One billion dollars was raised in 2015 for cancer early detection and research, the Oregon Health and Science University’s 320,000-square-foot, seven-floor Knight Cancer Research building in Portland, Ore., featuring intellectual and social hubs, centralized, shared equipment, and research core facilities.

Since September 2018, the center’s collaborative work has been taking place in an open laboratory design. Every person has daylight access in a high-performance, environmentally sustained workplace, featuring toxin-free and carcinogen-free materials.

Material That Delivers

Steel framing is a key component of higher limiting wall heights and longer ceiling spans. R-stud delivered as promised with the anticipated LEED Platinum certification for this building of miracles.

Sourcing LEED-Worthy Project Materials

All contractors want to lessen the risk of being late or over budget. They also want simple, tested material without settling for second best. R-stud was chosen by OHSU’s sub-contractor, Fred Shearer and Sons, established 1916, and approved by the project team Architect: SRG Partnership and McCarthy/Anderson Joint Venture..

Asked to describe what Fred Shearer and Sons actually does, Ralph Schultz, CEO, explains, “We build the buildings so miracles can happen.”

FSS employs an award-winning team of outlying individuals who love to push the envelope. The team’s charisma and spirit were a definite factor behind the winning bid for the OHSU KCRB project. As Ralph says: “It was the best choice for all parties involved.”

When Patrick Lucas of R-stud presented his new product to Ralph and his team, they were impressed. While all the main players selling studs are competent and efficient at what they do, Ralph could see an overall benefit in the additional height he could get using R-stud. Initially caught off guard by the engineering behind it (V-groove supplemental flanges), he thought it certainly looked good on paper. An added benefit was gained using less gypsum overall, saving elevator time and material handling using the material hoist to stock.

With this product, you can use just one layer of gypsum on each side and you’re done. Time savings come from hanging half the normally required gypsum, and typically saves about $4 per square foot of wall, eliminating the need for resilient channel.

To attain a 50 STC rating, you can build a wall using traditional methods requiring a stud, insulation, and a minimum of two layers of gypsum on each side, or 2 + 1 and RC Channel.

Three Key R-stud Differentiators: 

  1. Number one with thermal advantage.
  2. Higher STC reducing sound — a big litigation issue these days.
  3. Higher limiting wall heights and longer ceiling spans.

Trust but Verify

Trust plays a big role in the construction business by ensuring creative problem solving and collaboration, which contributes to positive productivity gains.

In order to verify the best stud product, OHSU Knight Cancer Research IPD team ordered three identical rooms built using the same exact steel stud thickness and spacing, then varying drywall was hung to enable field testing of the STC. One room was created using R-stud.

As Brad Hanson, field superintendent of FSS says, “There are always concerns with new products but confirmation of the test results put the IPD group’s minds at ease. The new style and shape of R-stud was initially challenging for our installers. Snips are used for cutting, so installers found the different I-beam shape challenging. A different process had to be found to cut the material down. The install was similar but the length and spans were greater. It’s easier to have less types and sizes.”

The new stud product was originally tested by RDH Building Sciences in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. They discovered 40 percent less thermal transfer through the newly designed product than a traditional stud. Huge efficiencies are gained in climate zones 2 and 3 (California to Florida). By simply substituting an R-stud for a traditional stud, the R-value (or what they call the U-value) is increased from 10.2 to 15.6.

That means in some cases, the contractor doesn’t have to use exterior insulation to shield the studs from the cladding system. At a bare minimum, the amount of exterior insulation required can be reduced because of the 35 to 40 percent reduction in thermal bridging through the stud framing. There is the potential here to save about $7 per square foot (depending on the design) and this significantly speeds up the construction process.

North America Fire Rating

U.S.A. and Canada certified R-stud has UL listing for two-hour load bearing fire rating.

Superior Technology = Superior Results

By putting R-stud made from U.S. steel in their specifications, architects and designers are discovering they can get a better LEED rating while offering more privacy and more energy efficient buildings, designed to lower heating and air conditioning costs.

A big plus for hotels and multifamily dwellings, is that the product is an average of 9 STC points higher than studs with the same assembly when tested in accordance with ASTM E90. Architects know that money saved on what’s behind the walls can now be spent on the exterior design work.

Currently, the only steel stud approved by the non-profit International Living Future Institute, R-stud is certified as Red List-Free (no harmful chemicals, etc.).

Chemicals on the Red List contain known hazardous materials prevalent in the building industry. These commonly used chemicals are polluting the environment and bio accumulating up the food chain until they reach toxic concentrations—harming construction and factory workers along the way. Offering Red List-Free products is a way to deliver projects that perform at a high level without harming occupants.

ILFI created the “Living Building Challenge” in 2006: An international sustainable green building certification program and the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard.

Containing an average of post-consumer 24.3 percent/pre-consumer (scrap), 9.4 percent recycled content, R-stud covers 75 percent of the U.S. construction market.

Because the new stud design is stronger, there’s potential for greater stud spacing and/or a lighter stud gauge, which would produce even greater effective thermal performance. For example, an 18-gauge generic steel stud can be replaced with a 20-gauge R-stud.

Additionally, the 15.27 KSI for the 20-gauge R-stud reveals it to be superior to the 18-gauge generic stud with a 15.11 KSI.

The strength allows the use of wider center-to-center spacing, and the elimination of studs and wall bracing for some applications.

FSS Field Superintendent Brad Hanson says, “After a plumber and a couple of mechanical engineers raised some issues, the R-stud people swooped in and put them to rest. Delivery times and order processing were worked through, and they got the product to them in a timely manner.”

Fred Shearer and Sons CEO Ralph Schultz says, “R-stud increased productivity by 5 to 7 percent due to fewer spans and fewer types of studs.” He would definitely recommend this specialty product to architects for specific locations like multifamily dwellings and hotels requiring sound-sensitive, higher STC ratings.

Bottom line, the potential cost savings for a product like this include: improved project scheduling through reduced steps, lower installation costs, increase in floor plate, reduction in thermal insulation thickness, reduced gypsum wall board requirement and resilient channel elimination.