By John Wyatt
American Subcontractors Association
Association of the Wall & Ceiling Industries Int’l.
Design Build Institute of America
Western Wall & Ceiling Contractors Association
Since 1976, Superior Wall Systems, Inc. has been a strong player in metal stud framing, drywall installation and finishing, lath and plaster, EIFS, fireproofing, prefabricated building components and more. The company specializes in high-rise residential towers, office-tenant improvements and prefab load-bearing light gauge steel wall panel construction.
Headquartered in Fullerton, Calif., the company has grown from a smaller, family-owned operation servicing a limited number of general contractor clients, to a multi-faceted enterprise serving developers, owners and general contractors throughout Southern California. With a Union payroll that currently has approximately 350 carpenters, tapers and plasterers, SWS’s quality and impressive safety record continue to make the company a preferred Union specialty subcontractor in the region. With countless project awards and recognition as one of the fastest growing companies in Orange County, SWS continues to look to the future with its innovative techniques and ensured quality.
According to the company’s Director of Business Development Jaren Grady, the company has seen tremendous and rapid growth over the last ten years. Superior Wall Systems has had an average of $60 million on the books for the last five years.
“Our business has been impacted by the pandemic; our production rates and some sites have been negatively affected; however, our safety has improved. Overall, we are doing better than most,” says Grady and adds that several markets have been impacted tremendously, like hospitality and senior housing.
“The steady progression of technology being incorporated on the job sites or the field, BIM is now a standard for most projects, and we are now using new technology provided by StructionSite to assist in quality control as well as progress of the projects and any questions as it relates to any interferences that may cause delays,” says Grady. “This has helped SWS to stay in front of most issues and continue to proceed on time and on schedule and of the highest quality.”
The 8777 Washington Project is a 125,000-square-foot facility located in southern California; this is a combination Core & Shell Scope and Tenant Improvement Scope. The T.I. portion is spectacular and one of the highest end ever done.
The project is new construction of a four-story, Type I Class A office building atop a three-level subterranean parking garage with 389 stalls totaling more than 270,000 square feet. Located in downtown Culver City, the office building will include ground floor lobbies serving the office tenants. The exterior façade will feature an expansive aluminum window wall with a combination of stone and metal panels. Since the anticipated tenant for the space is in the entertainment production industry, the core and shell space includes the structural requirements for a screening room. The project is targeting LEED Silver certification.
For Superior Wall Systems, the scope of the project was cold-formed steel framing, drywall, insulation and interior plastering.
“One unique element was the use of BASWA Phon Sound Absorbing Plaster System,” says Grady. “We are a certified BASWA installer, so our team is skillfully trained and supported to ensure a quality high performing acoustical plaster system.”
Superior Wall Systems works with L&W Supply, Action, AMS Supply Co.
Service: Build-To-Suit, Entitlement
Developers: A joint development between LPC West and Clarion Partners
General Contractor: Morley Builders
“Control” seems to be the hardest part of the job for Grady, as in “to understand we are not fully in control of our economic outcomes/results (such as the pandemic). In other words, some things are within our control, and some things are not,” Grady says.
“The chief task for us is simply this: identify and separate matters so that we can clearly see which are externals, or not under our control, and which have do with the proper choices we actually control,” Grady says, a history buff who would like to visit Jerusalem one day.
“Along with that we must remember a John Wooden quote about success and Control: ‘Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.’”
At SWS, the company is focused on what it can control and its staff knows that as long as they do that to the best of their abilities, the contractor will be successful.
Grady explains that the two biggest things they try to control are effort and learning. So, the team consistently strives to work hard and smart.
“We emphasize and encourage our people with formal training that stresses good practices of safety and project management,” says Grady. An example he gives is that all of their superintendents receive OSHA 30 certification, and they have implemented a new standard that every project manager completes the AWCI Project Manager Development program.
Grady adds that for the rest of the year outlook, Superior Wall Systems’ pipeline is about 85 percent full. The company sees more opportunities in public works projects, especially those in the education, defense-military and healthcare. Multifamily and high-rise residential are also looking to remain strong markets.
As part of its goals for continued growth, the company is also looking to open another office in the near future.