Archive for the 'Pre-Fabricated Building News' Category

New York Embraces Pre-Fab Construction

Prefabricated Inwood Box Building. Image Credit: Peter Gluck & Partners.

Prefabricated Inwood Box Building. Image Credit: Peter Gluck & Partners.

The popularity of pre-fab construction is catching on in many places—and one of them is no less than what is probably one of the busiest and most populous cities in the world: New York City.

On Broadway Street, there currently is a vacant lot that is hardly recognizable and nothing more than a pile of rocks. In a matter of weeks though, it will be transformed into an apartment building—with seven stories, ten terraces, and fully furnished units, thanks to prefabricated construction methods. Called in the Inwood Project, the apartment costs $13 million and will consist of a combination of 28 apartments. And the best part, which will probably appeal most to New Yorkers, is its 28% lower rental rate than the average. The building will be called Broadway Stack, to pay its respect to its innovative form of architecture. The project will wrap up in 9 months—as opposed to the traditional 16 to 18 months of on-site construction. This also means lowered construction costs by as much as 10 to 20%.

Last year also saw the announcement of the construction of the first residential tower in Brooklyn. On top of that, New York also won the Micro Unit Apartment Building Design Contest, and fittingly chose modular design as its construction of choice.

The negative connotations New Yorkers have with prefab construction are quickly going away. It used to be equated with low-cost housing and mobile homes, but prefab is proving to be more than that. Perceptions are quickly changing, inasmuch as prefab has shown itself capable of coming up with fully functional and aesthetically pleasing designs.

That pre-fab construction is becoming popular in New York just shows how flexible pre-fab buildings are. Now that New York is following suit, it will not be a surprise if every other highly urbanized city focuses on modular construction as well.


The Tallest Skyscraper in the World Will Be Prefabricated

Sky City One. Image Source: BSB.

Another milestone for the prefab construction industry will be attempted by Broad Group, a Chinese Construction Company. The company will attempt to build the world’s tallest skyscraper in as fast as 90 days! The  skyscraper, “Sky City One” will stand 2,750 feet (838 meters) and will take 1/12 of the time that the world’s current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, took. Sky City One will be 33 feet taller than the said building. The secret behind the rapid is prefabrication. Before construction on site even begins, 95% of the building will have already been finished.

Broad is also the same company that built the New Ark Hotel—a 15-story building that only took a  week to build. The same modular and prefab construction principles were applied to the hotel building. Taking from its success with the New Ark Hotel, Broad will now attempt to construct a 220-story skyscraper that is supposedly able to withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake.

Broad further says that Sky City One is earthquake resilient and can accommodate as many as 100,000 people. It will also have leisure and retail facilities. The 220 floors will be connected by 104 elevators and will cover a total of 10,800,000 sq ft of usable floor space. As for its energy consumption, the skyscraper will consume only 1/5 of the energy of a usual building, thanks to green practices that will be applied. This includes thick quadruple glazing and thick exterior wall that will increase the interior insulation of Sky City.

And the cost of Sky City One? The estimate is around $628 million. That is a lot cheaper compared to the $1.5-billion Burj Khalifa.

The plan to launch Sky City One is a commendable effort to put prefab buildings at the forefront of the construction industry. After all, it highlights everything that’s positive about prefab buildings: economical, inexpensive, fast, and durable.

Reflective Insulation Products That Will Keep Your Metal Building Cool

Do you want to keep your metal building cool without increasing energy costs? Over the years, more and more companies have been seeking the solution to keeping the metal building cool while still keeping energy costs low. The solution that they have come up with is called reflective insulation products. Since they have been discovered, they have become very popular among many companies and are used almost everywhere. This product is keeping buildings cool while keeping costs down.

The way it works is by reducing the transfer of heat across a building’s air spaces. It is manufactured with highly reflective surfaces. 95-97 percent of the radiant heat that strikes the surface is reflected, and only 3 to 5 percent of the heat is emitted through the insulation.

The types of heat transfers are conduction, convection and radiation. Conduction is the transfer of heat between two contacting surfaces. An example would be a steel pot being warmed on an electric range. Convection is the transfer of heat by the flow of air or fluid. An example would be a room warmed by the hot air from the vent of a central heating unit. Radiation is the transfer of heat by infrared radiation across an air space. An example would be the dashboard of a closed car heated by sunlight.

