Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry Logo

Constructing a Reputation for Excellence

Sponsored Feature by Grabber

The Job: Replacing Outdated Buildings on a Tight Timeline

The original University of Utah West Village apartment buildings were constructed more than 50 years ago and have served as student housing for decades. Over time the buildings began to experience regular utility infrastructure failures and eventually no longer met seismic requirements. The university began the Utah West Village Replacement project to build updated student housing over three phases. Ultimately, a total of nine new buildings will offer 504 new apartments for graduate students and students with families.

With student occupancy in mind, a strict building schedule was critical. The first phase—one building with five stories and two with four stories—needed to be ready by July 2023. The university needed to select partners that would be up for delivering a high-quality build on a tight timeline.

Experienced Partners Up for the Challenge

From the start, Grabber Construction Products became a key contributor to the Utah West Village Replacement project. The university selected Jacobsen Construction of Salt Lake City, Utah, to manage the process. Jacobsen Construction then chose Wallboard Specialties, Inc., of Sandy, Utah, to be the subcontractor handling interior finishing and exterior framing. Wallboard has been known for quality workmanship, timely production schedules, fair pricing and key industry relationships since 1980.

When it came time to start the project, Wallboard Specialties began to collaborate with Grabber Construction Products to meet the many challenges that came with the tight timeline and large undertaking. Wallboard knew they could trust Grabber’s reputation for quality in fasteners and excellent customer service. Grabber is well established as the leader in the selection of construction and framing screws that are purpose-built for a variety of applications, materials and environments. The high-quality design and materials make Grabber the preferred brand of contractors across the industry.

Not just a product. A process.

Partnering with Grabber is more than just selecting a brand of materials. The partnership means a personal relationship with a sales professional to advise on product selection, technical information and service. Local Grabber Sales Manager Mark Roberts was very familiar with Wallboard Specialties’ management team and was happy to help them with this project.

Over the course of multiple meetings, Roberts met with key decision-makers at Wallboard Specialties to determine plans for each building and their process for managing the construction scheduling on the project site. As the project called for multiple applications on the same job site, Wallboard Specialties was looking for product efficiencies.

Roberts presented the extensive line of Grabber products for the project’s exterior and interior framing. He then recommended common fasteners for multiple applications, to help work crews stay productive and efficient. With his detailed product knowledge, 80% of the products Roberts recommended had not been used by Wallboard Specialties before—and they were able to fully appreciate the difference Grabber can make.

Selecting the right fasteners was only part of the job, however. Next, the team looked to Grabber to get the products to the job site at the right time. Their extensive, nationwide dealer network stocks and delivers Grabber’s full product line, along with a wide variety of associated products such as framing, drywall and more.

With a fine-tuned list of products established, Roberts then worked closely with LKL Associates of West Jordan, Utah, to obtain, stock and deliver the right fasteners to the job site. The team strictly followed the building schedule to ensure deliveries didn’t delay construction. About the process, Randy Andreasen, the sales rep from LKL said, “We were extremely pleased to supply all of Wallboard Specialties’ needs for this important project, and our goal was to stock and deliver products as they needed them to maintain their schedules.”

The Right Screw Makes All the Difference

The design of the exterior required a special fastener that would handle multiple gauges of steel studs and steel beams for the exterior framing. They also needed to attach sheathing material to any form of steel stud or beam in each wall type. Additionally, the wall types required double 16-guage studs around all headers and windows, with quarter-inch steel beams. Roberts helped the team select the screws that would do the job and find efficiencies where possible. By consolidating screws to fasten metal-to-metal and plywood sheathing-to-metal, the team was more productive.

For exterior sheathing, the team turned to Grabber’s direct fastening pins. The capability to use a single fastener to penetrate any steel stud or steel beam was a game-changer in efficiency. Installers could save time by moving from one application to another with the same fastener, rather than stopping to get different ones. Reducing the number of fasteners also meant more overlap, which reduced confusion on the job site.

For the exterior framing, the team used the following Grabber products:

  • Grabber SuperDrive®Collated Fasteners

  • Hex Head Self Drillers

  • Wafer Head Self Driller

  • Grabber LOX® specialty framing screws

  • Grabber Plylite®

  • Aerosmith VersaPin® with Cement Board Self Drillers

For the interior finishing, multiple screws were required for the job, though some consolidation was possible to help save time. In addition, Wallboard Specialties purchased a Grabber PanelMax® board milling machine for advanced drywall panel fabrication, off-site and on-site. This investment allowed Wallboard Specialties to fabricate and duplicate drywall off-site, then deliver and install it on the job precisely as needed. Compared to traditional drywall finishing, PanelMax helps contractors save up to 70%.

For the interior framing, the team used the following Grabber products:

  • Bugle Head Self Drillers

  • Bugle Head Fine Thread Screws

  • Wafer Head framing screws

  • PanelMax® board milling machine

A Job Well Done

Thanks to a dedicated team of experts working with efficiency in mind, Wallboard Specialties was able to complete construction of the project ahead of schedule. Using the right fasteners, high-quality products and state-of-the-art technology offered by Grabber, paid off in a high-quality build that exceeded expectations. Wallboard Specialties had such a positive experience that they are committed to using Grabber on every University of Utah building project—and every other future job as well.

Over the course of Phase 1, Wallboard Specialties learned the value of having Grabber on your team. Not only do they have the most extensive offering of screws and fasteners for every application, but their sales reps are invaluable in helping identify the right fasteners and ways to consolidate products for the greatest jobsite efficiency and installer satisfaction.

The Grabber Difference

While Utah West Village Replacement is still ongoing, it’s off to a spectacular start with Phase One considered a huge success. Three new buildings are ready to house students ahead of schedule, thanks to high-quality products and a capable team. As the team moves into the next phases, it’s safe to say Grabber has earned its spot on the job site. Once again, a contractor has found that they can trust Grabber for professional grade products and top-notch service.

Browse Similar Articles

You May Also Like

A truckbed full of T2Earth product.
ByT2EARTH® is a science-based manufacturer of sustainable, toxic-chemical free, fire-retardant and superior-performance forest building materials.
STI Leads Firestop Innovation
As building construction has increased in complexity, so has the proper design, usage and installation of firestopping materials.
AWCI's Construction Dimensions cover

Renew or Subscribe Today!