In-the-wall idea: A design on construction savings

A pre-engineered wall system consisting of steel framing and foam panels can save $10 to $20 a square foot on construction costs, the owner of Las Vegas-based LM Construction said Friday during an on-site demonstration for contractors, engineers and architects.

LM started vertical construction at Wagon Trail Village, a $3.2 million retail development at the Beltway and Decatur Boulevard in southwest Las Vegas Valley, using the patented Koreteck panelized building system.

Within a few hours, the entire back wall of the first 24,000-square-foot building was in place.

Koreteck, a BlueScope Steel company, provides a quicker construction schedule and reduces material waste on the job site, LM owner Larry Monkarsh said.

“We have a challenge to make these jobs affordable,” he said. “I can’t control commodities, what it costs for steel and wood and bolts. What I can control is time on the job and waste on the job. We can’t continue to build the old way. We’ve got to find a new way to get it done.”

Monkarsh invited other general contractors to the demonstration because they’re also looking for a solution and building system that saves money. By distributing the Koreteck system, Monkarsh said he can help the local construction industry offset increased material and labor costs.

Building cost for Wagon Trail Village is estimated at $115 a square foot, including site work.

“It’s a really tight number and we held to it for two years,” Monkarsh said.

The system can achieve a one-hour firewall rating with gypsum board on each side. It’s adaptable to unlimited interior and exterior design finishes. If a motorcycle shop takes a corner space and wants to cut out the wall and put in a glass showroom, in can easily be done, he said.

Wagon Trail Village is the second project LM is building for San Francisco-based J3 Properties. LM completed shell construction and is finishing tenant improvements for a 24,000-square-foot office warehouse project at Hacienda Avenue and Procyon Street.

Contact reporter Hubble Smith at or 702-383-0491.

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