From historic labor shortages to the rising cost of lumber and other materials, today’s builders face plenty of unique challenges. However, forward-thinking developers realize that embracing new materials is key to overcoming these challenges. HercuWall is just one of these new materials, and it’s helping developers keep projects on time and under budget—all while promoting sustainability and energy efficiency.
Sandbox Development Consultants is proud to be using HercuWall in several of our current projects, including in partnership with future-focused companies like SoDella Construction and Isola Communities. Not only is HercuWall reducing costs associated with building materials, but it’s also expediting build timelines, allowing us to bring new communities to life quickly and with a mind for the future.
Read on to discover more about how HercuWall is making projects more predictable, affordable, and sustainable—and why it matters now more than ever.
A Closer Look at HercuWall and its Sustainable Benefits
HercuWall is a revolutionary building product that’s changing the way builders frame homes. In simplest terms, it’s an insulated, reinforced concrete panel system manufactured off-site to precise dimensions. It’s also palletized off-site and delivered to the project to be quickly and easily assembled by small labor teams on home foundations.
Think Lego blocks for at-scale building!
Some of the benefits and advantages of HercuWall products include:
- Save time. Most production builders rely on framing crews to construct homes. When you use the HercuWall system in construction, you bypass the need for framing crews and, as a result, expedite the timeline to completion. Using traditional materials and methods, builders face increased cycle times or increased costs to encourage crews to show up and complete framing projects in a way that sticks to the schedule.
- Reduce labor. It takes fewer builders to install a HercuWall system. On average, a 3-man crew can assemble up to 20 homes per month, while a 6-man crew can assemble up to 40. It typically takes a crew of 30-40 construction professionals to frame 20 homes per month. Put simply; you save labor and money by using the HercuWall system. Moreover, the system doesn’t require skilled labor to assemble, offering even more labor savings.
- Improve predictability. There are many moving parts to even the most straightforward construction projects, that unpredictability is often the norm. Since HercuWall is manufactured off-site, developers can have panels delivered to the worksite and ready to go before slab-pouring even begins. From there, it’s easy to assemble the HercuWall panels directly on the slab, with no measuring or cutting required—it’s already done for you, with window and door openings already in place.
- Reduce cycle time. The HercuWall system reduces building cycle times by eliminating several steps. You don’t need to worry about installing wall insulation, stucco lath, weather barriers, window flashing, and wall straightening/furring. In most cases, using HercuWall results in eliminating 3-4 city inspections, which can trim off nearly 7-8 days of cycle time on every home.
- Lock prices. Builders know that the price of construction materials is volatile in today’s market. HercuWall panels and the installation cost can be price locked for the duration of any project. Wood products used in conventional framing can only be locked for a maximum of 60-90 days and are subject to wild swings in pricing. By choosing the HercuWall system, you add another layer of predictability to every project.
- Reduce waste. One of the most environmentally damaging aspects of construction is the waste produced in the framing process. Choosing HercuWall over traditional framing results in 60-70% less waste in the construction process, providing cost savings in terms of reduced waste removal. It also saves space on the construction site and reduces the potential for accidents or injuries caused by clutter.
- Improved fire protection. HercuWall has 1-hour and 2-hour rated assembly listings, making it simple to attain the appropriate fire rating for wall unit separation at multi-family properties. Moreover, there’s no special wall assembly or inspections necessary, further saving time for every project.
- Improved durability. Since the HercuWall system is made of reinforced concrete with no wood involved at all, it makes walls stronger and straighter. Without the inclusion of wood framing, walls won’t rot, twist or warp, and they won’t crack stucco. Since there’s no wood in the exterior walls, you also avoid water intrusion problems and mold. Choosing HercuWall also removes a significant food source for termites, so you’ll never have to worry about these troublesome, damaging pests!
When added together, it’s impossible to deny the benefits of HercuWall as a next-generation framing solution. And, when you consider the lasting sustainability of concrete as a building material, the eco-friendly benefits are yet another added perk for builders and future inhabitants.
Tackling the Building Challenges of 2022 and Beyond
With sustainability coming more into focus for developers and construction companies, there’s a growing effort to make building decisions that stand the test of time. So what types of materials offer long-term advantages for future homeowners? HercuWall answers this question resoundingly.
HercuWall panels are highly energy-efficient, featuring R-30 rigid insulation (EPS) that performs at a true R-30, rather than traditional fiberglass batts rated much lower, which are much harder to install. HercuWall also creates an air-tight envelope which significantly improves energy efficiency. As a result, it’s easier for homeowners to maintain a comfortable indoor air temperature while enjoying a lower monthly electric bill.
HercuWall even makes it possible for homeowners to invest in renewable energy programs—particularly solar—to improve energy efficiency further while significantly reducing a home’s carbon footprint.
Changing the Landscape at Home in Phoenix, AZ
Sandbox sees the tremendous potential of HercuWall as the building material of the future. We’re happy to be working with partners who also see and believe in its potential—specifically on our Isola Elliot project.
Isola Elliot is the most talked-about upcoming development in the Phoenix area. Built in partnership with Isola Communities and SoDella Construction, the project is set to provide diverse housing options for hundreds of Phoenix-area residents while promoting energy efficiency and sustainability.
HercuWall is a core component of this new community. Not only was HercuWall chosen as a sustainable alternative to traditional framing, but it will also help keep the project on track in terms of both timeline and budget. According to Michael Mancini, President of SoDella Construction, Inc, it’s even reducing total production time.
“We can build more units at once with the HercuWall process. In the build to rent, physical space to work is the most valuable asset we have. With prefabricated panels that are delivered and installed immediately, we are able to build more units at the same time, which allows our ‘batches’ to be bigger,” he says. “This is where the biggest savings for overall project time is realized. When the batches double in size, the vertical construction phase of the project is built in half the time.”
The HercuWall system is also keeping costs low, particularly regarding lumber, which has skyrocketed in price with no signs of coming back down. Mancini expounds on this benefit, saying, “Lumber is the most volatile commodity in home construction. With HercuWall, there is no wood in the system, reducing the overall project lumber need by 30-40%. This mitigates exposure to uncontrollable lumber cost changes.”
Choose to Build Better with HercuWall
HercuWall is an affordable, sustainable framing solution that’s both easy and predictable to install. It’s just one of the sustainable materials and technologies being used in some of Arizona’s most exciting developments.
Want to learn more about how working with Sandbox Development Consultants and companies like Sodella and HercuTech can help streamline your next development project? Reach out to us today to discover how exciting innovations like the HercuWall system keep construction projects of any scale on time and under budget.