Comments Off on Commercial Construction Technology – Keeping Up with the Joneses
People have been constructing high-rise buildings for centuries. In the 16th century, mud brick buildings reached 30 meters in Shibam, Yemen. What technology enabled this amazing feat? Early high-rise buildings took years and even decades to complete. Today the average high-rise building (taller than 150 meters) takes approximately 3 years to complete. This is extraordinary considering what goes into constructing a building that is 45 stories tall and the commercial construction industry continues to pick up momentum. Timelines are so compressed, it seems that as soon as the thought has entered the owner’s mind, the building is occupied and the next project is beginning. One of the primary influences abbreviating the commercial construction timeline is technology.
Consider this scenario. Your IT department has devised a brilliant plan (or lack thereof) taking your business to the next level with Augmented Reality. “We will be on the leading edge of technology and this will identify us as the leader in commercial construction” they say. No one in your IT department has given any thought as to how it will help your business help your customers and in turn making your business more profitable. Everyone is walking around with VR headsets on, no one knows how to use this or why they are using it, the IT department does nothing but play video games and Michael from Accounting just fell down the stairs. So now you have invested an extensive amount of money, the IT guys are ordering Mountain Dew by the truck load and your experience modification rating (EMR or safety) is virtually off the charts. This is not a good method for embracing new technology in commercial construction. However, if you are an architectural firm that specializes in high-rise buildings, giving the owner a “virtual tour” of their new building can reduce their cost in many ways.
So now you know how you can help your customer with technology but will this make your business more profitable? Research, plan, research and plan. Questions need to be asked and answers need to be produced. Do your customers want this technology? Will this technology bring in more customers? How will you pay for this technology? How long before you will need to replace this technology? Who in the company will be using this technology? How much training is necessary? How will this enable you to bill more? Etcetera. Set goals. Everyone should understand that you are looking to deploy this technology for specific reasons (IE: assist your customer, be more profitable) and those reasons should be outlined. If you come to the realization that you cannot reach your goal with this solution, you can stop and reevaluate. Once you have answered these questions and set your goals, you can start testing. You should always test with a small group. As depicted earlier, starting off by just purchasing Augmented Reality for everyone in the company will probably not work. Get feedback. Ask the people using the technology what they think about this new technology. Getting buy-in from your end users will minimize resistance of the change using this new technology. Once your users are masters and proponents of the new technology, deploy in small doses. Get feedback from your customers and make changes as necessary.
This is not an exact play book for deploying new technology in commercial construction. The point is that just because the technology is available does not mean that it will improve your business. So, when your IT department tells you about the new fleet of drones that will be deployed at the next holiday party, give them some pause. Ask yourself, how will this help your customers and how will this make your company more profitable?
At ASST, we know that commercial construction technology is like the spice in cooking. The right amount at the right time will bring everyone to the table. ASST continuously evaluates the need for new technology and how we can better assist our customers. Let us assist you with your next commercial Casework, Millwork and Solid Surface project. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.
Healthcare professionals learned long ago that being cold will not give you a cold and today we know traditional casework is harboring bacteria. The most important part of healthcare casework is helping people heal. Why are we still using the same casework that is making people sick?
One of the cross-cutting issues of acute healthcare is the cost of preventing Healthcare Acquired Infection (HAI) and the cost of furnishings that are specified. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 31 patients will become sick due to of a HAI. While casework is one of the largest investments that a healthcare facility makes when it comes to healthcare furnishing, it is also a likely place for HAI.
Traditional casework is fabricated using wood particle substrates laminated and trimmed with plastic or PVC. There are many places traditional casework can harbor infectious diseases. The most common places on or in healthcare casework for bacteria to grow and spread are handles, peeling laminate or the seam of edge banding. Why are health systems still using casework that peels apart, ensuring that bacterial will be spread?
Solid surface is the future of healthcare casework. Changes in the design of acute healthcare casework will help prevent disease and even promote healing. Eliminating laminate, banded edges and minimizing seams removes the environment for bacterial growth and transmission. Because the lifespan of casework is substantially extended with solid surfaces, the overall cost of solid surface casework is lower than traditional laminate casework.
At ASST, we have been fabricating solid surfaces for 21 years and we know that the future of casework is solid surface. 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 now online or call us at 717-630-1251.
Comments Off on Quartz Surfaces – Keystones to Commercial Surface Success
ASST is proud to announce that we are offering commercial Quartz surfaces to our customers. We now have a facility in Corry Pennsylvania where we will be fabricating commercial Quartz exclusively at this facility. We are bringing our 21 years of solid surface experience to the Quartz industry.
Having a reliable partner for commercial surfaces is critical to the success of large projects. Coordinating the trade work between the millwork, casework and surface manufacturers adds another level of difficulty to any project.
