For a retailer on the scale of Nebraska-based Cabela’s, a day without customers and sales is a day of a significant amount of revenue lost. So when Cabela’s needed to get their new Post Falls, Idaho store up and running as soon as possible, they chose to build with masonry.
The world-famous catalog and retail outdoor recreation outfitter selected The Pointe at Post Falls, an 800,000-square-foot-shopping center, for their 26th showroom location in the nation. While most of their expansive retail buildings have been constructed using precast concrete, Cabela’s selected concrete masonry units (CMU) to build the 125,000 square foot North Idaho store.
According to Mark Nienhueser, director of facilities for Cabela’s, the choice to go with CMU allowed wall construction to begin 4-6 weeks earlier than if they had waited for precast panels to be trucked in. Tilt-up walls were also ruled out, primarily because tilt-up would make impossible the efficiency of having electrical and plumbing work happening on the interior slab simultaneously with perimeter wall construction. With CMU, the store was able to get up and running quickly.
“Masonry provided a better alternative to stay on schedule and on budget – it was an economical and aesthetic decision,” said Nienhueser. Patrick Linhart, Vandervert Construction’s project manager commented, “the use of masonry over tilt-up sped up construction by at least a month. A tilt-up schedule wasn’t going to work with this project.”
Another reason for the CMU solution to Cabela’s needs was the high quality of masonry craftsmanship and material available in the area, according to Pat Henkle, Vandervert superintendent. Henkle said, “the high quality of work really impressed Cabela’s – in this case masonry was the wisest choice.” Nienhueser added, “We’re very satisfied with what the contractors were able to achieve with both craftsmanship and schedule.”
Spilker Masonry was able to get the 26 foot high load-bearing gray block walls up in just six weeks. “The block walls not only serve as bearing walls, but also function as shear walls for the building as part of the lateral load re-sisting system” stated project engineer Andrew Douma. Once the walls were built, foam insulation was injected into the ungrouted block cores, the wall interior was furred out and finished, while the exterior was painted and sealed. Spilker also installed 4,000 square feet of Cabela’s unique blend of a manufactured river rock inside and out – one of the signature touches for all of their retail stores. At the main entrance the river rock accents the exterior log framing that almost completely disguises the structural CMU walls underneath.