A prefabricated drywall grid system is revolutionizing the soffit framing industry. Here’s how

Reduce construction costs and man hours required to complete a job!
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Created: 10/12/2022
Armstrong® Ceiling Solutions
Armstrong® Ceiling Solutions

Armstrong  

When a new invention promises to be useful, it ought to be tried. - Thomas Jefferson

Too right, isn’t it? Any invention that resolves a problem to make work and life easier is one that must be implemented as quickly as possible. About a year ago, the installation crew at E&K Construction used one such innovative solution to save time, material, and rework costs while working on a building project in Omaha, Nebraska.

The project specified a drywall soffit with 4-foot openings for diffusers, as well as a perimeter shade pocket. A traditional build with stud and track would be labor intensive and require a lot of material to be cut and assembled using jigs to fabricate all the angles and openings. Even drywall grid mains would require jig time to cut and screw bends together.

As foreman Jay Thomas explains, the work crew opted for the bend-and-click SimpleSoffit® mains with standard 50-inch cross tees to ditch the complex construction and get the required flange-to-flange opening. The result was a fast, consistent, repeatable installation that allowed E&K to see approximately three times the production of this soffit condition per day compared to traditional fabrication.

SimpleSoffit® Grid - increasing productivity on jobsites

A prefabricated drywall grid system is revolutionizing the soffit framing industry. Here’s how
Source: Armstrong® Ceiling Solutions
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As demonstrated in the case study, SimpleSoffit is an engineered solution built by Armstrong® Ceiling Solutions, a leader in the design and manufacture of the innovative commercial and residential ceiling, wall, and suspension system solutions. SimpleSoffit main beams reduce construction costs and is twice as fast to install in comparison to the traditional framing method.

SimpleSoffit is a factory-made, 90-degree main beam you can bend and click into the required soffit shape. You can order standard 90-degree mains at different lengths and cut them to fit, or you can provide the dimensions of the single- or multi-step soffit, and your customized SimpleSoffit mains will be sent to you ready-to-use right out of the box. It’s a direct substitute for the traditional method of cutting and screwing steel studs on a jig table.

A prefabricated drywall grid system is revolutionizing the soffit framing industry. Here’s how
Source: Armstrong® Ceiling Solutions
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Another key benefit of the innovation is that SimpleSoffit mains can also be suspended from hanger wire, 48 inches on center with a standard drywall grid cross tee spanning the mains, ensuring you save labor and material costs. Traditional steel studs require 16 inches on center placement and run up to the ceiling deck.

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With the SimpleSoffit grid, there’s less material, less labor, and less scrap in comparison to the traditional framing method. Even with less material, the system is thoroughly load tested to meet and exceed ASTM standards and code requirements, including seismic-rated for zones D, E, and F, fire-rated, and corrosion-resistant.

A prefabricated drywall grid system is revolutionizing the soffit framing industry. Here’s how
Source: Armstrong® Ceiling Solutions
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Additionally, if you have to trim SimpleSoffit mains, they are easy to cut. The engineered factory notch and connection eliminate the use of screws once you bend and click them into shape. Installing Knurled Angle Molding at the bends provides a surface for drywall corners and will add additional rigidity to the soffit.

SimplesSoffit drywall grid also reduces the man-hours required in comparison to the steel stud’s method by 50%. Furthermore, it requires fewer people for assembly as it eliminates the onsite jig table. With a little pre-planning on ordering SimpleSoffit to your specific soffit dimensions, this prefabricated innovation helps accelerate onsite construction schedules.

SimpleSoffit grid also plays a major role in increasing the security and safety of skilled trade professionals since the elimination of the jig means you don’t need to cut any material to build.

Why SimpleSoffit?

A prefabricated drywall grid system is revolutionizing the soffit framing industry. Here’s how
Source: Armstrong® Ceiling Solutions
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SimpleSoffit is the answer for those looking for prefabricated efficiency, as well as new ideas and better ways of doing things. As ceiling designs get more complex and tougher to execute, this innovation also addresses the skills gap that the construction industry faces with its simple bend-and-click method.

Based on Armstrong Ceilings industrial research and findings, soffits occupy roughly 20% of the total commercial ceiling square footage. Today about 50% of that soffit work uses the traditional steel stud framing, creating an opportunity for greater productivity using the faster and easier SimpleSoffit solution.

SimpleSoffit is part of a standard drywall grid system and easily integrates with drywall tees, main beams, Knurled Angle Molding, Locking Angle Molding, and more.

A prefabricated drywall grid system is revolutionizing the soffit framing industry. Here’s how
Source: Armstrong® Ceiling Solutions
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The engineered bend-and-click SimpleSoffit solutions was a 2022 recipient of the Excellence in Construction Innovation Award by the AWCI (Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry). This award recognizes products, services, materials, technologies, and systems that improve the means and methods utilized in the wall and ceiling industry.

Embracing prefabrication products on jobsites has multiple benefits, and SimpleSoffit framing provides a productivity advantage for all those who wish to maximize construction efficiency to stay ahead of the competition. To have a deeper understanding of the labor and material savings on your project, you can use the Armstrong Savings Calculator to estimate your total project savings in terms of materials, time, and labor.

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