What if you could help guarantee the integrity of your next building with an easy solution?
What if that solution was free?
For all Nichiha customers, a Technical Design Review is available for almost any project you might be planning. The Technical Design Review team is available to customers looking for an extra set of qualified, professional eyes on their design.
When architects, designers and other professionals have access to resources like Nichiha’s Technical Design Review, they can save time and money on their next fiber cement cladding installation.
Liz Bell is a Technical Analyst on Nichiha’s TDR team, and she oversees projects in the Midwest for the company.
“If the building is over 45 feet or otherwise large in scope, has unusual conditions, has continuous insulation or is in a high wind zone, it’s a good candidate for a review,” explains Liz.
The process starts when there’s actually something to review — once the drawings are in. “If we don’t receive drawings and they’ve already started putting products on the wall, installers might have to take that product down. We like to get in there as soon as possible,” explains Liz.
The Technical Design Review team is there to make sure that whatever you intended for your design comes to fruition. “We help out before it’s installed, so we can point out any problems before the project gets to the field,” says Liz.
Once Nichiha customers place their order with the sales team, the Technical Design Review team is available to them as part of Nichiha’s commitment to customer service.
“I collect the project drawings and review them for structural integrity and to ensure the product is being installed correctly,” explains Liz. For example, if your project has three inches of continuous insulation, but no furring is specified, the Technical Design Review will recommend furring to ensure the installation is correct and safe.
Another part of the (free) TDR service: The team will ensure that your project meets current local building code standards and stays compliant. “Nichiha panels can weigh up to 57 pounds so it is imperative for safety that the project's wall assemblies and wind load requirements are compatible with our products,” explains Liz.
The turnaround time for the process depends on the size of your project. Nichiha customers will send in project drawings anywhere from a few to a few hundred pages. "Once the drawings are sent, I personally try to get things turned around within three days. The sooner an installer can receive possible changes or address concerns the better,” says Liz.
The Technical Design Review includes a completed review page that has all of the details pulled from the project, such as framing, sheathing and other specifications: “I send everything in a few attachments. The customer gets back a PDF of the review, with everything from location and building details marked off, and any pages that I marked up from their set of drawings.”
There are three types of Technical Design Reviews available to Nichiha customers, depending on project drawings’ level: a product review, a standard review and a plus review for projects in high wind regions.
Regardless of the level of review that customers get, there are several benefits behind a Technical Design Review.
“All of this work is done to help preserve the product warranty,” explains Liz. “A TDR will help prevent the product from getting installed incorrectly. After the review we’ll provide advice, identify any potential problem areas that could occur during installation and ensure the panels are installed on the wall as designed.”
A TDR can help save your team design hours by reviewing your plans for any avoidable project hiccups or callbacks. “We try to get in there as soon as possible, right when the sales order goes in,” explains Liz. “It can save money on the project. Finding out you need to add something like furring can add costs, and a lot of projects don’t have budgets they can mess up,” says Liz.
The Nichiha team oversees each region in the States, and each team member has an engineering or architectural background. These team members lend their experience and expertise to each customer and are available for questions if they come up during the design process.
“I have a call at 3:30 today to review a design with someone,” said Liz during this interview. “It really depends on the architect’s knowledge of the product and if they are a regular customer on how in-depth we get on a project.”
Many of Liz’s projects in the midwest are repeat customers, and because they’ve been through the process before, the design review is often quicker. But Nichiha is dedicated to saving customers time and money on projects. “Sometimes we’ve had projects where they are using too much material in the wall sections, and we can help them save money on the project,” says Liz.
You can guarantee the design that you want when you work with a manufacturer who is dedicated to your project’s success.
Technical Design Team members Liz, Gabriel, David and Marlon at Nichiha's 2019 Holiday Party.
Nichiha’s Technical Design Review team supports customers on all types of projects. Architects love the limitless style options, and all customers enjoy the comfort that comes with knowing they have a product that’s reliable for decades.
You can visit Nichiha’s Technical Design Review page for more information and to schedule a free TDR for your current project.