Chameleon Cast Wall Systems Pits Traditional Contractor Allies Against Us
Not very widely utilized yet but being considered by many concrete masonry producers is a system called the Chameleon Cast Wall System. It is a tilt-up system that addresses desires from end users who seek a more traditional masonry look from the tilt-up industry. Chameleon mimics the precast industry by embedding concrete masonry units into a tilt-up panel, in effect giving the tilt-up wall the actual look of masonry. According to an article in the November issue of Concrete Construction, E.P. Henry, a block producer from New Jersey is the first licensed producer for the Chameleon system and the tilt-up industry. Other concrete masonry producers are closely monitoring E.P. Henry's success in this system to gage their own interest in supplying the tilt-up industry with CMU's. The system is promoted as not needing skilled labor and in fact, it can use existing tilt-up crews to install. Clearly the system is geared to replace mason contractors with their highly skilled workers with non-skilled labor. Block producers are looking at this seriously as a way to get CMU's back into the big box market without their traditional mason contractor allies. As one person put it, the Chameleon systems gets concrete blocks back into the light industrial markets even without their friends?the mason contractor.
Most concerning to the MCAA is that this system pulls long time traditional partnerships between the mason contractor and the concrete block producers away from each other and now throws the tilt-up contractor into the equation. Something of great concern to us.
About the Author
Michael Adelizzi was the Executive Director of the Mason Contractors Association of America.