At ASST we have the capability to relieve the stress of managing surface, millwork and casework fabrication and installation. By adding Quartz surfaces to our line of services, we have become the nation’s premier fabricator of commercial surface products. Steve Stoddard is heading up our Quartz division. Steve has an award winning resume of commercial surface experience and is the keystone of our Quartz foundation. ASST is your full package fabricator for Division 6 and Division 12 Healthcare, Education, Corporate/Public Space and Retail surfaces.
ASST is uniquely positioned to fulfill all aspects of your project. 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 now online or call us at 717-630-1251.
Comments Off on Thermoforming Solid Surface – It’s OK To Get Bent Out Of Shape
How do you design and shape solid surface projects? The technique of thermoforming is used to mold and shape different solid surface materials. This allows flat sheets of synthetic solid surface material to be transformed into almost any shape. By using heat and pressure the synthetic material is shaped into different three dimensional, rounded designs. The material is heated until it is pliable, placed over a mold and vacuum formed by removing the air between the material and a high temperature silicon membrane. Once the material has cooled it is trimmed to exact specifications using our 5 axis CNC.
Not all surfaces can be molded and turned into three dimensional shapes but most synthetic solid surfaces can. This process cannot be used on other solid surface materials like quartz and granite. Companies that choose synthetic solid surfaces have a broader range of artistic ability when it comes to solid surface projects. Thermoforming is a tricky trade and creating the right balance of heat and bend is crucial to this process. The different chemical makeup of synthetic solid surfaces requires different temperatures. There are also limitations of the bend radius with different materials. No one enjoys telling a customer that the project has to be redesigned because the material specified cannot be formed into the desired shape.
ASST has thermoformed most synthetic solid surfaces and we know the requirements for each. With the high level of technology in our fabrication facility, there are no limitations to the design of synthetic solid surfaces. ASST can bend synthetic surfaces any which way to bring your 2D project plans into to the 3D world.
Let ASST bend over backwards for you on your next project. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.
Comments Off on Solid Surface Collaboration – Nursing The Seeds of Innovation
We’ve all made the statement “There has to be a better way”. The typical progression of questions asked by most solid surface fabricators are “How do we bring our solid surfaces to Market? How can we break into the larger solid surface projects? What are the limitations of what we can do with solid surfaces? How can we become more efficient in our fabrication processes?”
The cost of trial and error in solid surface fabrication can be expensive. Will a new $500,000.00 5axis CNC make your shop more efficient? Will minimizing ‘flip’ in your fabrication process improve your thermoforming capabilities? Probably not but a 5Axis can help you with your thermoforming and minimizing “flip” will help production line efficiency.
Collaboration ~ The work and activity of a number of persons who individually contribute toward the efficiency of the whole.
At ASST we are hosting the ISFA Solid Surface Industry Roundtable on August 13th-15th. The discussions will include How to Get the Work (two parts), Helping the Design Process Through Education, Shop Layout and Processes, AWI Specifications/QC Standards. We will also be doing a tour of the ASST fabrication facility, dinners and a unique Ghost Tour in Gettysburg.
Comments Off on Building Blocks – Modular Millwork For Commercial Construction
When it comes to priorities in construction projects, budget and schedule are always at the top of the list. With the current demand for skilled construction workers, the topics of modular construction and prefabrication are becoming more relevant. Building repetitive assemblies for a structure at an off-site location and delivering them to the project site are entering more and more conversations as companies look to increase efficiency.
Timelines for construction projects are being compressed to seemingly impossible constraints. What is the best way to reduce the amount of time fabricating and installing? If the overall floor plan doesn’t allow for solid surface modular units, are there parts of your facility that could be constructed off-site to remove variables?
Buildings like hospitals, educational facilities, hotels and residence halls can provide consistent room layouts that lend themselves to a modular approach. Repetition is the best way to become better and more efficient at something. Solid surfaces are perfect for construction assembly line processes. By doing this, we can reduce waste, construction timelines and overall cost. A prefabrication strategy allows for the practice of lean concepts while delivering a successful project. Project team members should strategize to determine if similar services could be stacked and consider areas that lend themselves to repetition.
It’s never too soon to think about modular fabrication options and ASST has done this on various projects. Discussions should start when the project is in the beginning stages so they’re incorporated into the design approach.
If you need adaptability into your next millwork project, let ASST help you. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.
Comments Off on Solid Surface Backlighting – Let Your Project Be the Guiding Light
Like a light house guiding a ship to shore, shouldn’t your backlighted solid surface project stand out from the rest? The interplay between light and solid surfaces can be intriguing to those with a creative eye for architectural design. There are so many ways to explore translucency in your designs. Different levels and styles add definition and drama. There are a variety of options using light and the unique thermoformable properties of solid surface. The right type of lighting will elicit attention, illuminate details, and add dimension to the project.
