Twin City Framers Cut Installation Time 60% with FrameFAST

Originally published by: FastenMasterMay 22, 2017

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Spurred by strong job growth, low unemployment, and a healthy mix of large and midsize companies, the greater Minneapolis area is a thriving market for multifamily construction growth.  These favorable conditions are met with a low vacancy rate, which is encouraging further development in the multifamily sector.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Minneapolis-St. Paul’s multifamily vacancy rate of 2.6 percent is quite low.  Broadly speaking, a 5 percent vacancy rate is seen as stable, and many comparably sized metro areas have considerably higher vacancy rates.  Rates above 5% begin to indicate market saturation – so big signs are pointing towards MSP as a great place for multifamily development right now.

Twin City ConstructionThis environment is paving the way towards growth for residential framers like Twin City Framers (TCF), based in Oak Grove, MN.  Twin City Framers specializes in building large, wood-frame commercial and multifamily structures. 

For Twin City Framers, business is good and demand for their services is strong.  So anything they can do to make their projects more efficient is seen as highly valuable.  As is the case in many metro areas, the available skilled labor pool in MSP can challenge the scale and pace of projects. 

Improving speed of installation without compromising safety or quality is essential.  That is why FrameFAST, an innovative structural wood framing system from US-based manufacturer FastenMaster, was so interesting to Twin City Framers.

“We were able to complete the task in about half the time,” said Duane Stark, Vice President of Twin City Framers.  “Given the volume we do each year, I expect the time savings will equate to roughly $10,000 in the first year.”

TCF recently completed truss installation on the Liberty Crossing apartment complex outside of Minneapolis.  The project has 120 units with 40 on the top floor, requiring a total of about 1,600 truss to top plate connections. 

Typically TCF uses a combination of hurricane ties and nails for these connections.  A project of this size usually requires two framers and about a week to complete. 

By using FrameFAST, TCF was able to complete the 1,600 connections with one framer and in only two days.  They were able to cut their installation time by about 60% using only half the labor. 

FrameFAST, an ANSI 17065 certified product, achieves an “ICC-code-compliant” connection using a single threaded fastener.  The fastener is driven by a proprietary system, which increases uplift values and decreases thermal bridging while significantly increasing installation speed.

In addition to a faster, stronger connection, TCF was able to improve their jobsite safety by eliminating the use of ladders and pneumatic nail guns during their truss installation.  Concerns regarding framer safety, especially on large multifamily projects, remains a priority for companies like TCF.

“Since these screws are installed from the floor, the need to climb a ladder has been eliminated, which reduces the risk of a potential injury,” Stark said.  “We will be using the FrameFAST going forward.”

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