Why Build with Wall Panels?


Why Build with Wall Panels?

NFC Executive Director Chris Tatge and SBCA staff member Jim Vogt demonstrated on the BCMC show floor just how quickly a structure comes together with wall panels.

“Wall panels provide a lot of benefits framers may not immediately think about if they haven’t worked with them before,” says Chris Tatge, executive director of the National Framers Council (NFC) and a 17-year framing veteran who conducted a wall panel framing demonstration on the BCMC show floor. The most obvious benefit is it increases the efficiency of a framing crew. “The framing labor shortage is squeezing everyone. Wall panels allow a crew to frame faster, and as long as framers bid based on panelization, everyone can win because more projects get done.”

Wall panels also reduce the complexity of a framing project by minimizing variables. “As the complexity increases with varying wall heights and openings, there are fewer and fewer framers who truly understand how to properly frame out walls,” adds Tatge. “Wall panels eliminate the need to read through multiple architectural plans on the jobsite, which means a lot to a framer when the weather conditions aren’t great.”

Working with a wall panel manufacturer also provides benefits to the general contractor (GC). “A wall panel manufacturer has an established business with assets, they understand and focus on risk management. As a consequence, they’re focused on staying up to date on the code and following those requirements,” says Tatge. “An independent stick framer doesn’t typically have that same level of awareness.”

Wall panels can also make the GC’s job easier when it comes to coordinating with a building’s ownership group. “Because wall panels are designed ahead of time, the GC can push ownership to finalize decisions earlier in the process. This allows the component manufacturer and the framer to get involved on the front end of the project, which means everything goes smoother.” 

Square 1 Design & Manufacture Inc. provided wall panels for the BCMC show floor demonstration and proved in their booth that one operator could very quickly produce over 1,250 lineal feet of wall panels. Thank You!