The major benefits of reflective insulation are that in hot summers, heat that is radiated through the roof will keep temperatures inside the metal building much cooler. And in winter, the heat that is reflected off the insulation’s shiny surface will go back into the building so this way heat will stay in the building. In order to maximize performance of the reflective insulation, it must be properly installed with an air space that faces one foil side of the product. Aside from the popular benefits of this product, it also has many other wonderful features such as: it is easy to install, which results in low labor cost. It is light weight and can be cut to fit any metal building.

It can be installed over other insulation to increase insulation or to improve building’s appearance. The reflective surface can reduce interior lighting requirement by 35 percent which will reduce energy costs. Also, low moisture transfer will improve the overall thermal performance of the metal building. If this is the solution you have been waiting for and you like to reduce energy bills, consider this to suit your metal building and have your energy costs lowered.

Reflective insulation products can be used almost anywhere and in any type of climate, especially in the states where excessive heat can send energy costs through the roof. These materials are tested under the ASTM 1224 Standard Specifications for reflective insulation for all metal building applications. Also, included is the fire test. For more information on this product, please contact

You can also visit us at:

Roles and Responsibilities of LEED

In any project, it is the responsibility of each member such as the owner, architect, engineer, contractor and end user who each have a responsibility in their project that will eventually receive LEED certification.  It is crucial that those who are involved in a LEED project understand their roles and responsibilities.  Recently, a project was reviewed by Thomas Taylor who was asked by a general contractor to review proposed contract language for a project which LEED certification was to be issued.

The 29 year old veteran of the construction industry, Thomas Taylor is the general manager of St. Louis-based Vertegy.  Guide to LEED 2009: Estimating and Preconstruction Strategies, his recent book  provides step-by-step information about the LEED 2009 for the New Construction process.

In reviewing a contract, he found that their was a lump sum general contract in which the contractor had no responsibility for the design of the project. The language related to LEED certification had led the reader to believe that the owner may not have been fully aware of which members of the delivery team were responsible for the various activities that are required in a LEED project.  The reason why they had thought this was because of the following statement:  Contractor shall have on staff LEED Accredited Professional who has experience in constructing LEED certified projects and shall, as requested by the owner, administer the LEED certification process using its best efforts to cooperate with architect and assist the owner to achieve the desired LEED certification for the project.

When seeing proposed contractual language such as the above, especially questions such as what is the owner’s definition of cooperation? or how much effort will it take to assist the owner in achieving the desired level of LEED certification? These questions can sometimes take a variety of different meanings. At the beginning of every project, there is usually an optimistic feeling from all the members of the team that everything regarding the project will work out as planned.  As the project moves from design to construction, budgets, value-engineering exercises are required and a lot of the times schedules are disrupted and everything from the planned project gets shifted. When faced with extreme stressors, the project can change completely.  A practical approach to avoid this is to alleviate potential problems that could arise with the use of vague terms such as cooperate and assist is to specify the exact activities required by the contractor or to provide and allowance of hours that may be extended to assist the owner with LEED- related tasks. Create a list of tasks and decide which member will take over each tasks and after allowing a certain amount of hours this will allow the member to complete the task without falling behind.  When the list is followed accordingly, this will allow your project to become successful. For more information on tips about this topic, visit:

For more info on LEED related topics, visit:

Strong Demand for Prefabricated Building Systems Until 2015

Pre-fabricated steel building. Image: Norsteel.

According to a recent study by Freedonia Market Research Group, there will be an overwhelming demand for pre-fabricated steel buildings in the next four years.

In fact, the demand for nonresidential prefabricated buildings is set to increase by 7% every year until 2015, bringing to total growth to around $16 billion. While the demand for such buildings was relatively low in 2010, the recovery in the next four years will focus on the need for more prefabricated office and commercial buildings.

There are several kinds of prefabricated building systems: modular, metal, precast concrete, autoclaved aerated concrete, and fabric. Of all these kinds, metal buildings will still take the larger portion of the prefabricated building systems market, taking up about 45% of the total market share. This particular market will also experience an increase of around 6% annually. Meanwhile, other prefabricated building systems will increase by around 8% annually for the next four years.

While metal building systems will remain most in demand for commercial and office buildings, growth in other kinds of prefabricated buildings is also expected. With modular classrooms growing more popular, modular buildings will certainly be more popular. Precast concrete buildings will also experience a rise in sales, with the improvement of design and sound attenuation qualities.

In terms of nonresidential applications, prefabricated metal building structures will be most common in industrial, commercial, and office markets. In fact, the market for prefabricated metal buildings is set to grow by doubt digits annually until 2015, thanks to the improvement in designs and increased demand for them. Naturally, Norsteel will stay at the forefront of such improvements.

