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How BuildSteel Saved a California Community College Construction Project

BuildSteel’s project assistance helped to save the Sierra Community College District $30,000 in unplanned demolition expenses.


The Sierra Community College District, which covers 3,200 square miles from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe, California, has an in-house construction team that does a lot of building renovation work within their district.

Colin Irwin, deputy director for plant operations for the district, is leading a $5 million project to renovate four buildings to house the college’s student services and admissions offices.

The project must be built to a standard set by the California Division of the State Architect and uses cold-formed steel for all wall, window and door framing – the district prefers building with steel because it’s more economical, consistent and dimensionally stable. In the final phase of the project, Irwin realized the specific attachments specified by the State Architect, which support diagonal bracing between the partitioned walls and the ceiling to provide additional stability during seismic events, were not available. Without these specific attachments, or an approved substitute, the project was in jeopardy.

Irwin contacted BuildSteel’s experts for project assistance. The team provided several suitable alternative options which led to an accepted design change by the State Architect. Irwin has now been involved with three similar scenarios with this project where BuildSteel was able to provide valuable assistance to keep the project moving and on time.

“We were very grateful for the help BuildSteel provided to help us avoid having to demolish more than half of what we had already constructed. Buildsteel provided options to not only prevent demolition, but also cut our work down by 90 percent. Their assistance saved us a minimum of $30,000 in unplanned demolition expenses, not to mention avoiding negative repercussions to the district from missing our deadline.”

With BuildSteel’s expertise on the required attachments, Sierra Community College is planning to finish their project on time and under budget.

“BuildSteel saved our project,” said Irwin. “Sometimes a simple problem can derail a project. Without BuildSteel’s expertise, there is no way our work would be completed in time for student services and admissions to make a seamless transition into their new space before the fall semester.”

Do have questions regarding how you can save money on your next CFS-framed project? BuildSteel provides complimentary assistance for projects in the U.S. and Canada. Contact us to work through the details of your next project.

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