Jeffords Steel Finds New Way to Prevent the Pain of Coordination Issues in RTU Framing
The Status Quo
Mark Dutton, Project Manager with Jeffords Steel, was tired of the typical way steel fabricators were forced to handle structural support frames for new buildings. They had to wait until the last minute for mechanical contractors to give them the necessary information about where the openings would be. But this information was always last minute and puts them, as the fabricator, under the gun.
On this particular job, Mark asked the mechanical contractor to provide the locations and specifications of the frames. The contractor had asked his team to build angle iron frames, as the erectors wanted 4×4 frames that were already built and could be dropped in. But for them to do that, they needed the skylight installer and the mechanical folks to provide the exact locations off the gridlines – and neither could.
So, they were in a situation where the erector couldn’t drop frames in before the decking went down. But if they were going to weld frames in from underneath, the bills were sure to start quickly adding up. The expenses would be excessive, and no one wanted to go that route.
A New Solution
Mark has used QuickFrames’ adjustable roof frames before and keeps them in stock for emergency situations like this, so he offered them to the General Contractor. The GC agreed to give it a shot, so Mark brought down a complete roof frame kit and showed them how easy the frames were to install. He showed how to slide it apart to fit it in the duct flute, and adjust as needed, then bolt it in. He told the team how they could pick one and get within one or two inches of the exact location in which they needed it. They were amazed.
“With QuickFrames’ ability to be adjusted last-minute, we finally have enough room to move things around when needed,” he said. “They make this whole process easier for all of us.”
At this point, Mark got creative. He asked the GC if it would be acceptable to provide a credit for the install and shop hours for fabricating angle frames. The GC agreed and then the GC told each of the associated parties (mechanical team, skylight installer and everyone else) that they were responsible to install their own frames in the right locations. They were told they could put the frames in at any time, when the deck is going on, afterward or when they put the curb in.
The erector didn’t have to do any installation, and Mark didn’t have to use any of his shop time to fabricate frames at the last minute. Most importantly of all, no one incurred the excessive expense of welding in frames from under the deck.
“I’m pushing for this process on other jobs,” said Mark. “If the location information can’t be provided, why doesn’t everyone just use QuickFrames? They can be moved, expanded, changed. It’s like magic.”
The same situation just came up on another project that Jeffords Steel is erecting, and the design team had not shown frames for all the roof drains and the roof access hatch door. This time, they simply provided the GC with QuickFrames’ information and they ordered directly. They were then able to take care of the missing items and install them on their own. This process allowed the GC to provide missing items and meet specifications with fewer costs for the design team and owners to absorb.