An efficient new way to build for Tuatara structures

Updated: May 7






Tuatara Structures are New Zealand’s leading supplier of pre-engineered, structural steel buildings. They approached the team at Lumen over four years ago wanting an engineering design for their buildings that ensured that their steel frame buildings could be built almost entirely on the ground and then lifted (as one) into their final position. This construction approach would provide a safer construction with less work needing to be carried out at height, and a quicker timeframe for the build.


Lumen is always up for a challenge, so we jumped at the chance to create a more innovative design to a steel-framed building.


Our approach focussed on designing a portal frame that had flexibility for the knee to act as a hinge. This was achieved with a bolting arrangement that was strong enough to withstand the construction loads but could also swing and lift the frames into position.

The steel framing of building can now be constructed safely on the ground, and then quickly lifted into position. This means erecting the building skeleton is now done in a matter of hours!

The contractors now only need to work at height to install additional fixings into the portal knee. These other fixings ensure the building will be able to withstand any earthquake, wind or snow loads the building may be subjected to during its design life.


Tuatara have been using the swing lift approach successfully with all their steel frame buildings. Tuatara is a construction company that has been listed as one of the fastest-growing businesses in New Zealand for two years in a row. Their success is due to economic design and their customer focus which fits in perfectly with Lumen’s approach to all our projects and has ensured a close and successful working relationship.


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