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FireKeepers Casino Hotel, Battle Creek, Mich.


Vulcraft, a division of Nucor Corp., used BIM to model, manufacture and deliver 333 joists for the expansion of FireKeepers Casino. The expansion is more than 230,000 square feet and includes the addition of a 242-room, resort style hotel, event center, bingo hall and warehouse. The casino expansion gave the building an instantly recognizable aspect, with the building's unique "bird's beak" entry. Standout components include two joists at 8 by 120 feet and six field-spliced joists at 10 by 120 feet. The total weight of the joists, deck and bridging came to more than 400 tons.

Douglas Steel Fabricating Corp. contacted and hired Vulcraft to supply the joists and deck for the project. Vulcraft supplied the model to Douglas Steel to incorporate into its BIM that included all the details required by the HVAC contractor to ensure the duct work could be exactly prefabricated and routed with no interference.

"This project included elements that had potential for being somewhat difficult to accurately manufacture," says Greg Mittendorf, business development manager at Vulcraft. "Incorporating our model into the process saved valuable time and more than $60,000."

"The Vulcraft team was able to take the owner's vision and really bring it to life," says Lawrence Kruth, vice president of engineering, technology and safety at Douglas Steel. "Seeing the layers of construction in BIM made a daunting expansion simpler to visualize."

Construction manager: Clark Construction Co., Lansing, Mich.

Architect: Thalden Boyd Emery Architects, St. Louis

Structural engineer: KJWW Engineering Consultants, St. Louis

Fabricator, erector and detailer: Douglas Steel Fabricating Corp., Lansing

Steel joists: Vulcraft, a division of Nucor Corp., Charlotte, N.C.,