Watching Panels Fly at MonteCedro

More than 4,500 prefabricated panels were hoisted into place by two 65-ton rough terrain cranes over the course of 5.5 months. (Photo by: Steve Helland)
Each day, an average of 44 panels were erected while other construction activities were taking place on site. (Photo by: Steve Helland)
By using a LGSF system on the four-structure, 331,350-sq.-ft. project, the team was able to prefabricate much of it, saving an estimated $4 million. (Photo by: Steve Helland)

When the last of more than 4,500 prefabricated light gauge structural frame (LGSF) panels were hoisted into place at the MonteCedro senior-living community in February, the team marveled at what is one of the most modular projects DPR has had the opportunity to work on.

“Watching panels flying into place with such speed compared to stick framing was amazing,” according to Steve Helland of DPR. “We erected an average of 44 panels each day while other construction activities were ongoing.”

The initial plan wasn’t for the prefabricated design. Originally conceived as a wood-frame structure, a change to building code requirements necessitated some quick thinking to come up with alternative building materials that were non-combustible. Traditional choices like cast-in-place concrete and red iron steel with concrete deck were excluded due to their higher cost per sq. ft. The ultimate answer not only accommodated the code change but also saved millions and months in schedule.

DPR suggested using a LGSF system for the four-structure, 331,350-sq.-ft. project. Only slightly more costly than wood, the 274,000-sq.-ft. LGSF system offered an option to prefabricate much of the project, saving an estimated $4 million.

The placement of the 3,228 wall panels, 1,304 floor panels and 2,088 roof trusses was completed within a 7.5-month prefabrication schedule and 5.5-month erection schedule. According to the team, the prefabrication approach shaved four months off the schedule with anticipated completion of the project in December.