“Go Big” with the Vietnam Town Center
“Go big or go home,” is a motto that Mark Muhn lives by in all aspects of his life. In his framing business, he is relentless in going after new work and challenging the status quo. The Vietnam Town Center, Phase II was no exception.
Located in San Jose, California, The Vietnam Town Center is a village-themed combination of shopping and dining within a commercial plaza. The construction took place in two phases; the second phase was much bigger than any other framing job Muhn had done. Yet, this framing contractor from Morgan Hill, California has a passion for construction and doesn’t take “no” for an answer.
Phase two of project includes 120 commercial condos with a grocery store pad – this equates to five, one and two story structures with an average 40,000 square feet per building. The first levels are designated for retail; the upper levels are suited for professional offices.
To bid on the project, Muhn worked for the first time with Shame’s Construction, the project’s General Contractor. The bidding process for the job was complex, long and cumbersome. Consequently, other framers bidding on the work dropped out of the process. Muhn stuck with it and continued to answer questions while leveraging the expertise of RedBuilt in solving design challenges…particularly around the beams.
The job encompasses 600 beams of different lengths with varying design specifications. Initially specified as parallel strand lumber, Muhn together with RedBuilt was able to provide the structural engineer with a substitution utilizing RedLam® LVL Beams. In total, there are 29,071 linear feet of RedLam LVL beams in the project – that’s about five and a half miles. Additionally, the job uses 30,000 linear feet of 24” Red-W® open-web trusses, 24” on center for the second floor systems – that’s another five and a half miles!
“Sourcing beams and open-web trusses through one supplier worked favorably for RedBuilt,” says Muhn. “Minimizing the number of manufacturers to engage with saves time and we need to save time wherever we can.”
RedBuilt’s pricing on both beams and open-web trusses is another aspect that got Muhn’s attention. “RedBuilt was able to supply the whole project at the contracted price point. And, they provided all the shop drawings to ensure all pieces were accounted for and on spec,” explains Muhn. “There are comparable products on the market, yet the people at RedBuilt worked with me to ensure we had all the pieces specified correctly, provided a good price, and delivered on time…can’t beat it.”
Three of the five structures at the Vietnam Town Center are in the construction phase. The other two will begin after a parking structure is completed. This gap of time doesn’t slow Muhn down.
“I have a contract for another project in San Jose and I’m using RedBuilt again,” says Muhn. “They get an A+ for following through on doing what they said they will do. The only way I’m able to take on projects the size of the Vietnam Town Center is by working with companies like RedBuilt.”