ConXtech’s Steel Framing System Delivered Ahead of Schedule at UC Merced

Hayward, California (EastBayDaily) — ConXtech and Bragg Crane and Rigging (Bragg) recently completed steel framing on UC Merced’s Housing 4 project, a five-story, 364 bed, 110,000 square foot student housing facility. Priding itself as being “the Greenest Campus in America,” UC Merced selected the ConX Chassis Based Modular Framing System for their project, marking the first time the ConX System has been used on a UC Campus.

The steel framing was “topped out” on July 20, 2012, with assembly duration of 22 days, almost one week faster than the already aggressive project schedule. “Our successful experience erecting the ConXR structural system was due to more than just the system's innovative design. There is no doubt that the erection efficiency of the system is impressive and ‘walks the talk’, but the outstanding proactive vendor support from ConXtech was equally remarkable to us", says Bragg Regional Manager Ian Johnson.

Being the first ConX project where Bragg acted as ConX Certified Erector, an initial learning curve was anticipated with respect to ConX Lower & Locking™ prefabricated connections, just-in-time fabrication and delivery, and field drawing standards. However, the intuitive design of the ConX System combined with BIM collaboration to plan the project-specific assembly sequence resulted in minimal set-up and shakeout in the field and a rapid pace of erecting up to 160 pieces of steel per day. “This was the smoothest structural system I’ve ever erected in my 30 years of being an iron worker, and the ConXR stair system was the easiest stair system I’ve ever installed" states Darin King, Superintendent at Bragg.

Collaboration between ConXtech and Bragg was key to the significant schedule savings. "Superficially, it might seem a ‘no-brainer’ to evangelize a product that reduces an erection schedule by 30% to 50%, but there are other project ramifications that must be addressed in order to fully realize the complete project benefit potential from such blazing erection speed. Everyone must be prepared to manage the high speed ripples that propagate in all directions from the unanticipated, yet inevitable, ‘pebble’ dropped into the schedule. ConXtech’s team understands and anticipates this need. They remained actively involved throughout the project, providing valuable tribal knowledge and real-time solutions to head off problems and ensure all of their customers, Bragg, ProWest Constructors and the University of California, received the maximum benefit from the use of the ConXR system.” Johnson concludes.

The design, by architectural firm EHDD, is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification, with a LEED Platinum target. “ConXtech offers a structural solution that can be efficiently built with reduced material, time, and embodied energy,” states project manager Raymond Boff of ConXtech Construction.

The inherent simplicity of the ConX System, comprised of only a handful of structural connections and standardized details, also offers a unique opportunity to fully leverage BIM from design though delivery. Boff continues, “Spatially defining the structure and communicating in a collaborative 3D environment very early in the design phase allows the team to reduce design iterations by taking a ‘clash prevention’ approach rather than ‘clash detection’ approach. The data rich model evolves throughout the project lifecycle contributing to project efficiencies all the way through to the field. The Bragg team fully embraced ConXtech’s BIM centric system to deliver ahead of the project schedule.”

About ConXtech® ConXtech is a privately-held building technology company based in Hayward, CA. Since 2004, the company offers ConX®, a modular, prefabricated and mass-customizable structural steel building system, which enables rapid delivery of robust, cost efficient and sustainable structures. The ConX System reduces time and overall project costs when compared to conventional structures and brings a systemic change to the building process, enabling owners and developers to predictably build Faster, Better, Safer and Greener™. For more information about ConXtech, visit


Kelly Luttrell