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Matilda Building project uses high tech device

The Matilda Building, a new commercial and residential building under construction on North Hamilton Street, is taking advantage of emerging technology to save money and energy.

McKinstry, one of the contractors on the job, has been using a robotic laser system to plot the locations of plumbing, electrical, mechanical and fire protection systems inside the building shell.

It is the first time that a “robotic total station” has been used in Spokane.

The technology combines geographic data with 3-D computerized building plans to plot the exact spots for drilling holes and connecting lines.

“It is everything that makes this building live,” said Kim Pearman-Gillman, of McKinstry, about the various systems.

The high-tech method allows McKinstry to fabricate plumbing and other arrays inside one of their warehouses and then haul them to the building site for faster assembly.

The robotic computer uses laser beams to set the marks for the assemblies.

The system reduces waste that comes from cutting and measuring on-site. It is also about four times faster than traditional methods, said Gary McManus, senior project manager for McKinstry.

It cuts labor costs by about 75 percent.

McManus said McKinstry will analyze the savings and plug that data into future construction estimates.

“We are proud of it,” he said of the technology.

The 88,000-square-foot building will have ground-floor retail spaces with 57 apartment units on the upper three floors.

Vertical concrete panels for the building were cast on beds at the site, lifted into position and attached to an internal steel structure.

Brick veneer was embedded into the outer portions of the walls. Workers simply had to power-wash traces of cement from the walls to expose the brick once the walls were lifted into place.

Divcon is the general contractor on the building shell, while McKinstry is the prime contractor on the internal parts. McKinstry is using a design-build method.

John Stockton and his son, Houston, are heading up the project through their LLC ownership group.

They wanted McKinstry and Divcon to employ sustainable building practices for the project.

The heating and cooling systems will operate off three 100-foot-deep wells that will use ground water to heat and cool the building.

Heat exchangers will extract heat in the winter and remove heat in summer.

Crews plan to have the project completed later this year.

Other Stockton projects in the neighborhood are the Warehouse athletic facility, 800 N. Hamilton St., and Clementine Square, at Hamilton Street and Boone Avenue.


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