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From Grit to Glamour: Our Model Guest Room Facility for Hotel Clients

From Grit to Glamour: Our Model Guest Room Facility for Hotel Clients

Picture yourself walking through a gritty manufacturing neighborhood and then entering a huge gunmetal gray warehouse complex with concrete floors and massive support columns. You open an unassuming door and surprisingly, find yourself in a fully furnished 5-star luxury hotel suite. A gentle touch of the switch plate dramatically lights the room and slides open the window drapes.

You have just entered The CHS Group’s model guest room facility where we construct and host model rooms for boutique and national brand hotel clients.

CHS has had some of the most seasoned names in the hotel industry walk out of our freight elevator, through a construction door into a fully finished corridor, then use an actual card key to open a guest room. They step in and exclaim “Wow!” to the luxury of a beautifully designed and fabricated room in the midst of the industrial setting of a warehouse.

Either the client chooses to build the most typical guest room in order to capture as many design elements as possible or a room type that has numerous challenges due to a particular configuration. The physical process begins with marking up the concrete floor in our warehouse according to the architect’s plans for the room. Then a plywood platform is built to mimic the actual room footprint. Typically, the corridor leading to the room is built to exact specifications as well. This has been helpful in circumventing any problems with actual furniture delivery and placement into the guest rooms.

While all clients choose the room’s finished selections (carpet, wall covering, paint, furniture, art, bathroom tile, etc.), some clients prefer to also have a fully functioning space that incorporates behind the scenes construction such as HVAC systems, plumbing rough-ins (sans running water), etc. This can facilitate adjusting and revising any problematic issues. CHS works closely with the client’s team of architects, designers, project managers and purchasing agents to value engineer and foresee any potential concerns.

CHS has designed and fabricated light boxes at each window to emulate natural daylight as seen through standard window sheers. More complex treatment can include custom screen printed views.

CHS signs a confidentiality agreement for every model room along with securing and locking every room. Use of photography is not permitted unless by agreement with the owner. Model rooms are deconstructed at the close of the project when every aspect is completed and approved.


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How to Select the Right Material For Commercial Flooring Applications

How to Select the Right Material For Commercial Flooring Applications

Functionality is generally the most important criteria when it comes to commercial flooring. Design and aesthetics are often replaced by practicality. The trend is slowly shifting these days as more and more commercial companies are exploring ways to incorporate sanitary, stain-resistant surfaces that also have style.

Types of Materials Available

Function is the highest priority with a majority of commercial flooring installations. Even the most luxurious floors will wear down under heavy foot traffic and can become damaged and ruined. Commercial floors are also cleaned on a nightly basis and must be easy to scrub with minimal maintenance. The following materials meet the criteria for durability and offer unique design options:

Terrazzo

Perhaps no commercial flooring option provides as much style as terrazzo. The material incorporates the popular mosaic design trend with marble chips embedded into concrete. Terrazzo can also be embedded with glass, pearl, or metallic for a bright shine and a unique, customizable appearance. The end result is a life-lasting floor that is easy to maintain but also stylish – a triple threat.

Carpet Tiles

In many commercial situations, carpet isn’t feasible. In hospital and schools, carpet is risky because it absorbs allergens and bacteria. In office and retail spaces, carpet can easily become soiled by shoes and heavy traffic. Full carpet rolls are also costly to replace once damaged or worn. Carpet does have its appeal, though. It makes a space feel warm and inviting, and is soft under the feet. This is where carpet tiles come in. Carpet tiles have all the benefits of carpet without the expense and associated risks. They usually install in 18” X 18” squares that can easily be replaced.

Polished Concrete

In high traffic areas there’s really no substitute for concrete’s durability. Unfortunately, bland concrete doesn’t do much to improve the aesthetics of a building. This is not as much of a problem for a manufacturing plant as it is for a shopping mall. Concrete is usually already in place in the building’s foundation. By polishing the surface to a fine grit and then staining or adding embedded aggregate before sealing with a protective coat, concrete can be transformed into a smooth and polished surface.

Resilient Floors

Resilient floors are a heavily engineered polymer product with a long lifespan. Typically vinyl but also consisting of linoleum, cork, or rubber, resilient floors are durable to stains and damage. They also provide a good level of comfort when walking and standing.

Rubber Flooring

Although it is more prone to damage than other types of flooring, the benefits of rubber greatly outweigh the risks of a hole or cut. Rubber floors offer padding, which is ideal for employees who are on their feet for extended periods of time. Rubber also absorbs sound in louder facilities and can be a good option when extreme quiet is necessary, such as with telemarketing facilities. To solve any damage risks, rubber can be installed in tiles for easy replacement when worn or damaged.

Stone

While function often reigns supreme in commercial flooring settings, there are times when luxury sells. Perhaps the most immaculate of all flooring other than marble is natural stone. Stone flooring costs are much higher than other flooring choices, so careful consideration should be given to its benefits. For luxury auto dealerships or high-end hotels, a stone floor may help attract targeted customer demographics and lead to increased income potential.

