Members at Work

"Best of the Best" on Display at DePaul's New Theatre School

Journal: Issue 1 - 2013
As DePaul University's new Theatre School nears completion, installation of stone units.

W.R. Weis Company (WRW) of Chicago, a leading BAC signatory stone and restoration contractor, prides itself on offering clients the "Best of the Best", and that includes its skilled workforce. As this article goes to print, members of Local 21 Illinois employed by WRW are putting the finishing touches on DePaul University's new Theatre School on its Lincoln Park campus on Chicago's northside. The project, designed by world renowned architect Cesar Pelli, recipient of the 2005 BAC Louis Sullivan Award, features more than 45,000 square feet of the Eclad exterior stone cladding system.

Local 21 IL member Tim Penman attaches support clips to the structure that secures the vertical support mullions, which in turn will support the stone cladding.

The Eclad system consists of aluminum grid supports and a three-dimensional anchor system that accommodates various building tolerances and movement. The stone support and restraint clips lock vertically into the horizontal rail, which increases resistance to extraction. It is available either as an open joint pressure-equalized system, or as specified for the DePaul project, a fully sealed system with high performance thermal breaks and insulation. W.R.Weis management and BAC members completed extensive training to become certified installers of the Eclad system. The specification of an insulated system allowed Weis to enclose the building (including a weather-resistant barrier) prior to installation of the stone units. This provided the added benefit of allowing interior fit-out work to proceed during the winter months.

Installation of vertical mullions and insulated panels into the Eclad system.

A member installs an insulated panel into the system.

The project was awarded to the W.R. Weis Company based on its extensive portfolio of successful stone cladding projects. From the installation of the support mullions to the insulation and exterior stone units, all work was exclusively performed by BAC members. Project Foreman Tim Kearns, a 30-year member of Local 21, supervised the installation of the Eclad system. The project lasted 10 months and at its peak, employed 45 members.

"We're seeing more and more designers and owners going with modular exterior stone systems and it's critical that the International and our Locals and ADCs work closely with IMI and ICE to ensure that similar projects are being bid by BAC signatory contractors in all areas," BAC President James Boland said. "It's impossible to be 'too' proactive in claiming this work for our members."

Members installing the Granite base course. Bill Krol of Local 21 IL installs additional Eclad framing for the project's spandrel condition.

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