Whether or not we care to admit it, America is aging. Continual advancements in medicine, increasing knowledge about personal health care and better fi nancial stability are all contributing to a rising senior population. In May of 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report1 which estimated that, over the next 40 years, the population of citizens age 20-64 will actually decrease by 5.8% while the segment of those Americans 65 and older will increase by 7.2%! This dramatic rise has brought elderly care to the forefront of many public debates, ranging in topic from health care to employment. As a result, one of the more immediate and tangible effects of this heightened awareness can be currently seen in today’s construction industry with the growing number of assisted- and independent-living facilities being built every year. (If you remember, the last issue of NuTimes featured the Dancing River Assisted Living facility in Grapevine, Texas.) As with any type of lucrative growth, the rise in this segment of the market has uncovered many players in the industry. And, as the playing field becomes more and more convoluted, the more important Dependability becomes to the owners and vested parties. One key facet to Dependability is alignment with people who share your vision of quality and results. Although we at Nuconsteel have been fortunate to have worked with many companies over the years who share in this vision, over the last year and a half, one such company, Associated Interiors, has worked tirelessly with Nucon on two separate assisted-living facilities for General Contractor and Owner, Integrated Construction & Development, and are currently involved in the Design phase of a third! From The Isle of Watercrest near Texas A&M in Bryan, Texas, to The Isle of Waterview in Mansfi eld, just southwest of Fort Worth, Nucon and Associated Interiors have provided one important attribute that builds continuing success – Dependability.

Located off Boulevard 26 in Fort Worth, Texas, Associated Interiors, Inc. became incorporated in 1988 as primarily a drywall company that has grown into a full service provider of drywall for both metal and wood projects, metal stud framing, acoustical ceilings, insulation, tape-bed-and-texture, poured interior gypsum underlayment, poured exterior “above grade” concrete deck and waterproofing systems. Despite their ability to handle large project
scopes, the actual office is comprised of only about 20 people. Of this handful of qualified individuals, the majority of the interaction and coordination between Nucon and Associated has been spearheaded by Jason Marcum and Lloyd Sanders. Jason and Lloyd had both previously worked with Nucon on the Park 4200 apartment building in Dallas before aligning with the Integrated C&D senior housing projects.

The first of the “Isle Projects” was The Isle of Watercrest in Bryan, Texas. The total breadth of the job was comprised of two main segments: an Independent Living area and an Assisted Living area. As it stands, code does not require Independent Living areas to be non-combustible framing, therefore the scope of this project was only the 3-story Assisted Living section. Although a seemingly meager portion of the overall endeavor, this was still 81,500 square feet of light gauge steel! Designed as a “Plan & Spec” project, the Isle of Watercrest combined a light gauge truss floor system with aligned stud walls, all below a 4:12 pitched roof. As many of you know, using forced stud alignment can be tenuous at best, and as a result, a tremendous amount of coordination and attention to detail was required. Needless to say, the project was not without its fair share of trials and tribulations. Constant communication between Nucon and Associated’s Field Supervisor Eddie Pallares was required to coordinate not only the walls and trusses, but the miscellaneous facets such as structural steel as well. After 39 trucks and nearly four months of hard work, the last of the steel delivered to the job site.

Near simultaneously, the Isle of Waterview in Mansfi eld, Texas, began delivery within a month after the Isle of Watercrest project began. A similar senior housing facility, the Isle of Waterview was also comprised of Independent and Assisted living portions. In this case, though, the square footage was approximately 81,200 square feet spread over two floors instead of three! However, unlike the Isle of Watercrest, the Waterview was a Design-Build project that allowed Nucon (with the help of DSi Engineering, Inc.) to fully integrate NUPANEL walls with the Vulcraft Ecospan composite fl oor system – all below the NUTRUSS roof. Taking full advantage of the 8” concrete turndown as a load distribution member above each bearing wall, all forced stud alignment coordination was put to rest. In Project Manager Scott Mitchell’s opinion, “one of the factors in making Waterview the success that it was stemmed from coordination of the different disciplines in-house, e.g. structural steel, Ecospan, NUPANEL, and NUTRUSS.” Having faced the same obstacles together in the Watercrest project, Associated and Nucon were able to coordinate all efforts more effectively and, thus, provided a more synchronized approach. Originally slated for several months to complete, Nucon and Associated Interiors installed the load-bearing structure in less than two months.

The latest assisted living project is The Isle of Cedar Ridge in Cedar Park, Texas outside of Austin. At approximately 81,000 square feet, Cedar Ridge is a combination project of sorts. Due to the success of the Design-Build system that Nucon used in Mansfi eld versus the plan & spec project at Bryan, Integrated C&D opted to duplicate the same design concept as Waterview, but on the Watercrest floorplans. All expectations are to exceed the previous two successes.

Now beginning the third assisted living in two years, Associated and Nucon are proving to the market that to be successful, to do it right, you have to have Dependability.

Vincent, Grayson K. and Victoria A. Velkoff, 2010, THE NEXT FOUR DECADES, The Older Population in the United States: 2010 to 2050, Current Population Reports, P25-1138, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC.