Company Touts Wall Panels as a Game-Changer

Framing News, Industry News,

Originally Published by: Daily Commercial News — February 23, 2024
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When experienced tract home framer Dylan Sliter and his framing crew knocked on the door of a panelized homebuilder for work more than a dozen years ago, Sliter had no idea how quick panelized homes could be constructed.

P³ Panel Company specializes in the installation of light-frame wood panels for walls, floor and roofs largely in the lowrise multi-family sector in and around Ottawa.

“We were a fairly experienced framing crew that could produce a lot of footage but we found it was way faster with wall panels and floor cassettes,” Sliter told a seminar audience at the Light-Frame Wood Solutions Conference in Vaughan, Ont. recently.

Working for that company was a game-changer.

Today, he is president and general manager of P³ Panel Company, which specializes in the installation of light-frame wood panels for walls, floor and roofs largely in the lowrise multi-family sector in and around Ottawa.

The company has built a name for itself not only for installation but also for prefabrication through its affiliate United Edge Structural Components and it looks to expand its services further into southwestern Ontario.

Dylan Sliter
P³ Panel Company

All of its project planning is offsite, where details of structural and architectural drawings are carefully reviewed and every element of the project is run through its 3D software prior to starting construction.

The benefits of panelized construction are simple: accelerated project timelines, cost-effectiveness and improved structural performance over conventional stick frame construction, Sliter told the seminar.

Early in the company’s development Sliter and his team partnered with Home Hardware and a developer to produce wall panels.

“It took off like wildfire.”

To compete in the Ottawa market, the company expanded production lines to include third-party floor cassettes and roof trusses and eventually chose to open its own plant. From the outset it did all of its own installations to avoid conflict with outside installation crews.

“We want to provide a complete service, start to finish installation — a worry-free framing package,” he said at the conference hosted by WoodWorks Ontario and the Ontario Structural Wood Association.

The prefabrication process offers design flexibility, allowing the team to create a multitude of roof types, for example, Cory Tavares, design manager of United Edge, told the seminar.

Tavares said roof trusses were used in the 1500s in Italy and by the mid-19th century different styles of trusses were employed in bridge construction.

Today’s connector plates, design software and equipment set trusses apart from those of the past, he said.

Sliter says a common question developers ask is what happens if the concrete foundation is out of square or level.

“If there is minor variation, we handle it during plating and levelling before we install our panels,” he said.

“By making sure we prepare the site properly and our lines are all made exactly to the plan, we are able to ensure all the right sizes of openings and locations are met when going to install the floors.”

Several studies over the past few decades all conclude that panelized construction is three times faster than stick frame construction.

Sliter said through that benefit and its price point panelized wood construction has advantages over concrete and steel buildings, and wood also offers a sustainable solution to housing construction.

He says the company will continue to learn and grow in the sector.

“We want to stay innovative in our industry and keep momentum going with the newest technologies to keep the wood frame industry ahead of everything else.”