A Guy Steps Into An Office
JANUARY 7, 2020
The definition of collaboration is “the action of working with someone to produce or create something.” In construction, this happens every day, all day. Sometimes the extent of the collaboration is not apparent until you step back from a project to truly appreciate what just happened. Following is one such story.
Our tale begins when a guy named Dave Albanese, a Flex-Ability Concepts product representative, walked into an office. He was calling on Interior Building Contractors (IBC) in Cheshire, Conn., to review products that he represents. He wasn’t there to talk about Flex-Ability Concepts until the subject of curves came up. Bernie Ferland, project manager/estimator with IBC, had never even heard of Flex-Ability Concepts (which keeps us humble and working hard). This is, in part, why we have people like Dave meeting with contractors—to get the word out about our products and problem solve together. Ferland remembers: “Dave was visiting us, and we started talking about Festival Buffet and the curves that we needed to create. We had not used any products from Flex-Ability Concepts before, but it seemed straightforward.”
Festival Buffet is at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. The restaurant temporarily closed in November 2018 for a complete renovation and rebranding. The menu, interior space and even the name were revamped to enhance the dining experience. The IBC team was trying to find a way to cost effectively create the curves. Dave’s visit piqued some interest that changed the project’s course.
“We brought Flex-C Trac and Flex-C Arch to the table with the general contractor because of the Hammer-Lock system. We saw cost savings knowing the install would be faster than other curve methods,” Ferland says.
The IBC crew installed 50 pieces of 3 5/8″ Flex-C Trac and 130 pieces of 3 5/8″ Flex-C Arch. The systems are installed in the ceiling soffits. Flex-C Trac is used to create curved walls, ceilings, arches, S curves and interior domes, and Flex-C Arch is used to frame arches, soffits and light coves. Installation for both products is simple. The desired arch/curve is drawn on a hard or concrete surface, and the Flex-C Trac or Flex-C Arch is laid on the drawn line. Both products should be curved by hand to match the curve/arch. With the Flex-C Arch or Flex-C Trac sitting on the concrete, the Hammer-Lock tabs are hammered into place to embed them, thereby locking the shape.
Ferland’s assumption about costs savings was correct—he says the install was efficient and faster than other methods he has used. Scott Bowman, project manager with general contractor A. Autiello Construction Co. Inc., Cranston, R.I. adds, “From our perspective, the Flex-C Trac system was the only way to achieve the complex layering and curvature of the architect’s soffit design and allowed us to match the serving line below.”
Rainmaker Buffet opened in May and offers a casual dining experience at the resort casino with seating for 500 people. “The curves express a modern, streamlined and straightforward approach to the buffet line,” says Christie Pezzetta, senior associate/senior project designer at JCJ Architecture. “The layout provides the versatility to change and update the menu and food layout for holidays or special events. The curves maximize counter space and add movement and geometry to enable spotlighting of the made-to-order action stations.”
HERE WE GO AGAIN
The IBC crew found the system easy to use and is ready to use it again on other projects. We hope they do, and we look forward to hearing about it. We encourage you to reach out to your product representative to collaborate and problem solve. The solutions are out there, waiting for you. And sometimes they just happen to walk into your office.