Comments Off on How Well Do You Know Your Millworker
Did roofers show up to install the casework for your large commercial project? If you have worked in large commercial construction, you have either suffered the consequences of bad installation or heard the stories of it happening. Did the PLAM on the wall cabinets not match the PLAM on the base cabinets? Often times this happens when materials are ordered with a large time span between procurement. Did your millworker not inform you that they were delayed because of a material shortage until the day of installation?
These are just some of the ways your large commercial construction project can come off the tracks. We are all acutely aware that we are at the tail end of a pandemic that has rocked commercial construction. We are dealing with supply shortages, employee shortages, and unheard-of escalations. Coupled with owners that may not understand how this affects schedule or cost and you have a recipe for disaster. How are your millworkers dealing with this? What happens to your project when your millworker is ill-equipped to maneuver in these difficult times of commercial construction? Will your project be delayed? Will occupancy dates get pushed?
At ASST, we know that materials are in short supply. We know that there is a serious shortage in labor. We know that times are tough all around. What are we doing about it? We have always been willing to provide VE options when bidding a project. We can also offer material options when we know that a material may be difficult to procure. We are ordering further out than we ever had before and we are storing materials that we know are being delayed. We are using multiple shipping companies to ensure that if one cannot provide a mobilization for our project, we have a backup that can. These are just some of the ways we are handling the current issues in commercial construction. At ASST, one of our core values has always been innovation. We continuously generate new ideas and methods to ensure success.
Would you and your team like to do a virtual shop tour of one of our facilities? It only takes about 25 minutes and we demonstrate how we successfully plan and complete large millwork projects on time and in budget. Email us at email@example.com to setup a virtual shop tour.
Comments Off on If You Specify Division 6 and 12 Solid Surfaces READ THIS
Solid surface is one of the most versatile millwork finishes. There are some guidelines when specifying solid surfaces to keep your design intent. Below are a few of those guidelines.
Solid colors and colors with small particulates will either show no seam at all (solid colors) or be difficult to see (small particulates). Solid surfaces colors that will show a seam are any color that has movement (swirls, large particulates, etc.). Keep in mind that most solid surfaces come in 30” X 144”. If your project has a surface area larger than this, there will be a seam. The last thing you want is your best work to have, what might be considered, a flaw that is painfully obvious. If you have any reservations about how a seam will look, contact your fabricator and ask them to send you large seamed samples. Any good fabricator will do this at no cost to your firm.
Color and Finish Level
Solid surfaces come in hundreds of colors from different manufacturers. While solid surface is a versatile surface with few limitations, there are some guidelines when specifying light and dark colors. When you are choosing color selection for a working surface (transaction ledges, tops, etc.) stay away from dark colors. Dark colors will show every little scratch and although they are easy to repair, it will have to be done often to keep the aesthetic you have designed. Light colors don’t show scratches easily and most often will only require basic cleaning. Dark solid surfaces are great for vertical applications such as die walls or wall cladding. When specifying a dark color, make sure that you specify the finish level. A matte finish on a black solid surface will actually look grey. With very dark colors you will want at least a semi-gloss finish. Keep in mind that the higher the finish the higher the cost as there is more labor involved.
Thermoforming solid surfaces gives you the ability to remove the chains and take your design to a whole new level. Solid surfaces are no longer just the flat countertop in a well-appointed kitchen. Thermoformed solid surfaces can be used for anything from an eye-catching nurse’s station to the radius corners in an operating room and beyond. When specifying a thermoformed solid surface project, make sure that you specify the fabricator of choice. Don’t let your best work be doled out to the cheapest millworker.
At ASST, we have been fabricating healthcare solid surfaces for 23 years. We have a solid surface fabrication facility in McSherrystown, PA and a quartz fabrication facility in Corry, PA. Whatever your needs, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us online or call us at 717-630-1251. WWW.ASST.COM
Comments Off on Commercial Construction Supply Chain Issues ~ How To Handle the Dynamic Environment of Commercial Construction Materials
If you work in commercial construction, you know that getting building material right now can be difficult. It does not matter if you are talking about MDF, steel, or even portable toilets for workers. What is causing this? There are many reasons such as COVID-19, worker shortages, extreme weather and even shipping container shortages. While we don’t have individual control over extreme weather or worker shortages, there are actions that companies can take to ensure project continuity.
Know your schedule and get in front of ordering materials early. This should go without saying and if you do not do this, you will certainly risk not being able to get materials on time. If you have the space, order your material early and store it. In the time of JIT (just in time) manufacturing/production this seems counter-intuitive. However, this could be the difference between a delayed project and being the hero during tough times.
