Mock-Up Buildings: Thriving on Feedback

Starting in January, Wells Concrete began offering tours of our new mock-up building – built specifically to showcase the many different finishes and features Wells has to offer the precast community. With over 45 tours under our belts already, and more scheduled, it’s safe to say the mock-up building has been a great success. In addition to informing us that we are the first company they know of to create a mock-up building of this kind, our clients have been very gracious in providing feedback through our after-tour survey.

Andrew Stumne explains during the plant tour.

Many of our clients were surprised to learn that Wells has the exclusive ability to install Integrity Windows by Marvin post-cast in our yard, before the panels travel out to the job site. Not only that, Integrity Windows has specific advantages associated with their fiberglass units, such as durability and strength, low thermal expansion, and being less conductive than aluminum.

It was readily apparent that having a variety of finishes and features on display right next to one another makes it much easier for our clients to see and compare them. Most of the time you would need to travel around the metro and look at various different projects to view the assortment of finishes and features that Wells now has on display in one, single location. In addition to helping contractors and architects involved in a project, it has the potential to help owners make a more resolute decision on how they want their building to look.

“[It was] helpful seeing the variety of finishes (inside and out) close together, within reach where you can walk up and touch/see up close.”
-Dave Higgins (McGough Development)

“It’s a very good visual for owners/architects. The roll cast return/corners are fantastic. Pre-installed glass is a great idea, eliminates temp shelter, safety barriers, besides expediting the installation time.”
-Bob Pederson (Donlar Construction)

Jace Rossow speaks about the benefits of precast.

The majority of our feedback mentioned the benefits of being able to see various connection options, corner details, trims, and install methods, among other details. Both the outside and inside of our mock-up building provide insights into how the panels are cast and fitted together, with some connections intentionally left unfinished to illustrate the before and after.

“Great example of wall and roof connection types and details. Cornice and finish examples were great.”
-Travis Bries (McGough Construction)

“It was good to see the different finish options, especially some of the bricks, and that wrapping corners is possible without the tell-tale joint. Walking through the interior was especially helpful – seeing the different connection methods (haunch vs pocket) for trusses, and the A-B-C finishes.”
-Kelly Mastin, AIA (Miller Dunwiddie Architecture)

Our architectural capabilities are on full display as well, illustrating how truly versatile our precast can be with the use of formliners. Thin brick and wood paneling looks are an interesting element to precast that some were surprised to see, previously unaware we could achieve such a look with so much success. These panels alone offer architects an unparalleled opportunity to see and better understand the potential of architectural precast.

“For me, the ability to see (in person) all the different precast panel mockups gives me more reason to suggest Wells to my clients.  With the various finish options whether it be brick & masonry, barn-wood panels, or acid etched & polished concrete, it is easy to envision many more applications where precast would be a great choice!
-Luke Smith (Krech O’Brien Mueller and Associates)

“The variety of details and finishes. Didn’t know you did polishing until today. The depth of cornice details you can pour integral with the wall panels. It helps to see the variety of finishes on a larger scale than 2×2 samples, I could see a big benefit to bringing clients to see it.”
-Don Andersen (Edward Farr Architects)

Clients ask questions during the plant tour.

As of now, we have received 210 surveys from clients who have visited one of our three mock-up buildings and provided their feedback– and many of these visits have included plant tours and lunch & learn presentations to help our clients better understand precast and all that it can do for them. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with helpful suggestions and critiques. We are proud to say that our foray into providing a condensed, but thorough example of our precast capabilities has been a success. If you’re interested in scheduling a tour for you and your company, please don’t hesitate to call us!

“I liked everything about the mock-up. It was a great representation of what Wells can provide as far as finishes, colors, and windows.”
-Trent Lundquist (Shaw-Lundquist)