More than 11,000 linear feet of Flex-Ability Concepts’ Flex-C Trac® hand-curvable track were used to frame dramatic curves that are prominently featured inside the Cherokee Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, OK.
Subcontractor Green Country Interiors, of Tulsa, chose the flexible track product for a number of reasons, most importantly time and labor savings. Frank Wheeler, partner with Flex-Ability Concepts and inventor of Flex-C Trac®, explained that the alternative “cutting and snipping” method of framing curves can take upwards of 20 to 30 minutes per 10-foot piece. By using the flexible track product, the labor was cut down to as little as 5 minutes per 10-foot piece.
“The project was demanding,” Billy Tobey, vice president and general manager of Green Country Interiors, said of the Cherokee Hotel and Casino. “We were challenged to find a way to save money without sacrificing the integrity of the final appearance.”
The hotel’s interior was designed to look and feel like Las Vegas venues, while featuring traditional Cherokee symbols and incorporating art deco in its styling—a common architectural movement in Tulsa. The floor plan features numerous curved soffits and theme elements that rely heavily on compound radiuses. The seven story hotel includes 80,000 square feet of gaming space.
“Green Country was faced with day-to-day design modifications that had to be accommodated within an already-tight schedule,” Wheeler noted. “The first hurdle the subcontractor had to overcome was the design and value engineering process. In the original, basic set of drawings, the details were found to be incomplete. Challenged to find a way to not incur additional costs yet not compromise the integrity of the original plans, Green Country was able to meet the day-to-day modifications to the framing. With a job that included numerous varying curves, radiuses and integrated themes, the foremen of the company were heavily relied on to display their ‘know-how’ to achieve all the set goals of the job, working closely with the general contractor Flintco Companies.”
Wheeler said the curvable Flex-C Trac® helped the progression of the project since the products can be shaped by hand on the job site to form whatever curves were called for. Once the track is formed, tabs in the web are hammered flat to lock the shape. The track is then anchored to the floor. Additionally, Green Country Interiors had to install an identical mirror image curved track to the structure above. From there, the cold-formed/light-gauge steel studs were slid into the track and anchored with screws through the track flanges. For curved soffits, Wheeler said contractors building a similar type of project will want to approach the framing similarly but suspend it by the top track.
“Another reason the subcontractor used hand curvable track was to help create the best looking finished product,” Wheeler added. “Since curves are often the focal point of the building, it is good when the subcontractor can meet and exceed the expectations of the architect and owner. When tapers and finishers are given a smooth curved surface on which to apply their mud, they usually return the favor and make everyone proud.”