MetraCeilings are solid 25mm-thick engineered wood panels designed to eliminate falling from height issues in construction. While initially conceived as part of a panelised housing system, the BRANZ-appraised panels are also suitable for use on timber-framed buildings.
Builder Duncan Leadley has worked using MetraCeilings for years — at one stage as Director of Innovative Ceiling Systems (ICS), a South Island business dedicated to installing MetraCeilings on timber framed houses. He says the strength and resilience of both the ceilings and wall panels makes them perfect for high-traffic buildings. “They’re ideal for rentals, preschools and old age facilities — any house or any building that's gonna get more knocks and scrapes.”
Duncan’s work with ICS involved the installation of MetraCeilings in a wide range of projects — from individual family homes, right through to multi-residential developments and retirement villages. For each of these projects, the large 7.35 x 2.45m sheet size of the MetraCeilings helped ensure an efficient build and clean finish. “MetraCeilings speed up the build,” explains Duncan. “They also create a better finished ceiling as the sheets are big so there’s less joins and less plastering needed.”
Once installed, MetraCeilings provide a safe work platform for builders — a feature which eliminates health and safety issues. “With MetraCeilings we were able to put the ceiling on and basically create a floor for builders to work on with rooftop, framing and purlins,” says Duncan. “They could walk around on it instead of clambering around — that was a huge advantage. I’ve never to this date done a ceiling for a builder who hasn’t said it's much easier than the alternative.”
MetraCeilings have saved the ICS team time on multiple projects — including large and complex jobs. The speed of MetraCeiling install was put to the test on a large multi-unit, two-storey townhouse development in Central Christchurch, with installers able to complete the first level ceilings of the townhouse units in just one working day. On another project, a vaulted ceiling was required for a large family home. With temporary frames used to help support the ceiling, installation was completed in a single day.
While he’s no longer running ICS, Duncan still uses MetraCeilings on projects — particularly for clients looking for a higher-spec house. He’s a big supporter of MetraCeilings: “I reckon Metra does ceilings and houses better than plasterboard alternatives,” he says. “They give you a better quality finish, stronger ceiling and a rated work platform.”