Rosboro X-Beam

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Case Study: Murano Multifamily Subdivision

Landing the Big Fish

X-Beam Full Framing-Width

The prolonged recession has made a competitive construction market even more competitive. With fewer projects in the pipeline, more players are bidding for the same jobs, especially the big projects that don’t come around as often as they used to. The intense pressure is being experienced up and down the supply chain, including distributors, framers, and structural engineers, who often work together to win bids.

Murano is one of those big projects. Developed by the Irvine Company as part of the Cypress Village master-planned community in Orange County, California, the Murano subdivision will be comprised of 628 apartment units in a series of 3-story buildings.

The Distributor’s Perspective: The X-Beam Difference

X-Beam Full Framing-Width

Huff Lumber, a wholesale distributor of building materials and long-time distributor of Rosboro Glulam, was called on to help one of its customers win the Murano framing contract.

"To give our customer an advantage in the Murano contract, we actively tried to include new cost-effective products in the proposal," said John Ivey of Huff Lumber. "I saw an opportunity to substitute Rosboro X-Beam for about 11,499 linear feet of specified product. The X-Beam in this application was on average about 24% less expensive, which saved approximately $10,846 on the proposal budget on phase 1."

These crucial cost-savings, combined with X-Beam’s structural properties, were enough to tip the scales and win the bid. "The Rosboro X-Beam gave our customer the advantage to get the order while preserving the structural intent of the project engineer," Ivey said.

The Engineer’s Point of View: Focus on Value Engineering

X-Beam Full Framing-Width

The field of competition is even more intense for large-scale projects, where many players are vying for a shrinking number of jobs. Naturally, structural engineers in this industry subset are feeling the heat and seeking value-engineered solutions.

"The pressure is on engineers to find cost-effective alternatives, much more so than when the building market wasn’t under such scrutiny in terms of protecting the bottom line," said Mark Scambray of the Structural Resource Group, a consultant for structural engineers. "They’re looking for competitive edges, smart choices that will serve structural requirements while also reducing costs."

Value engineering involves a constant search for maximum efficiency; naturally that spotlight has turned on the greater width of X-Beam. This increased wood volume directly translates to more load carrying capacity (up to 12% for 3-1/2" and 7% for 5-1/2") and greater surface area for continuous and interior bearing. These advantageous margins become major assets to structural engineers.

One of Scambray’s clients, Bill Nelson of Nelson Consulting, has consequently started specifying X-Beam for his projects. "For Nelson Consulting, the economies and full-framing dimensions of the X-Beam make it the beam of choice when designing wood buildings," said Nelson.

Multiple Applications and Job-Site Efficiencies

X-Beam Full Framing-Width

Along with matching standard framing widths of 3-1/2" and 5-1/2", X-Beam is now available in conventional and I-Joist compatible depths. Rosboro has also introduced 9-1/4" and 11-1/4" X-Beams, which match the cost-cutting 2 x 10 and 2 x 12 joists that are increasingly being used for multi-family and single-family construction.

These multiple applications from one brand of glulam beam proved useful to the framers at Murano. "For the flooring systems and the garage headers, this was a beam that did exactly what it was supposed to do," said Jeff McLure, the foreman of the Murano framing crew. "Our team had no complaints whatsoever working with X-Beam."

The upfront savings on hard costs, based on price per linear foot, are easy to figure. What are not so simple to compute are the many hours that are saved on the job site because the full framing-width X-Beam eliminates shimming on the job site. "The cost-cutting I mentioned does not take into account the potential savings from using beams that are flush with the framing system, which does minimize extra labor like shimming," Ivey said. "The up-front savings will get the job, but the value-added savings will be noticed, so that the next time the product will be requested and specified."

From blueprint to jobsite, Murano is a fitting example of how value engineering is dictating the construction process. This project is also a great illustration of how X-Beam fits the new building paradigm. "Developers will continue to pressure architects and structural engineers to produce designs that are energy efficient and structural systems that are cost effective," Ivey said. "The use of Rosboro X-Beam in their projects will help achieve those goals."

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X-Beam Full Framing-Width X-Beam Bolting Rosboro Custom Glulam
X-Beam Header with Straps X-Beam Short Headers X-Beam Floor System
X-Beam Long Span Application X-Beam Custom Glulam X-Beam Header