Breaking New Ground
Silverline Group is changing the future of the construction industry worldwide by using state-of-the-art technology to plan, model and construct buildings that are cost-effective, strong, durable, energy-efficient — and highly attractive. Franchising your business can be a very successful way of expanding. Some of today’s largest businesses have used franchising to finance and accelerate their growth into global brands.
Jonathan Pepler and Charl van Zyl, the founders of a local company that started out as a small construction business in 2011, are witnessing the benefits of the franchise model and rapidly expanding their light steel frame construction franchise system.
“Soon after we launched the construction business, we were inundated with enquiries from all over South Africa, and we had to relook at the business strategy,” says van Zyl. “Today, Silverline Group has grown to become a major contributor to employment creation, economic growth and developing alternative and sustainable construction practices. It’s also the only franchised construction company in the country.”
What is Light Steel Frame Building?
Light steel frame building consists of structural wall frames and roof trusses, manufactured from cold-formed light gauge galvanised steel sections.
Exterior cladding consists of fibre cement board fixed to the wall frames. Electricity and plumbing are installed in the wall cavity created by the light steel frames, as is the insulation material. Gypsum board fixed to the light steel frame is typically used for internal wall cladding and ceilings.
“The advent of light steel frame building in South Africa is one of the most exciting developments in recent times in the steel and building industries,” says van Zyl.
“It’s a method of building that’s been used in the US, Europe and Australia for decades, but was only recently introduced to South African shores. It offers quality, cost-efficiency and speed, making it easy to erect buildings.”
Over the past 60 years, steel frame houses have become the preferred way of building in countries around the world, including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and now South Africa.
“The saving on time, costs, waste and unsightly rubble speaks for itself, but it’s the positive impact on the environment and the way clients can customise the steel frame to suit their ideal architectural style that is most attractive to customers,” he adds.
Van Zyl says Silverline Group is now the largest light frame steel construction company in Africa with 30 franchises in operation. It also has the largest footprint in the world and is both a local and global player, with construction projects in Australia, France, Mauritius and various African countries.
“The number of projects completed has helped us to achieve record growth figures, but what we’re most proud of is our excellent quality control and the fact that we have set construction industry best practice standards and benchmarks.”
Silverline Group is headquartered in Cape Town and a new regional office is being opened in Gauteng to support its franchisees and cater to the high demand for construction operations in the region.
Both the head office and regional offices provide project management, engineering, quantity surveying and marketing support to franchisees to ensure sustainable standards and better quality control.
The Technology Edge
Silverline Group developed software for the light frame steel industry, giving its franchisees and contractors a competitive advantage by helping them operate more efficiently and effectively, and maintain high quality standards and good margins. The software includes costing programmes, material calculators and project management programmes as well as online training material and operating manuals for franchisees.
The company also has in-house consulting engineering, quantity surveying, and project management divisions, all supporting both franchisees and the construction industry as a whole.
Partnering with Leading Brands
In just three years, Silverline Group has signed successful memorandums of understanding with a number of national and international brands, including:
Framecad, the world’s largest manufacturer of roll forming machines.
It provides a complete design and build system that is innovative, cost-effective, suitable for residential and commercial construction, and fast to construct in developed and developing markets worldwide. Its building design and detailing software makes the process of engineering, designing and detailing projects fast, simple and highly accurate. This ensures every building is not only cost-effective, but also durable and fit for purpose.
Lafarge, a building material supplier that specialises in cement, construction aggregates, and concrete.
“These partnerships give us access to the markets in which our suppliers operate, and to international Construction Projects,” says Van Zyl. “For Silverline Group, exports and foreign projects have become the norm. With the exchange rate as it is, this is a very profitable division of our business.”
Source: Franchise Zone