Trinity DPS Rescues Hotel Project
A costly building reframing would have been the only choice, but Trinity DPS finds a better way with Senergy’s Insulated Masonry Veneer System.
Founded by Brad Bryant in 2006, Trinity Drywall & Plastering Systems (DPS) has grown into an over $60 million powerhouse, working with dozens of general contractors on more than 1,200 projects across Texas and the Southeast, and establishing itself as one of the premier drywall and plastering contractors in the region. According to company Vice President Scott Raines, Trinity’s commitment to professionalism, customer service, high quality, business integrity and optimum safety for all stakeholders can be summed up in the company slogan “Where Jobs Go Right.” It’s become a mantra and a passion for Trinity employees, not to mention an outcome enjoyed by more than a thousand clients over more than 14 years.
That slogan was put to the test in mid-2019 when Trinity was called in to consult and work to rectify an in-process hotel job that was not going right at all. According to the principals, the original general contractor had allegedly mismanaged and taken short cuts in the construction process, and several identified deficiencies in the building needed to be removed and redone. Most notably, according to Raines, it seemed that improper installation and materials had caused the building to be inundated with large amounts of water, even before the drywall stage of construction. Clearly, for Trinity and the other new contractors involved, getting the job back to “right” would take time, patience and expertise.
Then, as they started to clean up the project and remove the damaged material, Raines notes that the team quickly discovered another, seemingly insurmountable problem. A beautiful brick façade had been specified for part of the building, and, indeed, had been started on the lower floors. However, it became clear that the framing that had been put in place lacked the proper deflection ratio required for full dimensional brick throughout and would not allow the project to safely proceed as planned or meet code. The hotel owner would have to invest the time and money necessary to have new structural steel framing installed in order to successfully complete the job as envisioned.
Trinity finds a better way
Indeed, a costly building reframing would have been the only choice just a few years ago. But, as luck would have it, Trinity personnel had recently been to a seminar sponsored by Senergy Wall Systems, a brand of Master Builders Solutions and they were eager to try a new system that had been introduced to them.
The system is called the Insulated Masonry Veneer System, a continuously insulated drainage wall cladding system that features MaxGrip Veneer Mortar—a uniquely formulated, high-strength setting bed mortar used to adhere lightweight, masonry veneer such as natural and manufactured stone, tile and thin brick.
“This system offered the beauty of brick with significantly lower framing requirements. They might not have had a ‘rescue’ operation like this in mind when they developed it, but it seemed to be the perfect solution for our needs,” noted Raines. “The timing couldn’t have been better.” Working with his local Senergy rep, Trinity developed a path forward and effectively helped turn a “mess” into a high-quality hotel that is successfully opening for business.
“We believed that we could turn the situation around at a very reasonable cost by matching the look of the existing full-size brick with thin brick. The existing framing couldn’t handle conventional brick, but it was fine for the modest load bearing needed by the Senergy system. Senergy even offered a full system warranty.”
Perhaps best of all, he notes, were the aesthetics of the new façade, which, along with the relatively modest cost, made for an attractive outcome for the owner. “You can’t tell the difference between the full dimensional brick and the veneer—someone would have to point it out to you,” said Raines. “As far as most anyone can tell, it’s a full brick job.”
Many advantages to application—and to a Senergy partnership
There had been a couple of initial industry attempts at a low weight masonry veneer wall system concept before, but they weren’t as effective until the Insulated Masonry Veneer System by Senergy Wall Systems was launched.
“This is the first all-adhesive solution we have ever seen,” he explained. “Some other manufacturers require that you pierce their air/water-resistive barrier every few feet with screws or other fasteners. I’m not aware of ingress cases, but it never seemed to be a good idea to poke holes in a barrier of any kind if you can avoid it. I can’t think of another system that doesn’t have mechanical penetrations of some kind.”
Another advantage of the Senergy system compared to earlier products—perhaps one that only a true hands-on user would appreciate—is the practical nature of the air barrier. “The Senergy air/water-resistive barrier is a robust opaque gray that gives you a good visual to confirm that you have enough thickness on the wall. Other manufacturers use lighter colors that have some translucent properties where you can see the writing on the sheathing beneath it,” he explained. “It was something our guys noticed and appreciated right away.”
“In my opinion, overall, this Senergy system has really legitimized the whole concept of a low weight masonry veneer system for the entire industry.”
Further, he notes, in working with Master Builders Solutions over the years, he also has appreciated and praises the company’s efforts in keeping contractors like himself informed—such as through the type of training events where he was first introduced to the Insulated Masonry Veneer System in more detail.
“We had a two-and-a-half-day seminar with them—all hands-on, trying and installing many different products with one-on-one guidance. I appreciate a manufacturer that provides that amount of investment in my success,” he said. “Many vendors provide information and training opportunities however the hands-on concentrated training was beneficial and designed to make us better and more knowledgeable at what we do. It’s valuable to me as a professional and I appreciate that.”
Raines notes that, regarding Master Builders Solutions products, over the years he and his team have used “just about every system they make in some capacity.” And, indeed, the Insulated Masonry Veneer System and MaxGrip Veneer Mortar have been excellent additions to their “tool chest”—ones they’ve already started tapping into on other jobs.
“We use other manufacturers’ products of course, but we leaned toward Senergy’s Insulated Masonry Veneer System on this project to provide the solution,” he said. “Their products are high quality and the people there are always willing and able to help us with any issue. They have absolutely been an important factor in the growth and success of Trinity DPS.”