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Sonic Restaurant Uses Advanced Building Materials

A brick and mortar location usually means that a real building exists and the business can be visited, seen and touched, unlike the Internet only cyber locations. The Sonic Restaurant under construction in Villa Park is a real restaurant that you will be able to visit, see and touch starting in July but what you see may not be exactly what you think. The exterior of the building is a combination of red brick and mortar along with concrete walls and glass. Truth is the only thing that is the traditional materials is the glass. The rest is a combination of new and unique construction materials that are prefabricated by National Prefab Systems. David Markel who helped design the new materials talks about the walls that were prefabricated and shipped to the location on a flatbed truck. “The building envelope is is a high-performance, prefinished modular system that I developed in concert with National Prefab Systems.
It is highly fire resistant, impact resistant, thermally insulating, low maintenance, durable, green & sustainable.”

When the walls were built it took just two days to have the entire exterior put in place. A crane lifted the wall sections that were approximately 25 feet wide while a crew of four workers aligned and fastened the walls into shape. Already in place on the sight was hundreds of cubic yards of concrete for the parking areas, drive thru and foundation of the building. But from the ground up the National Prefab Systems products are what made the Sonic Restaurant take shape.

There are several modules that were used to create the structure and one of them is the brick wall section that are actually a modified material made to look like a brick wall. ThermaBRICK UtraLITEWALL assembly incorporates a 2″ to 5″ thick precast masonry cladding on light gauge steel framing. The wall is substantially lighter than a traditional brick wall and is installed in minutes not days. Yet it still has the look, feel and texture of a brick wall. Other sections of the Sonic Restaurant design include a solid concrete wall. Again the walls are actually light gauge steel framing manufactured at the National Prefab Systems plant in Aurora, Illinois.

Watching the walls being put into place you almost get the feeling that they snap together. It does take a little more effort, but the engineering has already been done and the sections are designed to fit properly when they are lowered into position. Even the roof was installed from similar materials in just two days.

There are many additional features and benefits that are going into the Sonic Restaurant using the construction plan. The foundations are much smaller for one. And even though this Sonic Restaurant will have a unique indoor seating area, that was no problem with the wall designs. Everything was designed and fabricated before it arrived at the job site.

The interior of the restaurant will require the traditional technical crews to put in place the kitchen, counter and seating areas. Also outside will be serving areas that cars can pull into and place their order at the curb. A server will bring the food to you and allow you to enjoy a nostalgic carhop service.

Even with the modular design of the building exterior the project is providing work to more than 60 workers, the general contractor points out. That does not include the workers who assemble the prefabricated materials in the Aurora plant. All of the workers live in the area and will be spending their paychecks in the local economy. That is a good outcome already for the restaurant.

What we can look forward to when completed is a tasty and exciting place to enjoy burgers, ice cream and much more starting sometime in July.

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