PCI was recently honored with an award from the Northwest Walls and Ceilings Bureau for their exceptional work on the ilani Casino and Resort hotel project in Ridgefield, WA. The award, presented in the category of “Light gauge steel framing over $1 million,” recognized the innovative use of prefabrication and resulting collaborative processes that the PCI team employed to successfully complete the 15-story project.


The hotel was designed with “repeatable footprints” for rooms, corridors, and common spaces, allowing the PCI team to utilize prefabrication to create interior wall panels and kits. With their three FRAMECAD Stud Roll Form machines, they were ready to hit the ground running.

PCI’s BIM modelers created FRAMECAD models for each stud in a panel, grouping them in kits with an exact “print list” detailing what and exactly where they would be installed. The team also collaborated with the MEP trades in this process, adjusting their BIM models to create access holes and pathways for their materials.

PCI-Ilani Framing prefabricated panels being delivered-gigapixel-very_compressed-scale-2_00x

Kit Installation

During the installation of these panels and kits, it was discovered that the concrete of the post-tension slabs wasn’t completely level. Using a Trimble 3D Laser Scanner, the PCI team created a heat map showing highs and lows in the slabs, adjusting the height of their framed panels to streamline the installation process. The scanning also revealed clashes and imperfections in the structural framing, allowing the team to adjust their framing to compensate for twisting or out-of-plumb columns.

When the material hoist was not able to comfortably fit the panels and kits, the team custom-engineered a panel hoisting device that could attach to the crane hook, securing the panels and kits and landing them directly on the slab.

PCI-Ilani Framing

Advantages of FRAMECAD

Prefabrication also helped turn the conceptual drawings into reality. The main entrance of the new hotel included a covered driveway for unloading passengers and luggage out of the weather. The design team created a curved framing element to hide the simple structural columns. PCI’s Senior Project Manager created a SketchUp model based on the conceptual drawings. The model featured a panel with a spine of studs supported by horizontal framing to connect them to the radiused sides. Using this model, the PCI BIM department developed a CAD drawing that included the required specifications for engineering. The resulting shop drawing was used for production and approval and served as the basis for FRAMECAD machine production.

With the FRAMECAD machines, the prefabrication team created eight precisely-matching curved panels in four days in their warehouse. It was estimated that the same build done conventionally on site would have taken two to three days per panel.

By utilizing prefabrication, PCI provided cost and schedule certainty for the owner, QA/QC certainty for the GC, technological resources for the other trades, constructability answers for the design team, and accurate prefabricated materials for the craftworkers. In short, the team changed the basic scope of framing into a collaborative, innovative experience with great results.