Sto Awarded Coveted ISO Certifications

Sto manufacturing was once again awarded important ISO certifications confirming their commitment to the highest industry standards and building with conscience.

Sto Corp. has received renewals for ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 certifications at all of its US facilities, once again demonstrating the company’s commitment to excellence in product manufacturing, customer service and environmental safety.

The ISO certifications are granted by the International Organization for Standardization, which promotes proprietary industrial and commercial performance standards and sets the bar for organizations.  The certifications are a valuable trademark in the manufacturing sector providing a sales and marketing advantage to those who achieve ISO approval, as well as creating a benchmark and best practices for improving business processes.

The ISO 9001:2015 certification is for a proven Quality Management System that consistently provides products that meet customer requirements and deliver customer satisfaction while fulfilling legal and regulatory obligations. The ISO 14001:2015 certification recognizes an established Environmental Management System that meets the ISO standards for minimizing the environmental impacts of its company operations and practices.

“We are proud to carry both ISO certifications, as we strive to create an on-time, quality product while enhancing our company’s environmental performance,” said Teal Rooks, ISO Environmental Health & Safety Manager for Sto Corp.


Architecture Empowered by Advanced Wall Technologies

309 East Paces in Atlanta employed StoPanel Techonology to save time and money and to ensure aesthetics were preserved.

Creating the landmarks of the future…preserving the icons of the past, while staying on top of cutting-edge design and technology. These are the challenges architects face today. For more than 100 years, Sto has been working with design professionals to provide innovative materials and processes to enhance the built environment. StoPanel Technology manifests this spirit of innovation. The company’s prefabricated, insulated exterior wall systems produced in a manufacturing environment can simplify the construction and renovation process without forsaking design aesthetics.

StoPanel Technology can cut weeks (even months) out of a typical construction schedule. StoPanel cuts costs and  eliminates the need for multiple trades to be on-site since the wall sections arrive complete and can usually be installed by a relative handful of workers.The solution is also ideal for densely populated sites where there is little room for scaffolding.

One example of how StoPanel Technology saved time and money, is the restoration of an Atlanta, Georgia landmark: 309 East Paces, built in 1963 and located in the now trendy Buckhead area of the city. The owners of the 12-story building, Knox/Redan, wanted to preserve the building’s aesthetics — selecting a brick design with large industrial-style windows for the restoration. They had limited time and a tight budget.

The general contractor, Balfour Beatty Construction, used StoPanel Classic NExt ci as the cladding, incorporating StoCreativ®️ Brick and StoCreativ Granite to achieve the look of natural materials without the added cost, weight and labor.

Using StoPanel Technology saved the owners $500,000, enhanced the energy efficiency of the building and proved to be a faster and safer method of construction on the nearby busy Atlanta streets. The panels were installed in 22 working days, cutting valuable time off the schedule, eliminating weather delays, minimizing work done at high levels and reducing neighborhood disruption.

This vintage beauty with a new face provides just one example of how StoPanel Technology is revolutionizing the construction and renovation industry today.


Sto Panel Used for Student Housing at Rowan University

StoPanel

This large-scale student housing project at Rowan University in N.J. relied on StoPanel to meet an aggressive construction schedule.

Rowan University in New Jersey needed housing to accommodate its rapidly expanding student body and partnered with the nearby town of Glassboro (just outside Philadelphia) to construct a six-story residential building.

The proposed structure, called The Penthouse, was a large L-shaped building with 500,000 square feet of floor space and approximately 200,000 SF of exterior wall. While designed mainly for student housing, there was also mixed-use space on the first floor. The project had to go up swiftly in order to house incoming students that same year, so the construction schedule was exceptionally aggressive.

The owner, developer and general contractor, Nexus Properties concluded that the only way they would come close to meeting the desired timeline for completion was by using prefab panels for the walls. Even with that, it was going to be tight.

Having worked with Jersey Panel for over 20 years, they enlisted their help. StoPanel was then brought onto the team. The offsite construction plans called for StoPanel Classic, a lightweight prefabricated panel that is both energy efficient and durable, with continuous insulation and the StoGuard air and moisture barrier forming the core of the system.  Sto’s versatile choice of finishes would then allow for almost any design aesthetic that was envisioned.

Nexus ultimately specified StoPanel Brick ci, a lightweight, energy-efficient prefabricated exterior wall panel, incorporating EPS insulation and StoGuard. It weighed a fraction of conventional thick brick and gave the Rowan buildings an updated traditional look. The final touch was Stolit® Lotusan,®  a ready-mixed, hydrophobic exterior textured finish designed to resist dirt pick-up and keep the walls clean and attractive. To achieve a very detailed exterior look, three contrasting finish materials were used – brick, cast stone and texture

Essentially the entire outside wall structure was completed in-house, then brought to the jobsite by truck, lifted into place with a crane, then bolted to the structural framing.  “The beauty of prefab is that the exterior goes up quickly,” said Art Baruffi Jr, VP Project Management for Jersey Panel, “And the interior can get started at almost the same time.” The average installation, he reports, was 10 panels a day, with each building requiring an average of about 65 panels.  “We didn’t need carpenters, plasterers and other related trades in the field since the walls were ready to go up when they arrived, and we worked with a crew of just five or six people to install them.”