With the increased demand for nonresidential construction activity, economic growth, and population growth, the South and West North American will will experience the strongest regional market gains.

Dri-Design Metal Panels

Dry-design was first invented in Holland Michigan in 1995 by president Brad Zeeff.  Dri-Design has become very popular in the wall panel industry.  Zeef wanted to solve what he thought as the significant shortfalls of metal panel systems which was delamination, staining due to weather, gaskets, a lack of colour and texture options.  He came up with dri-design which is meticulous in engineering, 100% recyclable, pressure equalized rain screen, and architectural metal wall panel system that can attach to any substrate without the use of clips or extrusions. The equalized rain screen can be installed simply over commercial grade Tyvek onto plywood.

Zeeff says “Don’t let its sleek, simple design fool you, the panel system is as innovative as they come.”  Dri-design has a patented design that has passed the most stringent air, water and structural testing requirements in the industry, this includes the AAMA 508-07 test for pressure equalized rain-screens, as well as Miami Dade Country hurricane testing.  The reason why Dri-design is so successful is because of its interlocking system used to fasten the panels to the structure. This also functions as a superior method of water management. It has a unique technology, the panels perform flawlessly in the long term, without the delaminating, streaking or staining associated with silicone sealants, gaskets and laminated competitor products.

Not only are the panels an intriguing aspect of dri-design, the company also utilizes the latest automation technologies to streamline the manufacturing process. Each panel is produced in a matter of seconds.  The interlocking panels system itself simplifies the install process, making it quicker and more efficient than the more traditional ones. Clients can be assured of faster cladding lead times and buildings are occupied much sooner.

The average standard composite panel core is 4mm and is laminated to very thin aluminum skins, dri-design uses only solid plate aluminum, zinc, copper sheet metals to create durable architectural panels that are 100% recyclable. At dri-design, their strict policy is to make sure that recycling and creating products are sustainable.  With Dri-design, customers can be confident that panels are available in a variety of colours and sizes. However, it is dri-design’s distinct customization capabilities that make using their panels system all the more inviting. The panels can be tailored to many different sizes and are manufactured in a variety of gauges of aluminum, zinc, copper, stainless steel, weathering steel, Luvata and titanium. The panels can also be further customized through embossing, texturing and an exclusive process that creates three-dimensional patterns and images. Dri-design has gained major popularity and is becoming huge in the steel building business!

For more information on Dri-design, visit:

For more information on panels, accessories, steel buildings and more, feel free to visit us at


Effective Dust Suppression

Are you wondering what the most effective method is for dust suppression? Most companies today use a particular method for dust suppression on demolition and recycling projects. The most popular method that is used is to manually spray the area with a hose. But one company by the name of Schielein had been doing some research and found alternative methods for dust suppression. According to the company it was becoming an expensive approach, and one of their employees would spend an entire shift just spraying the work site which was becoming incredibly time consuming. The problem with this method was that it was very ineffective and would dislodge dust from the ground and send it airborne. The volume of the water would quickly soak the debris turning it into a muddy mess. If any of the material had to be taken to a landfill afterwards, it would be very expensive to do so because most of the debris would be water weight.

Finally, after doing some investigating the company purchased a dust suppression unit from another supplier. It would basically create snow and with a few revisions. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a disappointment. The operation and portability were among the primary problems of this machine. After comparing several machines, the company ultimately settled for a machine called DustBoss DB-60 from Dust Control Technology (DCT), it is the largest model in the company’s family of dust management. The machine was very effective. It covered a huge area with a very fine mist. Unlike, other machines they tend to spray huge droplets and create more of spray then fog.

The machine is estimated to save them as much as $2,000 per week. Price always plays a huge factor and before this company purchased this product they made sure to look at less expensive products first.  Maintenance costs and service life was also very important to them before purchasing the DustBoss.  It’s built with all heavy duty components and carries the best warranty in the industry.  They were looking for something with a permanent solution.  This product has been in service for more than six years and it still performing as if brand new.  It’s paid for itself in man power and is helping to avoid work stoppages and potential fines.  The company has also purchased second Dust Boss unit, a DB-30 that’s the right size for on site concrete reycling operations that have become a company specialty. However, the smaller unit is being used for crushing and recycling.  The product has become so successful that the company now is including DustBoss literature in the package when ever they do a quote for a job.  Customers see this as apart of their proposal.

If you’re looking for a machine that will do just this, please visit: or

For more information on our company, please visit: