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April 29, 2016

Exterior Panelization Oregon

Photo courtesy of NWCB
The Cameron’s exterior is made of 20-foot-long sheathed wall panels that were built off-site.

Cameron Apartments

Location: Portland

Contractor: Billings and Cronn Co.

Architect: SERA Architects

Team: GTS Interior Supply, Knez Building Materials Co., Spears Construction Supply, ClarkDietrich/Vinyl Corp., Georgia-Pacific, Grabber Construction Products

The Cameron Apartments is an eight-story light-gauge and structural-steel building in downtown Portland. Billings and Cronn was responsible for structural framing, nonstructural framing, exterior sheathing and spray-foam insulation.

This project was unique in that all structural framing walls (both interior and exterior) were prefabricated off-site. The construction team, including the general contractor, Bremik Construction, decided that prefabricating the roughly 20-foot-long sheathed wall panels off-site would dramatically compress the construction schedule and eliminate many variables present on the jobsite.

Since the walls were designed to be the sole supports of the concrete floor above, the installation of the previous floors, walls, and concrete had to be perfect because wall heights or orientation could not be adjusted for errors.

The Cameron is one of only two buildings in Portland that use light-gauge steel members as the only load-bearing structures. The concept could change the way buildings are constructed in the future.

When adding the benefit of panelizing the project off-site, including sheathing and weather barrier, it has the potential of cutting construction time.

Judge’s comment: “Prefabricating panels off-site can bring many benefits to the right project. The preplanning, creativity and outstanding craftsmanship demonstrated by the project team showcase the many advantages of this method of constructing walls.”

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