Bret McLeod, Owner
Over the last decade, the construction industry has witnessed various changes due to the surge in customer demand and a continual wave of technological advancements. These factors have spurred the emergence of modular construction firms that utilize pre-fabricated walls, floors, and roofs to help builders boost cost savings and minimize delays. However, as the heart of construction transforms from traditional framing to pre-fabrication, the need for timely and affordable labor has also reached an all-time high.
A construction industry veteran, Bret McLeod, recognized this building challenge and its impact on the multi-family framing industry, and started Integrated Component Systems (ICS) in 2018 to develop framer-friendly wall and floor panels to bring speed and efficiency to the job site. With a mission to address similar challenges across California and Arizona, McLeod established the Advanced Construction Southwest (ACS) Group. “We combine decades of framing and component expertise to design panels with high quality and consistency while minimizing waste and reducing cycle times,” says Bret McLeod, owner of ACS. The company specializes in Type III and Type V multi-family and commercial projects and leverages its core values of professionalism, innovation, and impeccable workmanship to ensure that its clients’ needs are satisfied.
With ICS’s ability to accurately design and produce wall and floor panels that closely align with a customer’s project specs, it has become an integral part of ACS’s operations.
Unlike traditional framing methods that allow framers to complete around 7,500 to 15,000 sq. ft. in a week, ICS’s services allow ACS to complete up to 25,000-30,000 sq. ft. At the same time. ICS also designs and produces wall and floor panels with pre-installed HVAC, plumbing, and electrical components to shrink the timeline for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing trades. Similarly, to ensure that every allied trade is up-to-date with the progress of the construction, ACS performs a coordination process where its team determines how all the trade-related items need to be routed into a wall or floor panel before collaborating with the relevant contractors. “Trying to get all of the trade items routed without conflicting with each other and with the framing is quite a challenge. And that is why ACS has been engaging with contractors through our coordination process for over two decades,” explains McLeod.
ACS’s coordination process starts with the company acquiring accurate layouts that detail each of the scopes within the project.This is followed by a consolidation step where the ACS team overlays all trade items into a single plan, allowing ACS’s pre-construction team to recognize instances where items are clashing and mitigate them. Once this is done, team ACS sits down with the architect, engineer, and all the key parties of the project and discusses each unit overlay to finalize the best routing for each trades’ items to create a cost-efficient coordinated layout for each unit type. After the coordination process, ACS starts the design process where its production team of designers creates wall and floor panels based on the coordinated layouts in a 3D environment. These 3D models then go to the ACS fabrication facility, where they are used to fabricate the wall and floor panels.
Further discussing the core competencies of his company, McLeod elaborates, “We have developed patented hardware to guide to quickly and accurately place the floor panels, helping us finish our projects within the customer timeline.” With such unparalleled capabilities, ACS has bridged the gap between owner requirements and the contractor/compliance requirements in the multi-family environment across California and Arizona. Highlighting the impacts of ACS’ services is one of the company’s projects in Mountain View, CA. In this instance, the owner’s high demands coupled with the production rates of contractors made it the perfect project for ACS to showcase its ability to meet the exceptionally high production demands of an incredibly complex project design using ICS.
Moving forward, ACS aims to expand its offsite construction geographical footprint into Southern California and Arizona. And in pursuit of this, the company is seeking investment partners that will help them deliver the scalability and robustness of its services beyond California and across the U.S. To conclude, McLeod reiterates the ethos of his company, “We will continue to develop additional services that understand the needs of the framers and drives an efficient, timely, and cost-efficient future for modular construction.”