Construction Today - January 2017 - 57
in Fabcon's precast panels comes from
recycled sources and the company's cement
manufacturer uses about 7 percent recycled
material as a filler. Foam is 30 percent
post-industrial and 1 percent post-consumer, allowing about 16 percent of the total
foam to contribute to LEED. The coarse and
fine aggregates are not recycled, but are
extracted from regional mills.
works with regional
vendors to incorporate locally
sourced recycled materials.
and fine aggregate such as rock and sand,
cement, steel and insulation.
Fabcon works with regional suppliers
to find those materials, an approach that
Intile explains not only helps with LEED
ratings - closer sourcing means less fuel
is burned during delivery - but also is a
boost for local economies. "Most of the
time we are able to source the vast majority of the materials for our project from
within 500 miles of the site," he says.
Fabcon's panels don't require adjustments to meet green building standards.
"We don't really change our products
around LEED criteria because our product is
manufactured with recycled components,"
Intile says. "Our product has the recycled
value and regional material [qualifications]
regardless of whether the projects requires
it or not."
In most cases, LEED is looking at where
the raw materials come out of the earth.
But when it comes to Styrofoam insulation
or raw plastics made from petroleum, the
original extraction point can be difficult to
determine. The USGBC has specific rules
for how materials must be documented to
qualify for certification. "The big thing for
us was developing a documentation process
that accurately tracked our product from
design through production, delivery and
installation," Intile says.
Although the raw materials for products
such as Styrofoam are usually not extracted
from within the same region as a project, the
USGBC allows for such recycled materials to
count as locally source if the recycling process
is done nearby. This allows Fabcon to increase
its contribution to a project's LEED score.
By working with its regional vendors,
Fabcon created a library of supporting information that details where supplies were
extracted from, unit costs and recycled content. The company's supply chain maintains
ownership of the lists and provides all the
necessary information for projects seeking
Nearly 100 percent of the steel used
Demand for green building materials and the
advantages of precast panels are fueling Fabcon's growth. The production schedule at the
company's Pennsylvania plant, which serves
the Northeast market, operates at full capacity
daily, producing 15,000 square feet wall
panels. "Our sales engineers in the region have
built strong relationships with our customers
which means longer production lead times
can be planned around accordingly. Daily
panel setting rates are high among Fabcon
field crews and customers know they can rely
on speedy installation," Svoboda says.
While customers have learned to plan for
projects far in advance, Fabcon is looking
for ways to better support all of its customers. "Growth for us is about expanding
our capacity to meet the demands of the
market," Intile says.
Builders want more of Fabcon's panel
products and they want them faster. To
accommodate that demand, the company in
2015 opened its fourth casting facility, located in Pleasanton, Kan. The facility completed its first full bed cast in May of that year.
Fabcon's production volume will only continue to rise going forward. The company's
output increased between 5 and 10 percent
during the past year, according to Miks.
"The scope and scale of our projects in
the eastern region are complex and we
don't expect that to change anytime soon,"
Svoboda says. "We are aware of opportunities to diversify not only our product
offerings but the types of buildings we
construct there. As shipping routes change
and eastern ports expand, we anticipate
even greater demand for pre-stressed, precast insulated wall panels. Currently the
company is considering expansion options
that we anticipate will put us closer to our
customers and their projects."
JANUARY 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM