7_13_11 Erecting buildings using wall panels, like this small commercial medical center located in Little River, is the cultimation of planning and speed. The contractor and I started at the top and worked our way down. The key for this roof system was to utilize the center space by installing a wide, boxed light attic storage area just over 7′-0″ in height, critical for records and supplies. The HVAC units needed to be outside of this space, be accessible for servicing, and have the duct chase run parellel to the storage for the entire length of the building. We were able to achieve this by pulling the webbing up from the lower panels of the truss, closer to the kneewall of the storage area. If you look closely at the center area of the storage truss pictures, you will see the stacked condition of a 2×6 plated over the 2×8 bottom chord to allow for proper insulation. Although this design is simply a gable roof, every area in the webbing above has a purpose and is functional to the building’s needs. Where there are opening for doors or windows, the correctly sized engineered product is used for load transference. At the door, the photo illustrates a LVL header is used, while at the window opening, a 5 1/4″ x 5 1/4″ piece of Timberstrand is evident. It also fits perfectly in the 5 1/2″ exterior wall cavity, without having to pack out 2×10 with plywood to make a composite conventional beam. There is no waste, no cut offs or disguarded lumber lying around the site to be picked up ot tripped over (making it safer to work at) throughout the construction phase. The use of correctly sized materials has many positive benefits that are not perhaps readily discerned. One of the largest benefits is a buzzword in the construction industry, the use of green products which are environmentally friendly. In looking through the photos on this job, or for any of the component construction posts on this site, ask yourself “where are the dumpsters filled with construction debris?” If they are shown (now I am wondering how many are because I haven’t specifically looked!) I will gurantee the number of times they must be emptied has been drastically cut back. Now that we have reviewed how the use of components is more effective than conventional framing in terms of intent, design, proper use of correctly sized materials, safety concerns, and less waste thus more “green”, lets look at the biggest advantage. In one word it would be speed. Speed of construction, getting what material is needed to the job, and completing the project. The faster the job moves, the more profit it will yield. I have not been involved in a project recently, using the component construction formula, where a GC did not gain at least one week in their schedule for completion. The construction process is a race to the finish which starts when the lot is first cleared. The only “winners” are those who finish first, with the least amount of errors and call backs to settle punch lists. More than that, every general contratctor’s reputation and liability hinges on how each construction obstacle is met and overcome. The predictable results gained through the use of planning and components are clearly the means to these ends.