With more than 500 clubs across the U.S. and Canada, fitness juggernaut LA Fitness has learned a thing or two about construction methods in its 30-year history.
When expansion plans called for a new location in Gwillimbury, LA Fitness looked to Fabcon Precast to extend brand reach and shorten the construction timeframe. As always, Fabcon’s brand of load-bearing precast panels were up to the task.
With the project breaking ground in the last week of August and the promise of a Canadian winter just around the corner, speed was a justified concern with LA Fitness executives. The organization has relied on Fabcon repeatedly on both sides of the border. “Fabcon’s panels are very effective from both a time-management and cost-control perspective,” says Gary Collins of Fitness International. “The buildings go up extremely fast and we can oftentimes limit our exposure to excessive winter conditions costs.”
It’s difficult for other construction methods to match Fabcon’s speed, especially when weather is a determining factor–as it almost always is in Canada. With cast-on-site and masonry (CPU) construction, costs climb steadily and progress slows.
Tang remarked, “I’d estimate that Fabcon saved us about 20% in overall design time & detailing work.”
Once the panels arrived on site, Fabcon’s experienced crews had them up in what seemed like no time at all. “They had perimeter walls up at week #5. Fabcon definitely saved us time in the field,” said Paul Bloemendahl of Rochon Building. The structural engineer on the project, Renée Tang, P.E., echoed those sentiments: “I’d estimate that using Fabcon’s panels saved us about 20% in overall design time and detailing work.”
Though still somewhat of anomaly in Canada, Fabcon’s load-bearing precast panels are well-known to LA Fitness and other world class organizations such as Lowes, Target and Home Depot. Fabcon’s panels are prized for their ability to shorten construction cycles while delivering a highly-engineered product with excellent thermal properties. Tang admits early on she wasn’t sure what to expect. “We had never done a job with Fabcon, or with structural panels for that matter. We weren’t necessarily apprehensive, but we definitely had some questions. We were mostly interested in hearing what kind of loads the panels could handle, but we also had some questions about how to work with Fabcon…roles and responsibilities. We just didn’t know what was provided and what was going to be required of us.”
Ultimately things became clear and any doubts were lifted. As Tang remarked, “As it turned out, Fabcon’s Structural precast was perfect for a building like this…the design, the intended purpose, glazing it really worked out great.”
As for why structural panels are still somewhat of an oddity, Bloemendahl offered this: “Structural precast is clearly not as popular as it should be…but I think that’s going to change.” Fabcon Precast couldn’t agree more.
Now, 20 buildings later, Fabcon Precast hasn’t even broken a sweat.