supplier, who in turn asked the building inspector to explain the problem, the building inspector advised the supplier to read the literature provided by the ASI’s shedsafe endorsement.  Interestingly, the booklet showed a reference to the LHL endorsement, but no reference to the safety of the entire structure.

Getting back to the manufacturer’s point of view, there is clear evidence that the only guarantee and endorsement of ShedSafe may offer is the customer will have no idea of the origin of the actual material used to manufacture the product or if the product has been tested.

Therefore if the structure is endorsed by an incompetent engineer who has compromised his or her ethical standards, nevertheless signs a FORM 15, there will be no recourse unless the company that has hired the engineer replaces the product. The replacement is usually conditional that the incident be kept confidential.

Besides this, as already pointed out, if one single LHL endorsement can be used as a blanket cover for an entire corporation regardless of the corporation’s many separate roll forming outlets with differing profiles, or whether the origin of the coil is Australian or Imported, how does the building inspector know the difference without authentic documentation? Does the material in question have a specific test certificate stating the origin of the material along with an endorsement from the testing facility given that what he is inspecting explicitly refers to the cladding and top span required on the approved plan, or does he really care about the weightier issues that he may be forced to confront?

Summary

The main reason of this viewpoint by two very different members of the shed industry supply chain is to generate discussion that will enable shed purchasers to be confident that all the factors & PROMISES made by the industry groups are capable of being produced in the supply & erection of their shed.

 To finalise, there is an instance of a well known shed supplier who sold (supply) only to a customer that collapsed during construction. This occurrence was exploited by others in the shed industry to their advantage by giving this as an example of a non-compliant shed industry member. Very far from the truth, the particular shed supplier warned the shed erector constantly regarding construction techniques – all advice was ignored. Subsequent investigations resulted in the shed manufacturer being involved – but of all the parties involved – the shed manufacturer supplied and erected the shed for no charge. This is the type of example of pride in this industry we need. The investigating bodies had no idea of what had occurred – only guesses.

Many thanks to the contributions of the rollformer and the shed manufacturer for this valuable insight into only two areas of the industry. Hopefully more to come from these two gurus of the industry!

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ShedSafe – An Industry Body or A Brand – Part 2?

Posted on : September 28, 2011

Shedsafe errors in the requirements of its members?

This Part 2 (of many to come) is basically regarding the accreditation requirements placed on its manufacturers of sheds that are Shedsafe Accredited. The first requirement that is outlined below is in regard to the thickness of the steel roofing utilised in shed construction. Prior to delving into this area – a brief explanation of the product flow is required of the steel used in the shed roof cladding .

The steel manufacturers process iron ore in a furnace to produce steel – very basic and this is then transformed into the many steel products available on the market. The roof sheet steel is in a coil approximately 940mm wide with a BMT (Base Metal Thickness) of 0.42mm which can have a Coloured paint coating or Zinc Aluminium Alloy. This coil is sold to the metal rollformers to run through a rollforming machine to get the required profile of roofing. These companies also rollform the purlins, battens, tophat, gutters, ridge cap, fascia, barge mould, gable roll and fold most of the required metal flashings. These are all rolled from an order from the shed manufacturer according to the shed being supplied. In some cases the shed reseller may be part of a large group and simply order direct from the parent rollformer.

So the rolled coloured corrugated roofing arrives on site (and all other parts) as a direct result from the customer shed order that has been designed, approved, manufactured, delivered and ready for erection. Your shed is also issued with a 15 year roofing, cladding and purlin warranty from the steel manufacturer also sometimes the parent company of the shed reseller.

Lets start with the quote to the customer from the shed reseller. You’ve given all the details of your requirements of a shed and accepted the quote. Here is a small sample of one such Shedsafe Accredited reseller that is also owned by a national Shedsafe Accredited Shed manufacturer.

