Prefab Case Study: Sarah Bush Lincoln Bonutti Clinic

TJ Wies Contracting, Inc. was awarded the commercial drywall bid-package for the new Sarah Bush Lincoln Bonutti Clinic led by McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. in Effingham, Illinois.  At that time prefab was little more than an afterthought sparked by a successful commercial drywall proposal.  The goals and corresponding benefits were quite simple - offset as much onsite labor as possible back into the TJ Wies Prefab Innovation Center in St. Peters, MO from a project that was two hours away, and provide McCarthy an accelerated dry-in schedule for their building enclosure.

With no time to waste, and before securing a change order for it, TJ Wies Prefab released the cold-formed design for the prefabrication of the backup wall panels. A backup wall panel consists of steel stud framing, glass-mat gypsum sheathing, and a fluid-applied air/moisture-barrier.

The first challenge that the TJ Wies Prefab team had to hit head-on was schedule.  Not in terms of installation, but rather that of manufacturing in order to hit the aggressive delivery date guaranteeing that installation. In most cases a prefabricated building project would start during the schematic design or design development phase of the documents and could take as much as six months to design and another six months to fabricate.  TJ Wies Prefab was faced with a four-month turnaround; four months to design, fabricate, ship, and install 102 wall panels.  As always, TJ Wies Prefab was up for the challenge.

A major benefit of the prefab process is being the project’s last set of eyes ensuring everything comes together with ease.  The Sarah Bush Lincoln Bonutti Clinic was no different.  During document review for prefabrication efforts, TJ Wies Prefab’s operations team found an oversight that would have cost the project a significant amount of money and added an unknown amount of days to the schedule. Instead, the steel fabricator was able to make the necessary adjustments just days prior to the start of fabrication, and no parties incurred any lost time or money because of it.  Prefab success.

All in all, TJ Wies Prefab was able to design, fabricate, and install a little over 23,000 sf of exterior façade in just over four months.  This coordinated effort shaved days – as much as 30-45 days – off of the construction schedule.  Those days account for real project dollars in terms of general conditions, interest on construction loans, advancing the startup time for generating revenue, diminished construction debris, reduced trade stacking, and enhanced safety, to name a few.

“Another great experience with TJ Wies Prefab at the new Sarah Bush Lincoln Effingham IL clinic. The prefab process has improved schedules, safety, and overall project efficiencies. The early coordination assisted in resolving multiple challenges during planning and construction. McCarthy is looking forward to expanding opportunities with TJ Wies Prefab.” – Jared Hites, V.P. of Operations, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.

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