SOURCE: Butler Manufacturing

Butler Manufacturing

May 20, 2011 13:58 ET

Unique Construction Method and an Insightful Butler Builder® Help Mission Expand Services for the Homeless

WILMINGTON, DE--(Marketwire - May 20, 2011) - When Wilmington's largest shelter for homeless men decided it was time to extend their services to women and children, they realized they would need more space -- a lot more space. The problem was, they didn't have a budget to match that need.

Sunday Breakfast Mission has been carrying out a vision that started in 1893. They have been successful providing services for men, but introducing women and children into the mission would require separate accommodations. And that would cost money the nonprofit organization just did not have. Regardless, they pushed forward with their idea. Through a combination of donations and grant funding they managed to gather the money they needed to get started.

The next step was to find a builder who could work with them to maximize the amount of space they could add to their facilities for the budget that was available. They started by calling the design-build company located down the street from the mission. That company happened to be EDiS, a Butler Builder® with more than 100 years of experience in the construction business. After a few meetings, the leaders at EDiS knew what was needed and they started to put together a plan.

EDiS introduced the idea of using hybrid construction methods available through Butler Manufacturing because of the cost savings that can be achieved by using it. The plan also included a recommendation to use the services of an architect based in Utah because EDiS knew that the firm had a proven track record of designing affordable solutions for churches and other charitable organizations.

EDiS also relied on the expertise of Steve Eisenacher, a sales engineer with Butler Manufacturing, the nation's largest provider of engineered building systems. An expert in hybrid construction, Eisenacher worked with the team to define ways that they could integrate systems construction with conventional construction in order to maximize the space that could be built while minimizing the cost.

The project was complex. There were four distinct portions of the construction project: a three-story unit that would be used as a residential space, a large clear-story unit that would become a multipurpose room, an entry unit and a transition building that would connect the existing structure to the new construction.

The design-build team carefully chose the materials that would be used in each area of the new construction as a way to balance performance, energy efficiency and costs. In addition to structural steel and secondaries, the project used three different Butler wall panels, TextureWall™, Butlerib® II, and StylWall®, because of each product's unique combination of energy efficiency and design features.

Likewise, the project used two different roof systems. Butler's VSR roof system was used on the small canopy areas where energy efficiency was not an issue. But Butler's MR-24® roof system was used on the large expanse over the large clear span as well as the three-story units because it is proven to keep energy costs low and maintenance cost even lower. After all, with budgets being tight, the mission would not want to deal with high maintenance fees once the project was complete.

"It became a real community effort," said EDiS Vice President Michael Freda. "Nearly everyone involved, the contractors, vendors, everyone, made donations to the project in one way or another."

Even with the outpouring of support, EDiS still had a challenging project ahead of them. Among other issues, the construction site was very small, which did not allow room for the steel and other building products that typically would be in a staging area on the jobsite. Because of their proximity, EDiS was able to store some materials in a local warehouse and they worked with Butler to coordinate deliveries.

The hybrid construction method using Butler engineered systems also helped to get the project completed faster. "There were no delays in the delivery times for the products. Butler had everything there when we needed it, which made things very efficient," Freda said.

Sunday Breakfast Mission opened the new women's facility in August, 2010 -- six weeks ahead of schedule. The facility is scheduled to house and provide services for 120 women and children who previously would have had nowhere to go.

For more information about the hybrid construction method, go to

Contact Information

    Bruce Bortree