Make sure you have multiple distributors for the same material. Don’t wait until the distributor you normally use is out. Having multiple accounts setup with sales representatives ahead of time will help speed up ordering material. When getting material pricing, ask your sales representative to guarantee pricing past the time you will need it. Make sure you get confirmation in writing. A verbal “don’t worry about it” won’t do. Pay your vendors on time per the net terms of your agreement. Your company is not the only company that ranks customers by how fast they pay as one of the metrics. That may make the difference between you getting the material ahead of the customer that decides to pay on their terms. While none of this is a guarantee for project success, it may be the difference between project delays and successfully completing on time and in budget. Not being prepared is a guarantee for failure.
Comments Off on The Cost of Choosing the Wrong Subcontractor ~ Success Depends on Trusted Trade Partners
Did you know that it costs between $400 and $700 per square foot to build a hospital depending on the geographic location (Becker’s Hospital Review)? For example, in Los Vegas the cost to build a hospital is between $285 and $455 per square foot. While in New York City the cost is between $475 and $700 per square foot. When a health network spends this kind of money they want to make sure that it will be done on time and in budget. An operating room costs the health system around $2,200 per hour for direct and indirect cost (American Journal of Managed Care). Hospitals charge between $3200 per hour and $10,000 per hour per operating room (Journal of Clinical Anesthesia, Stanford). The sooner the health system can take occupancy the sooner they can start recouping that investment.
One of the most important decisions that General Contractors and Owners can make is the selection of subcontractors. What happens when the subcontractor does not have the capacity to complete the project in the schedule required? Usually the General Contractor will have to hustle to find another subcontractor to supplement the work that cannot be completed by the awarded sub. This is painful and a deduct change order ensues or worse the performance bond is engaged and a replacement subcontractor has to be contracted. After this the GC usually will have to explain why schedule is not going to be met to the owner.
Some of the questions that have to be answered for any successful General Contractor and owner are as follows: Does this subcontractor have experience with this type of work? Does this subcontractor have the capacity to handle this type of work? Does this subcontractor operate safely? Does this subcontractor provide the quality of work to meet and exceed the expectations of the owner? Is this subcontractor financially sound? If the answers to ALL of these questions are not a resounding YES then your project is at risk.
At ASST, we have been successfully providing millwork, casework and solid surfaces on large health care projects for 23 years. We have the capacity for large projects, the processes to keep schedule, we do it safely, we are financially sound and we have the Project Managers that know how to be successful. We look forward to Going Beyond for your exciting project! Contact us today at 717-630-1251/ firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.asst.com.
Comments Off on Project Templating ~ The Devil is in the Details
What is templating? Templating is defining of a shape in relation to the site conditions compared to the building plans. Why do we template? Templating a project is important to reduce field (re)work and provide a product that can be installed with minimum modifications. How do we template? There are different ways to template commercial construction scope. One way is to use an angle finder and a tape measure. Some companies might even create a template with cardboard from the measurements done by a person. While this tried and true method has been used for generations, there is room for human error. Another method is digital templating. There are many different digital templating tools on the market. Digital templating helps to mitigate human error but requires the tools to be calibrated. Uncalibrated tools can be just as disastrous as writing down a measurement incorrectly. When do we template? Templating is done when all other trades before us have completed their work. If templating is done before other trades are completed, site conditions can change and templates could be rendered useless.
(Using a digital templating tool helps reduce the amount of human error)
What could go wrong? When templating is not done correctly, oftentimes it is not noticed until installation. Some materials can be easily repaired in the field such as solid surface. Other materials, such as quartz or granite, simply cannot be repaired in the field. In the case of a large project, by the time installation is happening the fabricator may have already produced a large portion of the scope of work. In this case, the product may have to be re fabricated. This could cause project delays and even occupancy delays.
What could go right? When templating is done properly, field modifications are eliminated or reduced. This means that countertops can be dropped in placed reducing time and ensuring project success.
(Digital templating can ensure project success)
At ASST, we use two different digital templating tools. We make sure that our tools are calibrated, we take digital pictures and we verify with manual measurements. We understand that the devil is in the details.
ASST is uniquely positioned to fulfill all aspects of your project. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications you require and the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us today at email@example.com or visit our website at www.asst.com
Comments Off on Your Exceptional Work Deserves the Best
Who is taking your exceptional design and bringing it to life? Every Architect and Designer wants their project to be fabricated and installed with the same high standards that went into taking an idea and turning it into an extraordinary project. You have taken an idea, created a narrative, researched all the materials/processes and have produced your best work. Now your project is being turned over to the General Contractor.