A real challenge is how lighting is implemented. The distance behind a solid surface panel is critical to prevent hotspots and shadow lines. Requesting a mockup from the fabricator is required in most cases to ensure the correct distance between the lighting and the surfaces. LED lighting is the best choice for most backlighted applications because it reduces maintenance and power consumption.
At ASST we fabricate the most breathtaking and eye-catching designs of Corian®, 3Form®, Krion®, LG HiMacs®, Avonite®, Wilsonart®, as well as other solid surface materials. Our creations come in different textures, colors, transparencies, and backlighting will make them stand out even more. ASST has the depth of knowledge and experience to address the technical challenges. Our team has a unique perspective having worked on many backlighted projects. We can share past relevant project experiences and case studies.
Be sure to call us for your next backlighted solid surface project! Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.
Comments Off on Why Choose Quartz? Standard Operating Procedure: Save Our Planet
Do you want to earn LEED points for your project? Using quartz in your project focuses on making a profit while having negligible impact on the environment. Quartz helps the environment by decreasing emissions, being part of the reforestation plan, and helping with air quality due to no harmful substances being left in the air during or after the installation process. Quartz is almost entirely made of mined material.
Are you having trouble choosing the right product for your project needs? There are so many choices, how do you choose? Choosing a type of material should not be strictly for the cost of the material but the durability, longevity and sustainability of the material. Quartz is usually less expensive than granite or marble depending on the stone. It is scratch and acid-resistant and is nonporous. Do you at times drop hard objects on countertops? Quartz is your option as quartz has a very durable surface. Where else can you find a material that has the ability to resist bacteria? Do you realize that quartz has surpassed granite in most homeowners choice in a countertop? Be environmentally conscious and choose quartz over granite as it is friendly to our environment. Many people find that granite has a “cold” feeling and that quartz has a much “warmer” presence. Seek the warmer retro look of quartz in your project.
From the use of solid surface and quartz (materials that fall into the green building materials category), we pride ourselves on our pioneering spirit and ability to remain on the cutting edge of the industry. With ASST you can have confidence every step of the way from product selection to installation. Designs with quartz can be endless. Use your imagination and let ASST help with your creations.
ASST is uniquely positioned to fulfill all aspects of your project. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.
Comments Off on Millwork, Casework and Solid Surface – Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
What if you could get McDonald’s fries, a Burger King Whopper® and a Wendy’s Frosty® at the same place? How about getting Division 6 and Division 12 full package for your business that includes Millwork, Casework and Solid Surfaces from one subcontractor?
General Contractors continually have to worry about coordinating subcontractors. What happens when the solid surface tops show up before the casework? What happens when the casework shows up before the PLAM walls? Does your millwork sub know when the solid surface sub will be onsite? Managing independent Millwork, Casework and Solid Surface subs can be daunting at best.
We provide complete Division 6 Millwork & Division 12 Casework solutions coordinating a wide variety of materials. With a reputation for taking on project challenges others avoid, ASST brings to the table a passion for excellence. We have an impressive portfolio of successfully completed projects both nationally and internationally. As a millworker, you need reliable buyout resources that fully understand your needs. We provide services such as CNC Machining and Thermoforming. ASST creates unique solid surface products and design solutions that leverage our proprietary processes with various materials. At ASST, we have extensive experience – from quoting to fabrication and installation we know your requirements and are ready to ASsiST you with your project needs. We welcome your review of ASST’s services and operating procedures and look forward to being a part of your valuable team! We are known for our innovative, patented, thermoforming technologies and product designs.
If you need adaptability into your next full package project, let ASST help you. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications you require and the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.
Comments Off on Solid (Surface) Relationships – Establishing relationships that last as long as the products we produce
Do you feel that good working relationships are important to the success of your project? Do you feel you can trust the solid surface contractor and have the ability to communicate openly? Establishing/maintaining a good relationship is the key to a successful project.
What are the consequences of a bad work relationship? Relationships are part of human nature. They affect who we love, dislike or even who we are most comfortable spending time with. Work relationships are no different and establishing positive ones can go a long way to improving productivity levels. Good relationships in the workplace make the difference between completing a project on time or watching things go up in flames. You’ve probably been involved with a team where missed deadlines and fractious co-workers made it almost impossible to get anything accomplished.
ASST follows a 21 step Critical Operating Events/Tasks process providing a total project solution from start to finish. Working with the contractor from the beginning to set expectations for success is the key. Projects are coordinated with diverse fabrication techniques and materials. Materials range from solid surface to translucent resins, woods, plastic laminates and more. ASST chooses to work directly with the Architects, Designers and GC’s throughout the entire process. Utilizing proprietary in-house software and live working documents, we record and track every step of the submittal process. We openly invite our clients to access, as well as update, documents to allow for the most comprehensive and up-to-date information possible for every project. This helps secure a successful project and increased profitability.
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 now online or call us at 717-630-1251.