Prefabricated Masonry on St. Camillus

Our team on the St. Camillus CBRF & Jesuit Residence project thinks outside of the box – literally. When the Mortenson and JP Cullen team needed to build a four-story elevator shaft and stair shear wall, they worked with the structural engineer and architect to brainstorm ways to construct it quicker and safer.

Normal methods require masons to build walls onsite block by block - taking two to three weeks to finish. Instead, the team prefabricated the wall shafts offsite in eight foot sections. To ensure the sections would not crack during transportation to the jobsite, the team test drove the sections “off road” to see if the worst case conditions would compromise the masonry work. Once the sections safely made it to St. Camillus, the next challenge was to pick and attach the pieces for rigging. As a collaborative approach to prefabrication, special engineering was needed for the rigging and picking embeds. Using a computer program, the team inputted the dimensions and found the center of gravity of each section to safely move them into place.

This practice of masonry prefabrication was the first of its kind for our Milwaukee office. With this method the team was able to:

  • Limit congestion onsite
  • Save two weeks in the schedule
  • Avoid working at high elevation on scaffolding

Prefabricating is just one of the ways Mortenson is committed to safety and quality. This article is part of our “Hey That’s Cool” information sharing.