It is the responsibility of the General Contractor to complete projects on time, in budget and safely. Part of keeping a project in budget is making sure that sub-contracting costs are kept at a minimum. This means that often times your exceptionally designed project is handed off to the cheapest bidder. Do you want your best work doled out to the cheapest sub-contractor?
At ASST, we offer design assistance to exceptional firms for solid surfaces at no cost. We offer technical assistance with solid surfaces and project samples. We are the industry leader thermoforming solid surfaces and have the capacity for large projects. Whatever your needs, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us online or call us at 717-630-1251. WWW.ASST.COM
Comments Off on Commercial Millwork, Casework and Solid Surfaces are Fomites
Fomites /ˈfōməˌtēz/ are defined as “objects or materials which are likely to carry infection, such as clothes, utensils and furniture.” Casework, millwork and countertops fall into this category. Fomites that are porous provide an easy place for viruses and bacteria to hide. A great example is a laminate countertop with a PVC edge band that has been chipped. The picture below was taken at a hospital Emergency Room behind a Nurse’s Station.
When viruses/bacteria sink into the holes of porous material they become extremely difficult to clean and disinfect. The cavities in porous material become a place for moisture to collect and bacteria need moisture to grow. The picture below shows how viruses and bacteria can fall into the crevices of porous material.
Solid surface millwork, casework and counters are easy to clean, resistant to chemical corrosion, resistant to impact damage and easy to repair. This makes solid surfaces the solid choice for healthcare, education and corporate spaces.
At ASST, we have been fabricating healthcare solid surfaces for 23 years. We have a solid surface fabrication facility in McSherrystown, PA and a quartz fabrication facility in Corry, PA. Whatever your needs, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us online or call us at 717-630-1251.
Comments Off on Recent Completed Division 6 & 12 Projects
COVID-19 made 2020 an extremely difficult year for everyone and especially commercial construction. Because of the perseverance of our teams, ASST was able to make 2020 a successful year. Because of sites being closed down, material shortages, travel restrictions and more our backlog has been a moving target. Our project teams have been able to jockey our projects around like trailers at an Amazon distribution center. Thank you to our trade partners, distributors and our vendors for being a part of this success during a difficult time. This short video displays a few of our recent and unique projects.
At ASST, one of our Core Values is PERSEVERANCE: Willing to keep working until we succeed. ASST is uniquely positioned to fulfill all aspects of your casework, millwork, solid surface and quartz projects. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. We look forward to Going Beyond for your exciting project!
Comments Off on Providing Hope and Happiness for Children with Millwork and Solid Surfaces
At ASST we are overjoyed to have participated in a project that is sure to bring smiles to children and their families during a time of illness. Our team worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition, on time and in budget. If you take the time to view this video you will see how our processes work and meet some of the team members that were willing to Go Beyond to provide a healing space for children.
At ASST, we have been providing Division 6 and Division 12 millwork, casework, solid surfaces and quartz for large healthcare projects for 22 years. We understand that to become a beacon of hope for an entire community, the healing space must be innovative and constructed with the highest standards. We have the experience to provide project scope on time, in budget and we do it safely. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards, you expect. We look forward to Going Beyond for your exciting project! Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.asst.com.
Comments Off on Delivering a Happy Baby with Bacterial Resistant Solid Surfaces
Solid Surface Cradle Baby Bathing Bowl®
Newborns are in a “primary curve” C-shaped fetal position upon birth and for the first few months of life, they do not yet have the muscles to support their head. Research has shown that keeping an infant’s spine straight is not a sound physiological position and in addition to stressing the baby’s spine, it can also negatively influence the development of the baby’s hip joints (Dr. Evelin Kirkilionis, University of Freiburg).
Straightening the baby’s spine immediately after birth is not healthy. Giving birth is stressful for the mother and healthcare providers have made advancements in reducing this stress for mothers. If you do a web search for reducing the stress of child birth you will find most results are geared toward reducing the stress for mothers.
At ASST, we know that reducing the stress of birth for the child is important to every parent and the desire for every parent is to have a happy, healthy baby. We worked with the labor and delivery team at St. Joseph Medical Center in Baltimore to develop our Cradle Baby Bathing Bowl®. Our Cradle Baby Bathing Bowl® is ergonomically designed to support the newborn and reduce the risk of Healthcare Acquired Infection. From Africa to Australia, our Cradle Baby Bathing Bowl® is part of new life around the world.