Industry Guidelines For Choosing Flooring

The trick with commercial flooring is knowing how to implement it on an industry-by-industry basis. Some businesses such as food services and hospitals have codes that mandate specific flooring types. On the other hand, businesses without specified requirements run the risk of selecting a floor that may negatively affect productivity (picture rubber floors in a forklift-populated warehouse). Each management team will need to weigh the pros and cons of all flooring options to determine which application best suits their business. Below are some guidelines to follow for common commercial industries: Healthcare: The ultimate goal for healthcare flooring is that it is safe and sanitary. In addition to the actual surface material to be used, another thing to consider is the method of installation. Any flooring type with seams presents a hard-to-clean hiding spot for bacteria and germs, so seamless flooring is a must. Polished concrete or terrazzo epoxy are ideal flooring options for the healthcare industry. Their smooth surfaces can incorporate colors and designs that can provide a relaxed, calming environment for patients. Coating terrazzo and polished concrete surfaces with anti-slip grit sealers provide the ideal combination of functionality, safety and aesthetics for hospitals and care facilities. Education: Flooring for educational facilities needs to be both stain-resistant and sound-absorbing. Heavy footsteps and squeaking floors will disrupt the learning process. Resilient flooring is a nice option here. It’s soft to walk on, easy to clean, and quiet. Terrazzo is another consideration. Retail: Retail flooring should prioritize comfort for their customers. Both the feel of the surface and the overall appearance of the space are important factors. Consider installing unique stone or hardwood floors to make a lasting impression. Office Spaces: In order to maximize employee productivity, office spaces need to be both quiet and inviting at the same time. Office flooring also needs to clean easily on a nightly basis. Carpet tiles are a very comfortable option for office settings as they absorb sound and are soft to walk on. They can also be vacuumed easily and replaced in heavy traffic areas when damaged.

The Big Picture of Costs

A major factor at play with commercial flooring is cost. But up-front costs should be weighed with performance and lifespan. Flooring options such as terrazzo and polished concrete will only need to be installed once. Seemingly less expensive options can become damaged beyond repair on a bi-annual basis, which would make them more expensive options in the long run.

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Why The Commercial Construction Industry Needs More Skilled Workers

Why The Commercial Construction Industry Needs More Skilled Workers

“Work in construction” is a common answer carpenters and construction workers give when asked what they do for a living. That answer is a broad one. It actually encompasses many areas of expertise, including framing, roofing, siding, remodeling, finishing, and other specialties in between. Commercial contractors today are struggling with skeleton crews because they just can’t find experienced and skilled workers. This doesn’t seem to make sense. Not when there are more than enough workers available for residential construction. Shouldn’t any talented carpenter able to swing a hammer and read a tape on a commercial construction site as easily as he can on a residential one? Let’s take a look at the specific requirements for commercial construction work:

Skills Needed

First things first. Commercial construction involves much more than knowing how to swing a hammer and read a tape. Often times commercial workers must have skills in not only carpentry, but also masonry, concrete, metal work, welding, electrical, plumbing, equipment operation or some variation. Once an accomplished worker achieves this skill set, he might be more inclined to start his own contracting company than be limited by the rules of a corporate office.

Corporate Structure

Residential construction jobs tend to provide a certain amount of leeway when it comes to schedule and skill level requirements. It’s not too far out of the realm to see a residential crew consist of a retiree, a third shift worker looking for extra hours, and a teenager on summer break. For the most part, days off are pretty easy to come by. Commercial jobs tend to be more structured, with tighter deadlines, and not all carpenters can commit to the rigid schedules. Commercial jobs also may require travel and extended time away from home, which makes it difficult to appeal to middle-aged workers with families.

Job Opportunities

Many residential workers are members of the community, and people you know personally. When someone is laid off from an office or manufacturing job, word of mouth travels quickly, and it’s not long before a local residential contractor offers him a job. Commercial work requires a different skill level, one that is usually more sought out and specialized.

How Can Commercial Contractors Find Skilled Workers?

The commercial industry is in a bit of a role reversal today, with contractors having to seek out workers instead of the other way around. The potential employee must be a reliable skilled worker who has no problem traveling and working under a hierarchy of management on a large crew. Here are some tips on how a well-balanced, skilled crew can be put together:
  • Pay More. Higher pay is the obvious solution to find more talented workers. Commercial contractors need to adjust their profit margin or charge more so that employees can enjoy a trickle-down effect.
  • Hire Nationally. Commercial companies with assignments throughout the US can consider hiring workers near the job sites, rather than near their own home headquarters. Contractors can simply meet them on the job site. This approach would greatly expand the talent pool.
  • Hire Recruiting Companies. In the same way that professional sports teams should always be on the lookout for that skilled free agent, commercial construction companies should be too. It’s not a bad idea to partner with a recruiting or job service organization that is constantly in touch with employment seekers.
  • Over hire. While many manufacturers employ ‘just-in-time’ inventory management to minimize their overhead, a commercial construction crew must have a surplus of workers on at all times. There should always be some work to keep carpenters busy during slow periods. Paying dependable workers to handle a broom is better than stretching them thin and missing crucial deadlines because of a short crew.

Growth Outlook

The National Association of Home Builders reported that nearly half the residential and commercial builders in America reported a labor shortage in 2014 indicating a true problem. This coincides with a 13.1% growth forecast in 2015 and an early 9.2% projection for 2016 for the commercial building sector. While these numbers may seem alarming, the silver lining in here is that supply and demand will create an incentive for people to get back into the construction industry. The younger workforce should see the potential for higher pay in commercial construction, and those looking to switch careers one last time in their 30’s will be more open to entering the carpentry industry. There will always be some uncertainty in commercial construction. It’s an industry that ebbs and flows with fluctuations in the economy. The same can be said of just about every industry. Builders who want to grow and expand will need to take a look at how corporate sales and technology giants find their employees. Approach workers like the highly skilled professionals they are and enlist the help of headhunting agencies to find them.

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