If you are about to buy a shed and add it to the scenery of your backyard there is one thing that is always constant, that shed’s going to hold and protect some of your valuable belongings. In fact a lot of blokes store their most prized worldly possessions inside those sheds found outside the home. The problem with most blokes is they don’t place thinking about “the structural engineering” or “the local shielding factors” at the top of their list for the shed that they’re storing their favorite things in.
Before 2006 when Cyclone Larry whipped through North Queensland with category 4 200-400Kph winds, a large majority of the buildings that were destroyed were bloke’s sheds that couldn’t stand the winds whipping around in that area, they just weren’t designed to survive such conditions. Due to poor understanding, a bad choice in building materials, and for some, the completely wrong building specifications, some blokes lost their hobbies to the wind.
Like the Big Bad Wolf blowing down the little straw and wooden homes of the two little piggies, Cyclone Larry reminded them that they should choose the best building materials next time. The third little piggy who’s Shed did survive this time, didn’t have access to the ShedSafe Accreditation Program, but I’m pretty sure he’d have built by those standards if he had the choice. The Shed Accreditation Program is in part, a response to Cyclone Larry and the results of a study conducted by the James Cook University Cyclone Testing Station in Townsville. The study showed that buildings that were not built to the current design standards were mostly reduced to rubble. Surprising isn’t it? It may not seem obvious to most blokes because “It’s just a shed”, but the fact of the matter is… you have a lot of important stuff stowed away in there.
Today, Making sure that your shed is built to standards is simple, the shed you buy or wish to have built at your home should be accredited and comply with the Building Code of Australia. Currently there are nine accredited manufacturers, Allgal, Capital Steel Buildings, Endurance Structures, Ezyframe, Fair DInkum Sheds, Ranbuild, Sidach, The Shed Company, and Ultra-Steel Sheds and Garages. There are also some companies that are in the process of being accredited. If your shed isn’t manufactured by one of them, chances are your shed hasn’t been made up to the new and current standards. These companies have been accredited by the Australian Steel Institute’s ShedSafe Accreditation program to offer various design models that meet the standards specific climates may pose.
This is where the “thinking about the structural engineering or the local shielding factors” is done for you and for your benefit. Over 110 resellers are now ShedSafe. A reseller selling your shed also needs to be accredited as ShedSafe by completing training and must recommend the proper shed for your area and must have consulted wind loading charts of the structure to be built in accordance with local data on wind strength and more. You can look up who is ShedSafe here.
Now some of you out there may think that this is all a bunch of hooey, and it’s the steel companies that are trying to sell you a new product. Actually what the ShedSafe Accreditation Program and the Australian Steel Institute aims to do is to develop safe and sustainable shed industry so that buyers can have the confidence that they are buying a safe and secure product. It also aims to encourage sheds that are 100% recyclable through their service life. Remember Shed Safe Accreditation is never purchased, but earned by companies that develop sound structures that have been engineered to be safe and sturdy. Those designs are checked and rechecked by a third party firm for their structural soundness. Buying a shed is a serious investment and should be more than just a shanty structure made up of sheeting propped up on who knows what? A lot of thought should be put into the design of a shed, but the most overbearing fact should always be safety; not only of what you wish to store but also of the people around you, a poorly made shed can easily become a flying guillotine in a windstorm endangering anybody’s well being in the area. Make sure your new Shed is purchased from a ShedSafe Accredited reseller.