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Universal Forest Products Debuts New Intact Structural Frame System

A new, innovative commercial building system sold by an affiliate of Universal Forest Products is seeing its first application and receiving high praise from both architect and builder. The system – the Intact Structural Frame – is being used in the construction of a 7,000 sq.-ft. commercial building in Longview, Texas.

The Intact Structural Frame system is the marriage of engineered wood and an innovative full-height anchoring system. Unlike traditional anchoring systems that connect walls to a foundation, the Intact Structural Frame connects the roof to the foundation, creating a strong “exoskeleton.” The advancement gives architects and builders more flexibility in design and material selection, and the system can be used in areas that have high load requirements (snow, wind or seismic).

The building’s architect, Kirk Acheson of Total Engineering Services, chose the Intact Structural Frame because the builder didn’t want a load-bearing wall or columns in the center of the structure, and the Intact Structural Frame allowed him to shift the load to the exterior walls.

“It’s a unified system from the ground up,” said Acheson, “It’s an exoskeleton, not just a skin, because it creates structural integrity in the skin panels.”

Acheson adds that the system suited the builder’s budget constraints and short time requirements.

Compared to traditional block and steel construction, the Intact Structural System lowers total overall construction costs from 15 to 40 percent. The system also reduces construction time up to three weeks and improves the building’s energy efficiency, resulting in ongoing savings.

For more information on the Intact Structural Frame, go to:


Universal Forest Products, Inc. is a holding company that provides capital, management and administrative resources to subsidiaries that design, manufacture and market wood and wood-alternative products for DIY/retail home centers and other retailers, structural lumber products for the manufactured housing industry, engineered wood components for residential and commercial construction, specialty wood packaging and components for various industries, and forming products for concrete construction. The Company's consumer products subsidiary offers a large portfolio of outdoor living products, including wood composite decking, decorative balusters, post caps and plastic lattice. Its lawn and garden group offers an array of products, such as trellises and arches, to retailers nationwide. Universal’s subsidiaries also provide framing services for the site-built construction market. Founded in 1955, Universal Forest Products is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., with operations throughout North America. For more about Universal Forest Products, go to

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