Streamlining the framing process

by Shea Homes Arizona on June 15, 2011

Over the years, home building has changed significantly. We are constantly adjusting and refining every aspect of the home building process. That’s one of the reasons Shea Homes here in Arizona is proud to partner with The Lofton Company (LOFTCO), who bring some serious efficiency and quality to the table.

Last month, some of our staff toured the LOFTCO facility and learned about how much they do to make their part in building each home the best it can be. Here are three things we learned about how LOFTCO has streamlined the framing process:

Purposeful planning

Before cutting any wood, LOFTCO uses Shea Homes blue prints to plot where each stud should go and to determine what lengths and sizes of wood are needed. Detailed work ahead of time on the engineer’s part allows the construction workers to build it right the first time—preventing the need to retro-fit features such as medicine cabinets and door frames later.

After cutting and preparing the wood, studs and panels are loaded onto a truck in the order that they will be used. About 14,000 feet of board are loaded onto each truck, enough for the average one-story house.

Once the wood is in the correct sequence, workers are able to easily stage and build a frame without having to sort through each piece.  Not only does this speed up the process, it also reduces damage to the wood and construction site thefts.

Waste not, want not

Secondly, LOFTCO takes great care in reducing excess waste when preparing the wood for a frame.  Take a look at the diagram below. Instead of cutting archways after arriving at the construction site, they are cut beforehand using a computerized saw. This allows for several arches to be cut out of one plank and keeps the wood waste down to three or four inches max.

Preparation like this, allows workers to walk away from a construction site with just one five-gallon bucket of excess wood.

Now, you may be wondering what kind of waste their manufacturing site produces. Check out this photo of the waste from one board that was cut. Everything else from this board was cut into specific, usable lengths.

Pollution Prevention

Instead of using noisy, gasoline powered generators, LOFTCO workers use CO2 powered compression nail guns. One tank of CO2 can provide enough energy for a full size crew for one day of work. This innovation reduces air and noise pollution in each Shea community.

In addition to using clean energy, LOFTCO also ensures that usable excess wood is sent to a chipping facility to be used for another purpose such as animal bedding.

Did you see this week’s video?  Take a tour of the LOFTCO facility with us to learn about how they prepare to build a frame!

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