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AWCI Quality Awards 2023: Small Projects (Tie)

Hermes at South Coast Plaza

The Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry recognized excellence in construction quality and safety when the winners of AWCI’s awards program were announced in March during Build23: AWCI’s Convention + Expo in Las Vegas. AWCI’s Excellence in Construction Quality Awards recognize excellence in construction quality in the face of complicated and challenging projects, and is awarded to a team of AWCI members. AWCI’s safety award gives national recognition to members who manage an effective safety program in a given year.


Through the quality awards, AWCI recognizes the member contractor as well as the member suppliers and manufacturers who also participated on the winning project. This year the following companies contributed to one or more of the winning projects: Ames Taping Tools, Armstrong Ceiling & Wall Solutions, California Expanded Metal Products (CEMCO), CertainTeed Gypsum, ClarkDietrich, Clinch-On Cornerbead Company, Colonial Materials (A GMS Company), Dryvit Systems, Inc., Excel Engineering, Inc., Foundation Building Materials, Fry Reglet, Georgia-Pacific Gypsum, Grabber Construction Products, Inc., GTS Interior Supply (A GMS Company), Hilti, Inc., Hunter Panels/Hunter XCI, Interior Supply, Inc. (AD Building Materials), L&W Supply, MarinoWARE, Master Wall, Inc., National Gypsum Company, Negwer Materials, Inc., Owens Corning, PABCO Gypsum, Radius Track Corporation, Rulon International, Specified Technologies, Inc., Spectra Precision, Tamarack Materials, Inc. (A GMS Company), Trim-Tex, Inc., United Building Materials, Inc. (A GMS Company), USG Corporation, West Coast Firestopping, Inc. and Westside Building Materials (A GMS Company).

Hermes at South Coast Plaza

Costa Mesa, CA

Oh, the degree of difficulty! Serpentine merchandise islands. HVAC systems. Rammed earth. Terrazzo flooring. Raymond – Southern California had their work cut out for them on this 12,000-square-foot Hermes store.

The floor to ceiling floating display islands flow through a serpentine layout that terminates into vertical round columns at ends. These atypical columns have a consistent radius and are round, but most are not using a consistent measurement for the radius. Some are stretched so they appear to be oblong, and some are multiple columns that intersect and form a shape reminiscent of a figure 8. These columns penetrate the finish plane of the intersecting drywall ceiling and form a ceiling reveal that follows the column’s perimeter, or finish into a radius-ceiling trough that includes a perimeter light cove.

HVAC supply and returns also posed a problem: The architect included more than 700 linear feet of a perimeter HVAC return/supply slot that ran through the project.

And although Raymond had prior experience with Hermes, this flagship store is the only one with this particular design element: Rammed Earth partitions. Rammed Earth is almost exactly what it sounds like, but this version has a more monolithic shape and is without much variance in the finish plane. The Rammed Earth locations start out with a load-bearing design, and Raymond built them to an engineered set of drawings. They managed each of these areas as their own unique projects.

Finally, the Terrazzo flooring, which can take more than a month to install on a project of this size. Raymond’s craftspeople installed the flooring while other trades were nearby, making for a high level of out-of-sequence work.

Thanks to their coordination, organization, quality control and expertise, this job was completed to everyone’s great satisfaction.

Congratulations to Raymond – Southern California!

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