This project for a local authority housing scheme was a fixed design which had originally been designed in traditional brick and block construction. The main contractor selected Light Gauge Steel as a suitable alternative that would reduce the overall build time and allow the client to rent out the properties earlier.

A key priority for the client was energy efficiency and the service design included Solar PV, Mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation (MHRV) and underfloor heating. The ORCA design team were able to optimise the structural design of the buildings to allow service runs and risers that made the internal fit out faster, easier and more efficient. The development was designed and built to level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes and ORCA’s steel frame was manufactured offsite at the ORCA North Shields facility.


Client: ARCH
Type: Social Housing
Location: Northumberland
Start Date 18/10/2013
GIFA 215 m2
Build Time
7 Days
  • Structural Design – 3D Revit Model
  • Structure – Ext Walls, Int Walls, Roof Cassettes, Int NLB Walls
  • Panelised LGS Roof – Loft space
  • External Wrap – Foil backed Insulation
  • Openings – Windows, Doors, Roof Light
  • Manufactured off site– minimizing time on site
  • Panels delivered in Stillages
  • Walls can be lifted by hand
  • Specialized trailer no articulated lorry needed for tight sites
“ORCA’s team delivered ahead of programme under difficult site conditions. I was impressed by the speed and accuracy of ORCA’s system and would definitely use them again“
ARCH – Northumberland

Weather Tight in 7 day

  • External/ Internal Walls – 3 Days
  • Floor Joists– 1 Day
  • Panelised Roof – 2 Days
  • External Wrap (Insulation – 1 Day)
“Excellent, better than timber. No fire or shrinkage issues. I’m an ex builder and understand these problems this system was a breath of fresh air. The speed was extremely impressive with the houses being up and weather tight in 7 days“

Grant Davey – Northumberland Council

  • Speed- 3 houses erected and weather tight in 7 days
  • Accuracy- Materials ,Doors and Windows exact fit
  • Clear spans- More space
  • Access to site -Delivered in special trailer with stillages
  • Just in time delivery- No storage on site
  • Non weather dependent- Predictable on delivery
  • Brickwork off critical path
  • Weather tight in 7 days
  • Accurate +/- 0.5mm
  • Unaffected by cold weather
  • 2.8 times lighter