SBS Group was engaged by Victoria-based builder One Construction Group to deliver light gauge steel (LGS) framing for the Bella Vista Apartments in Mt Buller, VIC.

The project

Located in one of the highest snowfall areas of Australia, Bella Vista Apartments is a new six-storey luxury apartment complex designed by Salter Architects and SL Architects with rooftop chalets. The short turnaround time resulting from the constrained construction periods imposed by the climate and resort management meant that the rooftop chalets required a frame design that would accelerate construction and reduce onsite fabrication to allow for completion ahead of the snow season.

SBS Group, which was awarded the contract for the LGS framing for the rooftop chalets, overcame several challenges to deliver the wall frames and trusses made from TRUECORE steel. The LGS framing was detailed, engineered and fabricated in-house at SBS Group to withstand heavy snow (up to 7.5kPa snow load) and delivered in time before the onset of the winter season. Over 25,000 metres of framing made from TRUECORE steel were used in the project.

Key challenges (NG)

The prefabricated LGS system designed by SBS Group needed to fit the following criteria:

  • Withstand anticipated heavy snow loads without jeopardising height restrictions.
  • Achieve the required Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating.
  • Enable fast erection due to tight program timeline (driven by the impending winter season).
  • Minimise cranage time.
  • The top level needed to be as light as possible to not impact lower floors; however, they also needed to be able to support heavy snow loads.

Key benefits delivered (AK)

  • Speed:
    • The prefabrication of the framing system reduced the erection process by four to six weeks (when compared to ‘traditional stick-built’ methodology).
  • Efficiency:
    • Services and finishing trades were able to rough in without any framing straightening being required since LGS framing does not bow or twist once installed.
  • Integration:
    • By using an LGS solution, One Construction Group was able to avoid using the portal-framed system with infilled framing, and still satisfy the fire engineering requirements.

Key outcomes

When discussing the project, and the use of the SBS framing system made from TRUECORE steel, One Construction Group project manager Angus Kay said, “The frames were prefabricated, which halved our erection process when compared to ‘stick building’. We saved at least half the time by prefabricating and erecting onsite – approximately four to six weeks were saved.”


  • Angus Kay, Project Manager, One Construction Group (AK) 
  • Nigel Grimshaw, Sales Manager, SBS Group (NG)