The owners were so pleased with the new building, including the quality panels and the waterproofing details, they engaged the same StoPanel Technology team and their affiliate, Jersey Panel Corp. for the next six buildings they constructed. Between 2014 and 2018, seven buildings comprising more than 450,000 square feet and 1,500 wall panels were constructed in three phases.

Everyone involved in the process understood that panelization as a construction methodology offered distinct advantages: The buildings could be enclosed before it got cold, and the interior could then be finished. Working on the final six buildings almost simultaneously, they were able to make the panels ahead of time and the installation got faster and easier with each structure. In this case, speed meant cost savings and added value.

Sto panels were the right choice for these projects and served the needs of the university and ultimately the city, by creating aesthetically-pleasing buildings with high energy efficiency and superior performance characteristics. The new buildings are a showcase on the campus that Rowan can now use to help attract more students.


The Changing Face of Construction

In this three-part blog series, we are going to explore how the evolution of design and construction processes have dramatically changed in the past decade, especially as they relate to prefabrication and modular construction.

We’re not talking about the prefabricated kit homes of the 20th century, but rather offsite construction that accounts for a wide range of projects today, from whole-building modular solutions, to prefabricated walls and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems that can help contractors accelerate production schedules while employing less labor on site. In today’s labor-constrained construction environment, the prefabrication solution is being increasingly adopted where reduced costs, resource efficiency and meeting tight schedules are priorities.

Several industry reports have shed light on these big-picture industry trends, including a study by FMI, a leading investment banking and consulting firm focused on the engineering and construction infrastructure and the built environment, and the BIM (Building Information Modeling) Forum. They surveyed 156 industry leaders most of whom work in the commercial sector and whose businesses, collectively, represent approximately $38 billion in annual revenue.

Some of the findings:

  • In 2010, only 26% of the survey respondents were using prefabricated assemblies on more than 20% of their projects. By late 2016, this number more than doubled: 55% of respondents were using prefab assemblies on more than 20% of their projects.
  • Project inefficiencies and improved technologies are driving prefabrication as a way to mitigate labor shortages and improve construction schedules.
  • Contractors who use prefab on more than 50% of their projects are more productive and efficient compared to those who do less prefab.
  • While many contractors struggle to make prefab pencil out, others plan to increase their investments in prefab over the next five years.

Just how much can prefabrication impact a project’s bottom line, and can it really be a competitive differentiator? Join us next week as we delve deeper into this topic and take a look at the relatively small, fast-growing cottage industry of prefabrication innovators who are driving change and shaping the future of the industry.


The New World of Virtual Reality in Construction

Virtual building design is making a dramatic impact on the construction industry.

Okay.  You are an architect in Hong Kong, and you’re working with a construction company in San Francisco. You can both “look around” a computerized 3D model of your building (this is not new technology) but now you can also actually feel what it’s like to be right inside the structure by wearing virtual reality (VR) headsets, getting a 360-degree view. And, by wearing the same headsets, you can do this together and make real time changes even if you’re on opposite sides of the world.

Welcome to the world of virtual building design – a big leap for the construction industry, which has traditionally been more interested in bricks than clicks.

Building information modeling (BIM) – or developing a 3D digital prototype of a project – has been trending.  Using 3D gaming technology and cloud-based software, industry leaders are now bringing together building design environments and workflows into a single, navigable view. Users navigate these virtual designs almost like a video game.

The opportunity for reducing errors, keeping tabs on and tracking large complex projects while also saving money (30% of a project’s total budget is usually spent correcting errors not visible in the design stage) are the obvious benefits of this VR computer-aided design. It’s definitely disruptive technology, and it’s spawning new, streamlined building design practices that will change the nature of construction forever.


Integrated Design-Build Project Delivery Gains Momentum

Many states and municipalities are adopting new rules for commissioning construction projects.

The construction industry is re-evaluating the traditional design-bid-build method of project delivery and exploring alternatives. Rather than architects designing a project and then, after the fact, involving a contractor to bid and build, the new trend is for “integrated project delivery” with designers and builders working together from the start of a project with a single contract for both design and construction services. In fact, half of all U.S. states now favor an integrated design-build approach, which reduces the likelihood of schedule-stops and delays, budget over-runs, change orders and other conflicts.

Studies have found that a design-build delivery system can cost 6% less and result in 34% faster project completion compared to the traditional design-bid-build format. New York requires design-build on some state contracts, claiming that infrastructure projects in particular lend themselves to this integrated approach and could save New York City alone $2 billion over the next decade.

There continues to be ongoing dialogue over this practice and trend.

Construction Dive: http://www.constructiondive.com/news/do-contract-types-determine-a-projects-fate/408171/

Building Design + Construction: http://www.bdcnetwork.com/half-us-states-now-allow-design-build-public-projects ;

Engineering News Record: http://www.enr.com/articles/38694-disputed-design-build-study-raises-questions-about-costs?v=preview;

The Design-Build Institute of America: http://www.dbia.org/Pages/default.aspx