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BS* + Beer

The BS* + Beer Show: Off-Site Panelization

Panelists share the benefits they find in this contemporary approach to building homes

Image Credit: Scott Gibson

This episode of the BS* + Beer show features Alan Gibson, Ace McArelton, Steve Hessler, and Ilka Cassidy discussing off-site panelization. Alan, owner of GO Logic, launches the conversation by first describing his company’s panelized GO Home as its “bread and butter.” He says the design both reduces the architect’s fee for clients and promises a high-performance structure, which has made it a lucrative win-win. He and his team have been studying Swedish methods of panelization, and he explains the benefits they see there—among them are leading-edge technology, ease of installation, and built-in added value.

In a multi-faceted bilingual presentation, Ace introduces us to New Frameworks’ straw-bale Gryphon panel. He makes the case for the “democratization of panelization,” and directs us to a recent article in Energy New Network as a point of entry into the progressive goals the Vermont-based collaborative is pursuing. He also poses and answers the question: How do we make it easy for clients to say “yes” to panelization?

Ilka and Alan share visuals of the software Holzraum System uses to design and engineer their high-performance wooden building envelopes for off-site construction. Ilka describes them as a “design translation company,” and the two talk about the company’s foam-free, vapor-open, low-carbon assemblies. 

The group touts the benefits of panelization applied to both single- and multi-family projects, and they address myriad questions that include: Is panelization the solution to the trade skills gap? What are the site considerations when planning for panelized construction? How does panelization impact architecture? What do designers need to know to made the approach feasible? 

As always, the show promises a layered conversation. Enjoy!

Join us on Thursday, May 13, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. EST when Trevor Acorn, Helen Watts, and Christopher Genest will discuss the science of concrete. We will hear from both the manufacturing and engineering perspectives regarding this mainstay material. The panelists will talk about the chemistry that makes concrete unique and important, methods for maximizing its benefits while minimizing its climate impact, and the idea of precasting products as a means for using the material most effectively.

Guest bios 

Trevor Acorn is an engineer at Walter P Moore, and has been in the building industry since 2005. His niche is generating design solutions that work aesthetically and structurally. As a timber expert, Trevor often takes on higher education and commercial office projects. His work includes the University of Kansas Central District Development, North Kansas City High School addition, the Altria Headquarters expansion, and the Johnson County Medical Examiner Facility. His passion is to design solutions that are efficient, beautiful, and constructible. Trevor also leads the Mass Timber Special Interest Group within Walter P Moore.

Helen Watts, P.E. is an engineer with Criterium Engineers. She has over 30 years of industrial, bridge, commercial, marine, and residential hands-on professional engineering experience. She is licensed as a professional engineer in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Hawaii. Her career includes engineering positions in construction, facilities management, and structural design as well as evaluation for employers that include Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Bath Iron Works Corporation, and Cianbro Corporation. Helen also ran her own structural engineering consulting business for more than 12 years.

Christopher Genest is president of Comfort Block and general manager of Genest Concrete Works, a 94-year-old family business that manufactures various concrete products including blocks, paving stones, and retaining wall systems. He has 37 years of experience in concrete manufacturing, masonry, and landscape supply, as well as strong familiarity with concrete foundation construction and Redi-Mix concrete. Chris designed and developed the Comfort Block Masonry System, and is certified as a concrete products lab technician.

Use this link to register for The BS* + Beer Show  

BS* + Beer Book Club

Because the hosts of the BS* + Beer Show all love to read, we thought we would celebrate the authors in our industry by adding a book club to the show every few months. We’ll announce the book, give you a few months to get it and read it, and conclude with a BS* + Beer Show episode where we will invite the author to join us, present, and take questions.

Musings of an Energy Nerd

We have selected our fourth book: Musings of an Energy Nerd: Toward an Energy-Efficient Home by Martin Holladay, which can be purchased at the Taunton Store.

We hope you will pick up a copy and join the discussion on July 8, 2021.

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Kiley Jacques is senior editor at Green Building Advisor. She can be reached at [email protected].

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