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The National Brand Delivering Cold Formed Steel Solutions to New Zealand

MODNframe is the first nationwide business which designs and manufactures steel frames for residential and light commercial builds in New Zealand. As part of the Donovan Group family, MODNframe is backed by innovative engineering, international recognition, and cost-efficient construction practice. 

New Zealand has historically been a world leader in framing and building technology. Multiple brands export innovative framing products – yet, domestically, New Zealand still mostly relies on old-school timber framing for residential and light commercial properties. 

MODNframe is offering a more efficient, quicker, and long-lasting framing solution for builders, architects and developers. Finally cold formed steel framing (also known as light gauge steel framing) is available across New Zealand from a nationwide supplier. 

Here’s what you need to know about residential and light commercial steel framing – and the business that’s bringing MODNframe solutions to market. 


Why steel framing? 

In a nutshell, light gauge steel framing is more efficient, faster to produce, and easier to install. 

For homeowners or property developers, steel framing offers better protection for structures. Steel doesn’t absorb moisture, which means many of the usual problems associated with timber – warping, bending, mould, and bug-infestation – are non-issues. Steel also has a longer lifespan and is fire-resistant, helping keep structures intact and safe for longer. 

Builders around the country are transitioning to steel framing solutions because they’re faster and easier to work with onsite, and they help reduce costly waste. Steel is 70 percent lighter than timber, which means it requires less effort and complexity to install. 

“There is so much potential here for steel framing. As a builder, and having talked to so many other builders, once you try it, you don’t go back.” - Bruce Wolfe, MODNframe Upper North Island manufacturer.

One of the biggest problems with timber is supply delays, and waiting on material quotes. MODNframe uses advanced design software – making the average turnaround for steel frame quoting just three days. 

Cold formed steel for framing and trusses can be manufactured in two weeks following consents. No drying time required, and no chemical treatments. Builders who choose steel framing instead of timber can cut down on months of wait time. 


Why now? 

Until now, steel framing for residential and light commercial projects has only been available from individual fabricators at a local level. MODNframe now offers a single nationwide business that can support large scale projects for building companies and architects across New Zealand.  

In cooperation with the wider Donovan Group network, the MODNframe team saw an opportunity to help builders in New Zealand feasibly transition into a more efficient process for framing. 

A national brand, MODNframe offers a highly-streamlined system of communication and processing. Customers can rely on one point of contact, while also enjoying the efficiency and speed that comes with a nationwide network of manufacturers. 

“As a single organisation, we can build a direct relationship with our customers. This helps the entire process – from design to quoting to manufacturing and shipping – operate smoothly for the builders and architects involved,” says Warwick Stichbury, MODNframe Commercial Manager.  


How it works 

Many builders and architects who work with MODNframe have never used steel framing before.  

 The general process for using steel framing is: 

  1. Send your architectural drawings to MODNframe, which we incorporate into our detailing software.  
  2. We finalise the plans with you, and then provide engineering sign off. 
  3. We liaise closely with you to ensure timely manufacturing of your MODNframe steel framing.  
  4. The light gauge steel pre-assembled frames and truss arrive onsite ready to install, complete with a framing layout plan and pre-cut holes in place for electrics and plumbing. 


MODNframe products are designed with practicality in mind – from design to installation to longevity. Even builders who have never worked with cold formed steel find the installation process easy to learn.  

Because steel is so light, builders don’t have to rely on expensive lifting machinery to place the framing. All elements arrive cut to the right size, which means no onsite rectification and no material waste. 

Steel framing offers a better solution for residential and light commercial construction – helping save time, costs, and waste for builders and developers. 

To learn more about what cold formed steel could mean for your next building project, connect with Warwick and the MODNframe team today.