Celebrating 19 years of serving customers with high end custom products, Crestmark Architectural Millworks is a dynamic and fast-paced company serving the millwork needs of commercial builders and general contractors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
One of Crestmark’s special abilities is to work hand-in-hand with the contractor to achieve the architect’s vision in a creative process involving the delicate balance of high precision and performance, visual and mechanical aesthetics, logistics and budget considerations.
According to President Sean Olsen, “We have a reputation of being very creative, using products like SingCore to achieve what the architect wants, while making it a practical thing to do.”
A case in point: Crestmark was approached by Webcor Builders to provide solutions for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), who required a sensitive artwork storage area with very low volatile organic compounds (VOC) and unique design characteristics, such as 10 foot tall cabinet doors with hidden hardware and 1/8 inch reveals between doors. Crestmark Senior Manager, Jim Farahmand, says “Regarding size, weight, and stability concerns, it was obvious conventional composite cores were going to be prohibitive.”
Originally, the Crestmark team had discovered SingCore as a resource for “building 16 foot torsion box shop table tops that needed to be dead-flat.” Says Olsen, “We looked at SingCore and thought it was light and had the look the Museum required as well as stability sufficient for the application.”
“SingCore’s engineers and fabricators were flexible and able to provide a fully sealed core, custom blocking, aluminum cladding, and facing materials with paintable surfaces to satisfy the architect’s stringent requirements.”
Production Manager, Patrick Silva, recalls how easy the SingCore material was to work with, “I was surprised at how light the material was. Normally a four foot by ten foot door core weighs a couple hundred pounds, but instead it was light enough almost to handle the entire piece myself,” Silva continues, “I’ve had issues with warped panels before, and to have this material which is so nice, flat, stable and easy to work with is great.” Silva also applauds the support staff at SingCore in terms of pre-engineering the panels to, “have slightly larger perimeter blocking and aluminum cladding so that we could trim them down and band the edges in our shop.”
Once the cabinetry was installed, Crestmark’s installation crew were able to maneuver and align the doors to the cases, and report that “the weight factor of the 10 foot tall [SingCore] doors was a huge advantage,” recalling that the installation of the cabinetry into the wall was the most challenging part of the job, not attaching the large doors as one might expect.
Project Manager, Jim Farahmand reports, “I don’t think we’ve ever seen such stringent specifications on anything quite like the SFMOMA due to the mediums they wanted to protect, and SingCore came through in fine style.” and added, “The product was instantly acceptable to the architect, so we were able to move forward very quickly and get it done.”
Having successfully completed prominent projects like the SFMOMA expansion has brought in other quote requests from new potential clients seeking out Crestmark’s particular brand of problem-solving and creative millwork solutions.
Initial invitations to bid can range from very complete, with detailed architectural specifications, to rudimentary drawings and concepts. It’s important for Sean Olsen and Jim Farahmand to decide which projects are a good match for Crestmark’s services because even though they do not charge their clientele for estimates, they may invest an entire week to estimate one millwork package. Exercising discernment, the Crestmark team reviews each new proposal, deciding which project to invest in.
Airbnb, Inc. was one such new client who approached Crestmark with plans calling for “two large sliding doors 20 to 25 feet long by 9 to 10 feet tall that could be operated on either side of a concrete wall.
“SingCore offered us the flexibility to provide a lightweight, multi-panel solution that could be assembled on site with internal blocking where we needed it to accommodate the hardware.”
Patrick Silva interjects “These two huge sliding doors were clad with White Oak, wire-brush finished, and could have weighed thousands of pounds… but instead, we made them weigh a couple hundred pounds apiece.”
Crestmark President, Sean Olsen says, “For two people to be able to handle these huge doors from the shop, to stage it, disassemble it, transport it to the job site and not have to worry about access, saves both time and energy, which is a great advantage.
Silva asserts, “The fact that anybody can open these doors single handedly is clearly not simply a function of the hardware, but rather because the door is so light. It’s an impressive application.”
Senior Manager, Jim Farahmand reinforces, “To take the pieces we’re provided, not to have to move mountains to make it happen and to end up with this monolithic feature that people are in awe of is a clear indication of how versatile SingCore can be.
“Our confidence in our vendors like SingCore enables us to arrive at solutions quickly because we know the material will perform well within the limits of its component hardware; the engineering goes a lot more smoothly and we know SingCore also stands behind their product.”
“As far as warranty goes, if the customer requires a ten year warranty on the doors we’re providing, we know we’re covered by SingCore’s fifty year warranty, and so our response can be ‘OK. No problem,’ which is great for us and instantly reassuring to the client.”
Crestmark Architectural Millwork is optimistic about the current trend of growth in the industry. According to President, Sean Olson, “The market is turning around and we’re seeing continued growth in negotiated work again.” Unlike the last eight years that were focused on hard-bidding which was a difficult time industry-wide.
Jim Farahmand says, “SingCore’s team of engineers can assist us if a secured client is facing budget issues, often helping us to value-engineer the products while still helping the architect achieve the vision they’re looking for.”
See also: AWI Millworks