The New Standard for Containment: Temporary Wall Systems

Updated June 3, 2024

Contractors continue to face challenges from rising material costs and labor shortages. Between December 2020 and June 2022, cost increases for contractors surged, with a gap as large as 24% where cost increases exceeded changes in bid prices.

Recently, material costs have shown some stabilization, but labor costs and certain materials remain volatile. For example, while the price of lumber has stabilized, other materials like drywall and electrical components have continued to rise due to ongoing demand and supply chain issues. Labor costs are also expected to increase by 3-5% in 2024 as contractors strive to retain skilled workers amid a significant shortage, according to JLL.

Material costs, lead times, and labor issues continue to pressure contractors’ bottom line and fuel ongoing uncertainty:

  • Supply Chain: Will you have what you need when you need it?
  • Rising Prices: Will unforeseen spikes compromise your project plan or profit margin?
  • Labor Shortage: Will you have the trades necessary to do the job?

Increasingly, Project Managers are viewing temporary wall systems as the new standard for containing construction dust and debris because these solutions bring significant advantages while adding predictability to budgets and timelines.

Reduce Costs and Speed-Up Construction Timelines

High quality temporary wall systems using modular panels can significantly reduce costs and improve construction timelines.

Faster Installation, Removal, and Clean Up

Temporary reusable construction walls greatly reduce the time it takes to construct containment barriers. With STARC, for example, two workers can install 100 linear feet in about an hour. This saves installation time, as well as removal time and labor costs—all while eliminating costs associated with the cleanup and disposal of materials.

Availability of Materials

Given the unpredictability surrounding supply costs, and concerns about the availability of materials, reusable temporary construction walls go a long way towards eliminating frustrating guesswork from project plans. With STARC, for example, all four of our temporary wall systems—RealWall™, LiteBarrier™, FireblockWall™, and StackBarrier™—are designed, engineered, and shipped from our U.S.-based manufacturing facility in Brunswick, Maine.

Better ROI

While temporary wall systems may cost more for the first use, they typically pay for themselves  after just three to five uses. Each use beyond that point adds to your profitability. Compare that to drywall, which represents sunk costs producing no ROI. Once a project is completed, the materials are disposed of and can never be used again.

Many Project Managers and Facilities Managers report having successfully used STARC’s modular panels 50 or more times, allowing them to charge for containment without spending additional money on materials.

Some contractors also choose to engage our rental partners to save time on installation.

Environmentally Friendly

High quality temporary wall systems are also environmentally friendly. There’s no loading dumpsters with discarded drywall and lumber, only to have the waste added to landfills. Environmentally friendly modular walls provide a sustainable solution that supports compliance standards in RFPs.

Dust Barrier Containment to Reduce HAIs

Healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) are the leading cause of avoidable deaths in healthcare facilities. STARC’s modular dust barrier walls meet and exceed ICRA Class IV/V requirements to prevent airborne pathogens from circulating outside the walls.

Without extra taping or tools, temporary wall systems with anodized aluminum frames and integrated tongue and groove seals can provide fully compliant infection control. STARC’s panels also work with high-capacity negative air machines to maintain negative air pressure.

To learn more about our industry leading temporary wall systems, contact STARC or request a quote online.

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