James Nagle, Director of Business Development
Over the years, the dry construction market has been customarily driven by the increasing industrialization and adopting sustainable, lightweight construction practices by the construction industry. The governments of several developed nations also support dry construction practices and have incorporated specific regulations. Dry construction uses panels or boards installed on metal structures to build walls for interior and exterior, ceilings, windows, and other systems. It reduces the construction time up to 50 percent and also provides freedom of design. Among an array of dry construction solutions, curtain walls have become a primary requisite for safeguarding buildings against environmental hazards while enhancing its aesthetics. These walls are specially designed for the protection of the building from extreme weather conditions. Requiring very little maintenance and repair, curtain walls are a highly cost-effective investment for a building’s protection and safety. However, most curtain wall manufacturers building the facades are not self-sufficient. In most cases, there are separate fabricators with only specific fabrication expertise who use a sub-contractor to install the product. Adjacently, some others might only deal with installation— buying materials from a manufacturer to build curtain walls or might only be in charge of the supply chain management. Still, none of them provide all these capabilities together to the building contractors. As a result, the project often gets delayed, and the building constructor ends up wasting their time worrying about different entities and departments pointing fingers at each other. Rising to the occasion, California based Elicc Americas Corporation brings global manufacturing, design capabilities, and installation together to provide a one-stop turnkey curtain wall service for customers all across the North American Market.
“We are the one-stop-shop for curtain wall services that draw the blueprint, engineers the system, fabricate, produce, manufacture the system, and then install it as well,” triumphantly asserts James Nagle, Director of Business Development at Elicc Americas. The company doesn’t need to buy doors or windows from suppliers as they manufacture these things. In this industry, people often mistake curtain walls for just aluminium with frame and glass in it, but that’s not the case for Elicc Americas. “We are a custom company where every project is different. Instead of stuffing items on the shelf per se, we use high-end building materials like terracotta, zinc, granite, copper and various kinds of metal alloys, depending on the project requirement and at par with our client’s price point,” states James. They work as the middle man to help make an architect’s dream become a reality on the building owner’s budget and pride themselves in being a custom curtain wall company.
Elicc Americas principally uses unitized curtain walls. These wall systems are factoryassembled and glazed, then shipped to the job site in units, rather than being glazed, completed, and installed on the job site. The unitized curtain wall has added advantages of speed, lower field installation costs, and quality control within an interior climate-controlled environment. Apart from premier curtain walls, Elicc Americas manufacture new elements that are to be integrated within their systems. They use thin brick technology, fire- rated curtain walls, terrace doors, and storm louvers while researching the costs and feasibility of producing their glass.
Proudly involved in every step of curtain wall production for building projects, whenever they are to bid a new project, Elicc Americas produces befitting architectural drawings and specifications. While attending the specifications, these necessary drawings define what glass, infill, and design aspect materials will be required for the project. The company employs highly skilled design managers to bring each project to life. Aptly recognizing the importance of professional experts and product designers who yield the best results, every Elicc Americas project is assigned a design manager with a minimum of 10 years of industry experience working on major commercial projects. The design team maintains their professional skills with ongoing training of standardized processes across projects, which gives them the flexibility to shift staffing with minimal lag, when necessary, to meet aggressive project schedules.
With over 60 engineers in their engineering facility in Guangzhou, China, Elicc Americas ensures enhanced quality with robust engineering, compared to site-built curtain walls. All frames are fabricated, assembled and glazed in the controlled environment of automated manufacturing facilities, in North America. Sprawling across 550,000 square foot complex with a 240,000 square foot production area, Elicc Americas curtain wall assembly takes place in the manufacturing facility containing four unitized curtain wall production lines. With the ability to expand up to 6 production lines, and a total annual production capacity of 1,400,000 square feet. The company uses four highly automated lines to produce its curtain wall systems. To ensure Elicc Americas provides the best products, it only uses non-recycled aluminium in its production lines.
The biggest testimonial to Elicc Americas’ success is the Steinway Tower on 111 West 57th St, New York. With a height of 1,428 feet (435 meters) at 84-stories, the Steinway Tower will be the slimmest skyscraper in the world upon completion, with a width-to-height ratio of 1:24. While the North end of the tower rises directly from street-level, the South end of the project was designed with a series of setbacks, which were constructed above the existing Steinway Hall, producing the appearance in a manner where the tower seems to be “disappearing into the sky.” The façade design incorporates several unique elements that Elicc Americas implemented into a unitized curtain wall system, such as terracotta and hardware from Europe and bronze filigree from Asia. Elicc Americas’ design and installation teams created and adapted several custom systems to complete the project. Every unitized panel was transported fully fabricated by rail & truck to the site. It was then delivered to the correct floor by an over-size elevator to accommodate the large panels. Both the East and West facades were installed with a monorail system above the seventh floor, as both were designed as a shear wall to reduce wind loads. The crown (top 8 stories) are comprised of a metal structure, which required several hundred panels to be individually set with the tallest freestanding crane in New York City history. With numerous challenges presented to the design team, the installation faced no major setbacks and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020. After its completion, the building is bound to attract the crème de la crème of the luxury real estate on 111 West 57th Street, known as Billionaire’s Row, named for the super-wealthy investors driving the construction of residential towers along 57th and adjacent streets.
The company has always been proactive in developing its future plans. They are continually looking for ways to enhance their fabrication methods, source the best materials at competitive prices, and develop new products to manufacture in-house. “We are also getting patents on our technologies as we speak to provide a wide assortment of products all by ourselves. Alongside, we are expanding our reach into the Southeast & Southwest markets, with expectations to land a few projects in the near future,” fulsomely concludes James.