During a recent site visit, one of our engineers spotted a structural steel support structure hanging from the ceiling in an unfinished room.
We do a large number of support structures each year, so our engineer was curious why we weren’t invited to bid this job too. Before our guy could ask, his escort chimed in, saying “I know what you are thinking—this should have been made from Unistrut.” The origins of the support structure and its limitations are instructive, so we decided to share the story with our readers.
This project started with a structural engineer charged with designing an overhead support system for a folding partition. Because the engineer was well-versed in welded supports, he specified structural c-channel to create a flat surface from which to hang the partition.
Welded, c-channel partition support
It’s hard to fault an engineer for sticking to what he or she knows best, but sometimes familiarity brings trouble, and this situation is case in point. Turn out that the partition supplier couldn’t attach to a flat surface—the job called for threaded rod. Adding to the misery, the owner of the building changed to a different partition manufacturer mid-way through the project, altering the elevations called out in the bid document. Bottom line, there is no easy way to attach threaded rod to the structural c-channel or work through the new elevations without significant in-the-field modifications. The project is behind schedule and over budget.Hindsight is 20/20, but our story illustrates why a modular approach is often superior to structural steel. Think about how a Unistrut support structure could have prevented this job from getting off track:
- Connecting threaded rod to Unistrut is fast—and easy
- Unistrut partition support structures are easily modified to accommodate unanticipated elevation changes and the re-routing of MEP without welding or drilling
- A faster installation with reduced labor costs.
Here are some examples of Unistrut partition supports that feature a wooden mounting surface instead of threaded rod. The last photo in this series shows wood treated with a flame resistant coating, which may be required for some partition support applications:
Whether your application calls for a support system for a folding partition, an x-ray room or cath lab, load support for HVAC equipment, or a decorative grid, we have the design experience, skilled installers, and all the Unistrut, Telestrut, and Telespar materials required to make your project a success. To learn more about Unistrut partition support structures, or to discuss an application, drop us a line or give us a call for further assistance.