Since its 1979 start-up in Salem, S.C., Von Gautsch Group has designed and fabricated cast limestone architectural products in an impressive range of
Since its 1979 start-up in Salem, S.C., Von Gautsch Group has designed and fabricated cast limestone architectural products in an impressive range of styles. Now, a synergy of art and science will provide lighter-weight and more durable units without compromising their aesthetic value: Tech Fab’s C-Grid carbon-fiber reinforcement embedded just below the surface enables production of thinner, yet sturdier products for varied applications.
Co-owned by husband and wife team William and Tommie Gautsch Û a licensed homebuilder and residential/commercial designer, respectively Û the interior-exterior design firm aims to provide architectural elements worthy of the family name, derived from William Gautsch’s great uncle, a baron and prime minister of Austria. Using cast limestone predominantly for nonstructural elements such as fireplace mantels, range hoods, and door and window casings, the group has recognized the need to fabricate strong, lighter-weight products.
When the designers incorporated C-Grid carbon fiber reinforcement in their casting process, the benefits of lighter-weight construction were realized. Thin-walled ultra-strong mantels, for example, could be produced, weighing 200 to 300 lb. versus the 500 to 700 lb. of conventionally fabricated units. Material costs were reduced as well as labor, equipment handling, casting time, and especially, installation time. Moreover, shop efficiencies improved, since bigger molds and group castings became viable. Plus, reduced weight means floor systems do not require additional joist support, so Von Gautsch products can be considered more often and even at the last minute.
The company’s recent relocation to Greenville, S.C., reflects the growth spurred by such properties. There is a market need to produce strong, lighter weight architectural d»cor concrete products, observes William Gautsch. Carbon fiber reinforcement technology, he adds, could revolutionize this industry.
Û [email protected], www.Archcutter.com; www.techfabllc.com