Our goal is to incorporate a technology driven, standardized manufacturing system into the building process. Our intention is not to try and re-invent the building industry, but to educate and continuously improve an already existing process. Commercial and residential structures are among the last of the large hand-made products left in the world. Our goal is to remove variation, uncertainty and lack of quality control inherent in field construction by transferring the framing of the building to a controlled manufacturing environment.

Our sophisticated software enables accurate penalization of any building project. A significant benefit of penalization is the speed with which the project can be erected on site. Erection time can be accelerated by at least 50% using half as many framers in the crew. The benefits in cost and timely completion are enormous. We can provide a better built and designed product that can be erected in less time with fewer field people. We can do this at a competitive price while being respectful of the environment.

Quality is key to everything we do and all of our processes are designed to ensure that we deliver the highest quality framing solutions to our customers.

1- Input

We start by inputting design data from architectural and structural engineering documents. Our preferred method is through importing DWG files, but if they are not available, we can input manually. We input geometric data and also specification information concerning the structural sizes and gauge of steel to be used. When specific engineering data is not available, we can use the “Prescriptive Method” for small residential projects; otherwise, we have to base structural specifications on previous projects that we have worked on. In this case all structural information is interim pending verification by the designated structural engineer.

2- Building Information Modeling (BIM)

From the design data, we create a full 3D BIM model which shows every stud, track, header and other component in the building. At this stage, we divide the walls into manageable panel sizes taking into account the characteristics of the building, availability of equipment on site (crane, etc) and weight of the material being used. The BIM provides us with a comprehensive Bill of Materials (BoM). We can also use the BIM model to check interferences with Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) systems and we can optimize the positioning of trade-ready joists so that we use cheaper “C” section joists where access is not required.

3- Estimate

From the BoM, we use the Genesis software to create a project estimate based on the predicted efficiencies on manufacturing, current cost of steel, labor rates and work load. The estimate provides a complete cost breakdown for all phases of the project as well as 3D images of the assemblies that have been included in the estimate. Lineal feet of wall, surface area of wall, quantity of sheathing (where used), etc is produced, as well as an estimate of the erection time on site by a given crew. We use this estimate to provide competitive bids to General Contractors or Drywall Subcontractors for projects.

4- Final Design

Once the contract is awarded, we verify all design information, discuss and agree the panel sizes with the erection crews and agree a delivery sequence to the job site. When we are erecting the framing, we will coordinate internally and with the GC. When we are working with an external erection crew, we will host a team meeting to review all aspects of the project, and agree schedules.

5- Shop Drawings

Once the final design has been verified in 3D, we produce shop drawings for all panels which are sent to the structural engineer for review and approval.

6- Manufacturing

With approvals for the shop drawings, we order materials that are needed for the project, if not already in stock and production planning meetings are held to agree schedules and resources. We transmit production data electronically to the roll-forming machines and the manufacturing team begins the process of rolling and assembling panels. Steel framing that is to be sheathed moves to a separate line where the sheathing is cut and applied. All panels are checked for accuracy and quality before leaving the production line. Finished panels are bar-coded and tagged to indicate orientation, then stacked according to the agreed delivery sequence ready for delivery.

7- Finishing

When panels are to have windows, and external finishes applied, we hand them off to our in-factory partner “M4 Homes,” a licensed contracting company which completes the panels according to specification, then stacks them vertically inside a protective shell, ready for shipping.

8- Shipping

We normally ship panels that do not have finishes or sheathing horizontally on a flat-bed truck, with finished panels arranged vertically. We deliver panels “Just-In-Time” according to the requirements of the framing crew so that on-site storage of panels is rarely required and on-site damage is minimized. On the rare occasions when a panel is damaged, the bar code enables us to identify, remanufacture and ship very quickly.

9- Erection

We offer erection services within the Northern California area, utilizing either union or non-union crews from partner companies that have been trained by us, according to the requirements of each job. We also supply framing to general contractors and framing contractors who wish to use their own crews. We ensure that our Project Engineer is on-site at the start of the project to support the framing crews and is available throughout the erection process to ensure that any questions or issues are dealt with quickly.

10 - Final Inspection