The History of Gridworx & their Stone Panelized Cladding Systems
While working as a stone broker I began selling stone cut for stone panelized cladding systems. Typically, the stones are 3 cm thick weighing 15 pounds PSF. With thin stone cladding systems, architects are able to build stone buildings once again.
Stone buildings constructed with mechanically attached curtain wall systems were not well recognized in the construction industry. It was easy to see why. I came to realize the cladding systems in the market were cumbersome and most of all – inefficient. One example is – none offered a solution for removing and replacing a damaged panel without disassembling the entire wall section. Another is – none provided the ability for the non-sequential setting of the stone.
Designed and Pre-engineered to Meet or Exceed Industry Specifications
Surely there must be a solution to these problems. And, this was the beginning. The next three years were consumed with meetings with architects, engineers and patent attorneys. After considering many concepts, a two-part attachment system integrated with a rotational engagement L-bracket became the obvious solution. This invention overcame both of the problems listed above. Doubtless, it would be the most efficient mechanical attachment cladding system ever.
Simultaneously, these years were consumed with developing a team to help perfect this concept. Initially, our staff included an installation department to perform project installations and train other masons and carpenters. It was important for other installers to understand the ease and efficiency of the Gridworx system. We employed an architect with curtain wall construction experience to deliver clear communications with project architects as well as create shop drawings and other project details. Next, a production team was required to fabricate system components, perform modifications and coordinate the delivery.
Additionally, over this period we acquired fabrication equipment, developed an office and a shop facility. Our team was consumed with biweekly meetings. These included curtainwall engineering companies, followed by visits to stone quarries, aluminum extrusion factories, contractors, architects and patent attorneys for filing multiple patents.
As the entire system was designed and pre-engineered to meet or exceed industry specifications, attracting the attention of project architects was made more accessible. Soon Gridworx was being specified on multiple projects across the country.
Standard panel sizes with 1.25” thick stone made prefabrication achievable. Prefabricated panels enabled the compression of construction time. Stone quarries and cutting mills were able to achieve as much as three times the number of stone panels from each quarry block as compared with full bed masonry. Soon quarries requested material for mock-up walls to demonstrate the Gridworx system to visiting architects. A project calling for thin stone panels enhanced the quarry’s profitability.
Due to the lightweight nature of the panels, a single Installer Could handle more material with greater efficiency delivering higher productivity. In no time, installers were bringing Gridworx into their projects to increase their profitability.
Standard System Designs
We soon developed a drafting department to create standard system designs made available for downloading in PDF and DWG formats. These tools enabled the architect to develop their drawings with precise section details including attachment components with relative degree of ease.
Gridworx Offers the Full Package
We offer the full package. The Gridworx system consists of not only the most efficient mechanically attached cladding system ever, but also includes engineering by a PE licensed in the project state, stone, shop drawings and stone cut tickets, all installation components and on-site installation training.
After twenty years Gridworx has spread not only throughout North America but internationally as well. We are proud of the progress we have made in creating a market for the Gridworx system.
And, we are just getting started.