University Student Housing Gets Needed Facelift

Rowan University needed housing for its expanding student body, and quickly. The once modest New Jersey state teachers’ college suddenly had 18,000 students, including its graduate program, and had now gained university status.

Challenge: 

The collaboration led to the construction of a six-story residential building, which would anchor several planned surrounding structures. Between 2014 and 2018, seven buildings comprising more than 450,000 sq. ft. and 1500 wall panels were constructed in three phases.

Criteria: 

Phase one began with The Penthouse, a mixed-use building with student housing above the first floor. The large six-story L-shaped building with 500,000 sq. ft. of floor space and approximately 200,000 sq. ft. of exterior wall had an aggressive construction schedule in order to accept students attending the fall semester. Considering the desired completion date, Nexus Properties concluded that prefabrication was the only way they would come close to meeting the timeline.

“After the first building was completed, we saw the quality of the panel, the nice waterproofing details, and we were happy with the product. We knew we needed to use this for the next six buildings and the panels worked perfectly for this job,” said Joe Kline, vice president of construction, Nexus Properties.

Solution: 

These were to be built by the team of StoPanel Technology, its affiliate, Jersey Panel Corp, and Nexus Properties, the developer and general contractor for the project. In addition to the tight schedule, StoPanel was used to achieve a highly detailed exterior look, including three contrasting finish materials—brick, cast stone and texture. Prefabricated panels of StoPanel Brick ci and StoPanel Classic ci were used to create these finishes while StoPanel Backup was used on the ground floor as brick veneer was field installed. As is custom with every StoPanel, the fluid applied air and moisture barrier, StoGuard, was installed on every panel prior to the cladding being installed in Jersey Panel’s prefabrication facility.The final touch was Stolit Lotusan, an engineered, super-hydrophobic and patented exterior textured finish designed to resist dirt pick-up and keep the walls clean with its known self-cleaning effect.

“The beauty of prefab is that the exterior goes up quickly,” said Art Baruffi Jr., VP project management for Jersey Panel, “And the interior can get started at almost the same time.” The average installation, he reports, was ten panels a day, with the buildings ranging in size from about 65 to 500 panels. “There was no need for all of the different trades you’d normally see in the field since the walls were ready to go up when they arrived, and we worked with a crew of just about five or six people to install them,” said Baruffi.

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