When renovation work began on a century-old YMCA building in Beverly, Massachusetts, a laser scan of the building revealed a unique challenge: nearly every ceiling in the building was slightly uneven. Reframing the walls of the building would require hundreds of different sized studs. Building them on site would be a complicated nightmare.
So Windover Construction, the company leading the renovation, sought out a technological solution. In collaboration with the New Zealand-based manufacturing company Howick, they fed their laser scan data into an automated steel frame fabrication machine that precisely produced light gauge steel studs and panels for the building. The machine also added one critical feature. The new studs are able to telescope, shrinking down to more easily transport into and through the tight spaces of the historic building, and then expanding out like a shower curtain rod slotted into place. “It’s really transforming the way we work in existing and old buildings,” says Amr Raafat, a vice president at Windover Construction.