 

Details of Roof Sheet Thickness

 

Notice the roof cladding is 0.40 TCT Trimdek Profile C/B. The Trimdek and Colorbond description is fine, the 0.40 TCT is the roof sheet properties – that is in this case a 0.40mm thick Total Coated Thickness or back to the earlier description is equivalent of 0.35mm BMT (Base Metal Thickness). So this is 0.07mm thinner than the normal roof sheeting that should be installed on a domestic sheds. Why do they supply this sheeting for roof materials on sheds? Because it’s cheaper and many people don’t know the difference! So Shedsafe accredited resellers and manufacturers have been through the extensive training and requirements of the ASI run Shedsafe group. In fact in one of their requirements of shed manufacturers to become accredited is the fact outlined above regarding product warranty for 15 years. Here is the item by Shedsafe that requires manufacturers and resellers to:

 

15 Year Roofing Warranty

 

So the Shed Industry Benchmark group of Shedsafe – is setting the target or requirement of a 15 year warranty and its strick accreditation process is followed by all of its members. So the sample above (a shed which was supplied in 0.35BMT roofing) will have a 15 year warranty? WRONG.

Now lets look at Shedsafe again, an industry body run by the ASI of which BlueScope is the major sponsor. BlueScope also manufacturers the steel coloured coil for these very same Shedsafe accredited manufacturers and resellers. So lets examine the warranty for 0.35BMT roofing use in sheds.

 

 

BlueScope Roofing & Cladding Warranty

 

The main part in this warranty is that the supplier of the steel will not give a warranty on the 0.35BMT roofing that can be found in part 1 of the terms and conditions of the BlueScope Shed & Garage Warranty.  The basic error is that the BlueScope run ASI and its ShedSafe group have not covered all the small detail and continues to stipulate that Shedsafe accreditation is the Industry Benchmark. If they cannot enforce a simple base metal thickness that the manufacturer stipulates – what else is also wrong?

If your shed is supplied with 0.35BMT (or 0.40TCT) roofing – then it is not covered by the BlueScope warranty and the shed reseller will have to provide an independent cover for this warranty. Will they provide a 15 Year warranty on a 0.35 BMT thick roof sheet?
Accreditation is a simple word that enforces the meaning of having all the checks and processes in place to eliminate error.
This is one error that Shedsafe has to correct.
Next week part 3 – more detail of the marketing group Shedsafe!
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ShedSafe

Posted on : August 31, 2011

Does ShedSafe guarantee that your shed is in fact safe?

No. If your shed complies to The Building Code of Australia then your chances are far higher.

Does ShedSafe publish or contribute to the Building Code of Australia?

No. It copies large slabs of it in the “Design Guide Portal Frame steel sheds and garages”.

Does ShedSafe own or contribute to the AS/NZS 1170.2 2011 (Structural Design Actions : Wind Actions)?

No it was prepared by Joint Technical Committee BD-006 and was approved on behalf of the Council of Standards Australia on 23 November 2010 (published on 30 March 2011).

Who owns ShedSafe?

Shedsafe is owned by the ASI (Australian Steel Institute). The ASI was started using some large grants from Bluescope and Stramit.

Has ShedSafe ever rejected an applicant?

There have been no documented or rumoured rejections. Not bad for an accreditation that has to be earned and can’t be purchased.

Is ShedSafe Independent?

No.

How is Shedsafe funded?

Shedsafe is a commercial operation, that is used to fund the wages of the operators. ShedSafe charges the shed suppliers (those that have the software and organise the materials) to have engineers review three of their shed designs. Now of course these three designs are not their typical shed, they are over engineered and would be under the meticulous watchful eye of the shed suppliers engineers. This does have the potential to pick up glaring errors, but as far as being representative of the typical shed supplied, there is no way!
To further increase the money revenue potential, ShedSafe charges around the $500.00 mark to each of the shed sellers or distributors. How does this shed seller accreditation get earned? Sit a simple test, a pop quiz on the AS/NZS 1170.2. Again ShedSafe is earned not purchased. Rubbish!

Is ShedSafe a Brand or an Accreditation Scheme?

It is clearly a Brand. Accreditation is a quality assurance system of all processes that ensure the end product is safe and sound – the Shedsafe system of accreditation does not achieve this.

What do Shed Suppliers and Sellers think of Shedsafe?

They think it is a necessity as if your competitor has it then you will loose sales as the consumer is being mislead.

What do Shed Buyers think of ShedSafe?

They think it is a regulatory body equivalent to the BCA or Australian Standards. Wrong, wrong, wrong!!!!

Is Shedsafe going to protect consumers?

In its current state there is no way consumers will be protected.

Does Shedsafe ensure a 15 year product roof warranty?

No – not even its benefactor does a warranty on 0.35BMT roofing, which is being supplied by some Shedsafe accredited members.

Are Shedsafe accredited suppliers allowed to use 0.35BMT on their roofs?

This is the key to this whole business, some do and some don’t! Shedsafe does not provide even basic consistency in shed supply.

 

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Imported Steel for Sheds?

Posted on : August 20, 2011

This picture was taken only two weeks ago.

For non shed readers, steel manufacturers create hot rolled steel, for sheds they then create cold rolled steel that is consumed by rollformers to create the portal frame for your shed.

At each of these stages there is a chance that steel is imported, the rollforming for custom designed sheds is usually done in Australia as the volume of the kit reduces the economics of importing, the lack of economies of standard colour and sizes and the delivery network make it more economical to do in australia.

Australia has high standards and locally produced Bluescope / Onesteel steel is of an excellent quality meeting all of the Australian standards.  It is very unusual for Australian manufactured steel to crack during roll forming and usually has a very high consistency gauge.  Ask any roll former and they will tell you that the quality of some imports is hopeless, and that it has a greater chance of splitting or causing issues with the machinery due to greater irregularity in steel gauge across the coil.

A growing portion of cold rolled coil is coming from overseas and you will not see made in Australia printed on any coil now days, just “made by manufacturer x”.

The question for the readers is, who was this steel imported from?

To explain the above further – the cold rolling part of the manufacture process starts off initially as cold, but as the material is rolled it is reduced in thickness and also gains heat. The steel at this point changes in mechanical property regarding strength etc, and also usually bathed in oil to prevent rusting if exposed to H2O and O2. This cold rolling gives the steel the mechanical properties required depending on the thickness required for end product use. These coils may also be heated (cold rolled annealed) to make the steel more flexible for folding processes, and the to a coating line to galvanise (coated in zinc) or Zincalume line (zinc-aluminium alloy) with painting (colour) if required. Cold rolled steel is then made available in different grades, properties and coating depending on the end usage. For example the purlin in the above photo is C20015 and is from a G450, Z350 coil. The G450 indicates the minimum yield strength in MPa, and the Z350 is the coating of Zinc – in this case was minimum 175 grams per square meter on the top an bottom of the coil. All these factors can vary depending on use – but what guarantess can be given that the imported coil used has the same strength, properties and coating requirements compared to that of BlueScope Australian made?

Are the coils below imported or Australian made?

Cold Rolled Zinc Coil

 

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Carbon Chaos in Shed Industry

Posted on : July 8, 2011

Shed Industry – Carbon Day!

All the lobby groups, MP’s, Companies and Political Parties are busy in the corridors of power until the announcement is made on Sunday. What has the shed industry been doing in regard to this Carbon Tax to date? Not a lot! It’s a matter of how much will this impact our business after the details have been released for analysis! The questions are not on how will this impact global temperature, sea level change or the ability to reduce our carbon dioxide footprint – but how much will it cost the industry, how will sales be affected and how do we reduce the tax. No different to any tax – yet it is another TAX. Below are a few key points that may be important in the shed industry.

  • The carbon price: this is being based on a price of $23 per tonne of CO2 a low start but set to increase at 4% per year plus inflation.
  • Compensation: The shed industry may miss out – but there will be billions of dollars handed out to consumers at the rate of $10.00 per person per week. But only to who? Tradies, petrol, groceries, electricity, meat, coal etc etc.
  • Business: Trade exposed industries may be covered – lets see – the steel, mining, manufacturing, contruction and retail are all looking for a way out.
  • Electricity generators: this is the big one – electricity costs are rising every year and with this conversion to renewables, is it realistic.
  • Who: Agriculture is definitely out, but to what extent?
  • Transport: This is the big if? What will it cost to transport a shed to the customer in 2, 5 or 10 years time?

If the shed industry is compensated – the question must be asked “Why are we paying a TAX on something I will be compensated for?” For how long?

The shed industry operates on steel manufacture – a 100% fully recycleable product – so we are going to be influenced from BlueScope and OneSteel in regard to price rises.

This small diagram will ask whether it is possible to generate pwoer through renewables in the future to guarantee supply of AUSTRALIAN Steel after sunday?

Energy to Result
The sunday announcement will affect all concerned in the shed industry: owners, distributors, rollformers, manufacturers, erectors, engineers, council income, buyers, truck drivers and the list is endless. Keep an eye on the forum – because all the comments will be there! http://forum.shedeye.com.au/forum.php
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