A group of Charleston based architects recently traveled to Aliquippa PA to visit the headquarters of Versatex Trimboard. Versatex is a leading maker of cellular PVC trim. While wood is still the most widely used exterior trim material in the US market, cellular PVC trim is becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons. It is easy to work with, it does not rot, it holds paint better than wood, and it is made with post consumer recycled material. There are number of PVC products available in the Southeast, and local architects wanted to learn more about PVC trim before recommending it to their clients.
While visiting Versatex, they saw the entire manufacturing process, from the raw materials arriving on the train tracks outside the plant, to the computer controlled mixing and baking of the PVC, to how it is wrapped, stacked and shipped. Then the CRAN members were given a hands on demonstration on the do’s and don’ts of proper PVC trim installation and spent two hours in a classroom with Versatex President John Pace, discussing the history of PVC, is sustainable features, and what makes his product stand out in the crowd. (We’ll give you a hint, it has a lot to do with the entire plant workforce’s fanatical attention to cleanliness, quality control and efficiency, and Versatex’s propriety formula that allows it to produce the thickest PVC product on the market.)
The next day the architects were given a tour of several local projects that use PVC trim components from porch decking to beaded ceiling boards and everything in between. Having seen the demonstration in the plant the day before they were able to ask pointed questions to actual installers about how the product goes up in the field and what the learning curve was like for carpenters used to working with wood products.
By taking the time to see products being manufactured and professionally installed in the field, CRAN architects are constantly increasing their knowledge of products and building construction techniques. It is by this endless pursuit of knowledge that CRAN architects are consistently improving the quality, comfort and efficiency of the structures that they design.