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The Roof! K-Span Steel Arch System

Kspan steel arch roof header

If you’ve had a look at the header image of this post, you can probably already tell that our roof is going to be totally different! We are so excited about it. You are probably asking yourself why we chose this type of roof.

K-Span Steel Arch System History

Recently, two companies, joined forces to bring to South Africa, the K-Span Steel Arch Roofing System. It is just as impressive as it sounds. 

This steel arch roof design is an updated and modernized design from more than seventy years ago. Although this system has been around for quite some time overseas, this roof design is new to South Africa. These arched steel structures have a long history of reliable and durable service, with very little maintenance; a bonus for our container house project. 

Although the roof system is self-supporting, it is many times stronger than the conventional I-beam and truss roof design. Additionally, it does not require interior beams, trusses, support columns, fasteners, sealants, etc, making it more affordable in our present-day economical climate. 

K-Span steel arch
A previous project using the K-Span steel arch system

K-Span Steel Arch System – How Does it Work

There is a mobile factory that will be brought to site to fabricate and install the roof. Huge rolls of steel will be passed through the machine. The mobile factory will crimp and form the steel into long arches capable of spanning the entirety of our house. Each arch will then be fixed into place on the house. The next arch will then be seamed to the previous using another machine. And so on until the desired width is achieved. 

K-Span Steel Arch Factory
K-Span steel arch mobile factory

Pre-treated and coloured steel coils are available in a variety of thicknesses to suit the needs of each individual application. Of course, both companies are able to provide unique roofing and building structures that are compliant with South African building standards and design codes. 

This type of roof design is perfect for almost any application and has been used for warehouses, aircraft hangars, barns, carports, factories, office parks, military applications, residential buildings, etc. The list is almost limitless. 

K-Span Steel Arch System – Advantages For Us

There are several advantages to us for this type of roof system.

Firstly there is the saving in costs. A roof like this is much quicker to install and requires a lot less in materials than conventional roof structures. Therefore, we will save in both labour and material. 

The unique arch will allow us to easily harvest winter rain. We will then be able to use this water throughout the year. This has been a priority for us with our previous few years of drought. With climate change, we feel that this is a big consideration. 

Minimal maintenance is always an advantage. With minimal maintenance required, this will help us keep our maintenance costs low.

As no trusses are required, we’ll have a true double volume space in the area between the shipping containers. We expect the effect to be nice and airy which will be great in the summer months. 

It’s going to look awesome! 

There is one down-side. The roofing structure as it is will make installing ceilings and insulation a little trickier, but we will deal with that later. 

K-Span steel arch
Seaming the steel arches

Come back soon to see the photos from our installation!

2 thoughts on “The Roof! K-Span Steel Arch System

  1. Wow, that looks really interesting! I’ve never seen a roof like that before. It sounds as if it has a whole lot of advantages over a conventional roof.

    1. There are a few disadvantages but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. It will definitely be interesting though and I can’t wait to see it up.

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