AWCI’s Excellence in Construction Quality Award

May 2008

Project: Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA

AWCI Member Contractor
Anning-Johnson Company, San Francisco, CA

AWCI Member Manufacturers
California Expanded Metal Products (CEMCO)
Georgia-Pacific Gypsum Corporation
Grace Construction Products
Specified Technologies Inc.

AWCI Member Supplier
San Francisco Gravel Company (AMAROK)

Throughout the ages there has been a fascination with the history, culture, art and character of the Jewish people. Anyone interested in learning more about the Jewish people need only to head to San Francisco, where the award-winning Contemporary Jewish Museum is located.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum project is the winner of AWCI’s 2008 Excellence in Construction Quality Award. The AWCI member contractor on this job, Anning-Johnson Company, tells us that the 63,000-square-foot building was designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, whose concept was to mix the old with the new.

Two Hebrew letters—chet and yud—were the inspiration for the design of two unique sections of the new building—which were also the most challenging to frame because every wall inside these structures is built on an angle. The degree of each angled wall had to be perfect and was very closely monitored by the project architect.

Using a digital level to make sure the desired angle of each wall was met, Anning-Johnson’s crews met and exceeded every challenge.

Another challenge came in the form of drywall reveals. Not only were there many reveals, they were designed to intersect and turn corners at an angle, which made it difficult for Anning-Johnson to achieve a high quality finished look.

Finishing the walls was another test, especially in the auditorium, which had the most challenging reveal work. These reveals were built into the ceiling, creating differently shaped panels. Some of the panels were finished drywall, while others were fabric wrapped panels and still other panels were wood. Anning-Johnson first laid out on the ground the reveals that would be used on the ceiling, and then they used a laser to transfer them up to the ceiling.

The ceiling frame was all designed by Anning-Johnson. The ceiling was completely joisted in, and then bent angle and hat channel furring was used to create the reveals. All the reveal lines continue down the walls.

Lighting conditions also met their match when the Anning-Johnson team stepped onto the job site. The gypsum walls of the museum were mostly a Level 5 finish. Not a big problem … until you look up and see all the bright, natural light coming in through the skylights. Naturally, the owner was concerned about the quality of the taping as well as the level of finish. In those areas, the Level 5 finish was given an additional skim coat.

And it wouldn’t be an award-winning job without a little scheduling trouble. The folks from Anning-Johnson had never worked on anything like this before, and many of the project details were missing from the drawings and had to be designed.

The incredibly detailed framing job took four months longer than it should have, but the move-in date for the owner remained the same. The schedule crunch was felt in the finishes, for which Anning-Johnson had much of the responsibility. To meet this challenge, Anning-Johnson worked efficiently and supplied an adequate amount of manpower to the job as the work continued to unfold.

This award recognizes the AWCI members who participated in the winning project. That includes all AWCI member manufacturers and suppliers who participated with Anning-Johnson on this job: California Expanded Metal Products (CEMCO), Georgia-Pacific Gypsum Corporation, Grace Construction Products, San Francisco Gravel Company (AMAROK) and Specified Technologies Inc.