The wraps on the new GoggleWorks apartments on Washington Street in Reading will be long gone by early summer. In the meantime, the $16.7 million building remains swathed in plastic to keep workers warm.
The plastic also has been covering up an unusual construction process based on a metal framing system. Instead of a typical structural steel framework filled in with masonry blocks and wooden planks, it has prefabricated metal framing and walls that stack in place made by ClarkDietrich Building Systems, an Ohio-based provider of steel construction products and services.
Eric Burkey, president of Reading-based Burkey Construction Co., the project’s general contractor, said the walls are set in place and the cold-formed steel joists and metal deck are set before the walls are placed on the floor above. The wall panels literally sit one on top of the other and carry through the overall height of the building.
“This kind of system has been around for a while,” Burkey said. “It just hasn’t been used a lot.”