Panelized Building System Speeds School Construction

During the summer of 2015, Landmark Construction completed 12 classrooms at two school sites as well as several other projects for the Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD).

The compressed 65 day schedule for the DJUSD is exactly what Landmark Construction excels at – bringing in a project on time and within budget through collaborative management. The company has earned a reputation for working closely with owners, architects and subcontractors to pre-plan, identify potential problems and possible solutions, and pro-actively communicate and meet challenges as they arise. Through collaboration, Landmark Construction meets tight schedules aimed at completing school projects while students are on summer break.

Using panelized wall systems helped reduce classroom construction time at Cesar Chavez Elementary School and Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior High School in Davis, CA, explained Paul Hanson, Co-founder, Landmark Construction.

“A modular, panelized wood frame system is pre-built in eight foot sections and shipped to the site,” said Hanson. “One advantage is that certain manufacturers have received Plan Check pre-approval from the State of California and this saves time in meeting requirements.” The Division of the State Architect (DSA) provides design and construction oversight for K–12 schools, community colleges and state-owned and leased facilities.

“In addition to speeding up construction time, using a panelized system results in more permanent looking structures than modular classrooms at a reduced cost compared to traditional construction,” said Hanson.

The wall panels come in eight foot sections. Special fasteners are used to connect the walls to the roof and floors. Architects work with school districts to create a design by reconfiguring standard building components to meet the schools’ needs.

After the contractor completes the earthwork and prepares the foundation for the new classrooms, the shell of the building can go up in about three weeks using panels, compared to about five weeks for a normal stick-frame building, depending on the size. The process might look like this:

  • The Panelized Wall System is dropped off at the school site.
  • Within a few days, the sides of the building are up.
  • In about two weeks, the roof is on the building.
  • In about three weeks, the shell is completed.

It takes extensive coordination among the trades to assure that all the other components of the building are installed in a coordinated fashion in order to meet the deadline. This includes plumbing, HVAC, cabinetry, flooring and finished surfaces.

At these two Davis, CA schools, Landmark Construction worked with HMC Architects and Project Frog building systems.