Grid\Stick Building

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Erecting 2-bay grids

Metal building erectors far and wide have more and more accepted the idea that pre-assembly of bays and sections is the safest and most efficient manner of steel erection.
It has long been a point of disagreement among erectors whether or not the extensive preparation, set up and equipment requirements of erecting pre-assembled portions of a prefab project, or “grid building”, is a worthwhile alternative to the traditional sequential components erection, or “stick building”, method. Your old timers, comfortable and confident in their tried and true techniques, are often hard pressed to try something new. They look at days of preparation and unfamiliar equipment requirements as a waste of time and money. The immediate impression of columns stood and structure in place is a more obvious indication of progress and instant gratification.
In my experience there is no amount of progress in “stick building” that can outweigh the safety, quality and efficiency that can be achieved with a properly planned, skillfully executed pre-assembly and grid lift operation.
  • Assembly is largely reduced to an exercise in materials handling and simple labor.
  • The erection sequence is often no more than a few hours process involving crane set up, responsible rigging and straight up vertical lifts.
  • In-Air assemblies are inherently stable with bracing pre-installed.
  • Safety lines and anchorages are in place, ready for subsequent connectors and installers. This eliminates the leading edge hazards of placing these items in air.

Additionally, in the pre-assembly process most time consuming fabrication errors and conflicting site conditions will be discovered while your structure is still on the ground. Diagnosis and correction of these issues, as well as change order and billing is a much simpler matter without the prospect of escalating equipment and erector costs increasing the order of urgency.

Around 1991, when I first started erecting some of the larger spans and more substantial prefab metal buildings in South Florida, I started gravitating towards a greater degree of pre-assembly and multi crane lift sequences. Since then I have found almost no size or scale of metal building erection that cannot benefit from this manner of erection. In my opinion, even the smallest structure is more safely and efficiently erected when a proper pre-assembly and erection plan is executed with as much as 2/3 of the work complete while all components are still on the ground.