We are focused on identifying and promoting smarter materials and methods for constructing buildings. Our systems allow architects to design buildings to go up much faster, at higher quality, and which are far more environmentally sound.
The Old Way:
The Blue Sky Way:
Precise Factory Fabrication
At Blue Sky we believe fervently in factory fabrication. But we don’t advocate building a complete house in a factory — we believe in fabricating components. These components can be efficiently shipped to the construction site and rapidly assembled. We thus benefit from all of the advantages of factory fabrication without the costs, limitations and hassles of trying to ship entire homes or large home modules.
Factory fabrication enables tight tolerances, increased speed of construction, reduced waste, and reduced labor costs. Additionally, weather delays and weather damage due to on-site fabrication are reduced, and work in a factory and work on site can happen concurrently, speeding up the overall construction.
Our bolted moment frame leverages mostly cold-formed, high-tensile strength, light-gauge galvanized steel. This sustainable material is cut to tolerances of 1/8th of an inch and pre-drilled for rapid on-site assembly. Additionally, the steel is galvanized with a G-60 or G-90 rating, ensuring it is resistant to rust and corrosion.
Compared to traditional wood construction, steel does not warp or bloat, and it is an engineered material with precisely known and calculated load-bearing capacities. As a result, a steel structure can be designed more accurately, and with less waste, than a traditional structure.
Rapid On-Site Assembly
All elements of our systems are designed to be able to be moved by hand or small machinery, and to either be bolted or screwed together on site. No on-site cutting, welding, or fabrication.
Watch a video of Blue Sky Building Systems' Rock Reach House being framed in only 5 days.
All elements of our bolted moment frame are connected on site with hand tools using bolts. There is no site welding, which saves not only time but also the hassle and expense of the specialized welding inspections required when site welding is utilized.
No Heavy Machinery
For a typical single-story home, the heaviest elements provided by Blue Sky are typically under 700 pounds. This allows construction to be done with light machinery, scissor lifts, or a simple sign-crane. No expensive or heavy machinery is required.
Optimized Building Process
Key elements of our systems are labeled and numbered so there is never any confusion. Indeed, one of the reasons that homes using our systems can be completed so quickly is because there is very little on-site decision making required.
Open Floor Plans
Our systems are especially suited to helping architects create highly flexible floor plans with large open spaces.
No Load Bearing Walls
The post-and-beam arrangement of our bolted moment frame means that no load-bearing or shear walls are required at all (including both inside walls and exterior walls). Additionally there is no need for bracing of any kind. Architects have maximum flexibility in regards to the placement of windows and doors – indeed entire rooms. In fact, a house consisting of all glass walls is entirely possible using the our moment frame.
Spans up to 30 Feet
Due to the strength of its light-gauge steel beams and joists, the our moment frame can have columns which are spaced up to 30 feet apart, and standard bay sizes of 15 feet x 30 feet or 20 feet x 25 feet are common.
We provide an environmentally responsible way to build efficiently using recycled content to create a structure that is stronger, lasts longer, and is healthier than traditional homes. Our systems promote sustainability in three ways:
Homeowner Health and Safety
Our systems are impervious to rot and termites and are not conducive to mold growth. Our systems give off no VOCs, promoting healthy indoor air quality. Additionally our systems are very strong, and are often deployed in areas with high seismic activity, and in areas with frequent storms and high wind loads.
Environmentally Friendly Materials
Our systems are made with an average of 70% recycled content, and are themselves 100% recyclable. Additionally, since our systems are precision manufactured in a controlled environment, their use creates almost no on-site waste. With traditional construction, between 20% and 40% of new building materials end up in a dumpster.
Our bolted moment frame has many of the same advantages as structural steel moment frames, but can weigh up to 50% less, a considerable savings.
Environmentally Friendly Construction
Our system’s ability to have only a few touch-points with the ground can result in dramatically reduced earthwork, and significantly smaller foundations. This advantage can become especially significant on hillside lots, where cut-and-fill and retaining walls can typically eat up a large portion of a construction budget. Additionally, due to our low impact on the land, our structures typically don’t disturb the natural drainage of a site, leading to more stable soils and reduced risk of erosion.
Our systems offer a number of economic advantages over traditional wood or steel construction techniques.
Far faster construction times mean lower carry costs on most projects. On a typical project, use of our bolted moment frame and panelized walls can cut months off of the total construction schedule.
Reduced Material Costs
Our bolted moment frame consists entirely of steel. Steel – like wood – is a commodity and thus subject to price fluctuations. Historically steel is more expensive than wood on a pound-for-pound basis. But our frame requires significantly fewer elements to achieve equal or superior structural strength when compared to wood.
Reduced Earthwork and Foundations
Further savings can be realized on projects being built on hillsides. That’s because in most circumstances our frame system requires much less site work – grading, compacting, filling and retaining – than with traditional slab-on-grade projects.