Project Focus: Steel Framing

PCI Renovates the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences Academic Center

April 2017

As part of its annual awards program, the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry recognizes the team efforts of its member contractors, manufacturers and suppliers who work on quality construction projects. For the 2017 program, AWCI’s Excellence in Construction Quality Award was upgraded to focus on the excellent work done by AWCI members in specific categories: ceilings, drywall, EIFS, plaster, small projects, steel framing and stucco.
The award winners were announced March 29 during AWCI’s Convention in Las Vegas, but we are featuring some of the nominations throughout the year on the pages of this magazine. This month we highlight the steel framing work done by Performance Contracting Inc. on the renovation of the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences Academic Center in Kansas City, Mo

The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences is the largest medical school in Missouri, 12th largest in the nation and one of the oldest osteopathic medical schools in the country. The KCU Academic Center is a two-story, 31,600-square-foot classroom facility that was renovated in 2014. The building houses two lecture halls and rooms for smaller breakout sessions and training. The project included remodeling an auditorium to create additional classroom space.
The design team from Helix Architecture and Design won a design award from the American Institute of Architects in 2015 for its concept of stacking two lecture halls within the original footprint of the auditorium. This design enabled builders to repurpose 93 percent of materials from the original auditorium and focus on sustainability. Helix, along with general contractor McCown Gordon, accomplished sustainability goals by sending original auditorium seats to other academic institutions, recycling wood for use throughout the building and reclaiming other building materials. The KCU Academic Center has also been recognized with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification for commercial interiors.
By developing a 3D working model off of the architectural plans, AWCI member contractor PCI was able to achieve the original design intent using more efficient materials and methods. From the model PCI engineered and designed a truss system to make up the unique wall shapes, using smaller profile material in a heavier gauge. CNC technology was used to fabricate approximately 250 unique truss shapes, with very low tolerances. This then made the material easier to handle and install, reducing layout time and schedule durations. It also provided a stronger frame for the drywall and plaster substrate attachment.
In addition, the geometry involved in the wall, soffit and ceiling construction on this project was very complex, according to PCI Project Manager Christian Bauer. The main lecture hall is enclosed by a radius double wall system with bias cuts that include tight radius knife edged soffits and gradual shapes that curve in multiple directions. PCI partnered with Radius Track Corporation to develop a working 3D model and prefabricate precise framing members to create the sweep soffits and unique framing elements. The site was challenging related to schedule impacts and deliveries, which had to be considered in order to minimize the impact on the students and faculty at KCUMB.
By using the prefabricated cold formed precision truss shapes in conjunction with conventional framing methods and profiles, PCI was able to achieve 1/16-inch framing tolerances. This process provided PCI with the optimum fit and finish conditions for the substrate application and subsequent drywall and plaster finish systems, which enabled PCI to exceed quality expectations. This also made it possible to reduce man-hours on site and schedule durations. The reduction in manpower also limited PCI’s exposure regarding safety issues as much of the difficult framing elements were performed off site in a controlled environment.

AWCI Team Members
ClarkDietrich Building Systems
Holmes Drywall Supply (AD Building Materials)
Radius Track Corporation

Helix Architecture and Design

General Contractor
McCownGordon Construction

Project Floor Area
48,331 sq. ft.

Steel Framing Contractor Man-Hours
8,456 (142 weekdays)

Steel Framing Materials Used
• 31,260 l.f. non-load bearing studs
• 6,923 l.f. non-load bearing track
• 20,000 screws
• 8,600 sq. ft. scaffold
• 1 mobile digital plan station