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Kreysler likes big projects

Fiber-reinforced polymer fabricator Kreysler & Associates tackles tough custom work.

"Projects get increasingly challenging and complex," President Bill Kreysler said.

"We are set up" for these design-oriented specialized projects, he noted. At the same time, "we are not competitive on job-shop tasks."

Kreysler added: "We get calls as architects and artists push the envelope. Being on the edge can be terrifying."

Market demand exists

"The future for composites in construction is huge," he said. Even "if in the water, plastics will not rot."

During a plant visit, he noted, "We need to get people to think about buildings coexisting with the environment and composites."

Although a challenge, "We have to think of a different way to make composites," he said. "We need oil for resin" vs. other uses of oil.

"Plastics are environmentally better than what we use them for," Kreysler said. "Plastics last indefinitely and can be used for buildings and not for packaging."

The firm uses traditional fabrication processes along with digital production techniques, sophisticated engineering concepts and 3D digital scanning.

Among current projects:

San Antonio River Conservancy A rendering of San Antonio's Confluence Park shows the interlocking concrete arches developed by using intricate forms made by Kreysler & Associates.

• Complex intricate form work to enable pouring of concrete to create interlocking arches in a San Antonio River Foundation-supported creation of Confluence Park. Work near the convergence of San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek started in May 2016 with completion of the interactive teaching tool anticipated in January.

• Creation of many one-of-a-kind complex interlocking forms for a three-story Oklahoma boathouse in a centralized park now identified as "A Gathering Place for Tulsa." With a suspended staircase and a fiberglass roof system, the boathouse will serve multiple purposes, including as a launching point for kayaks and canoes using a 3-acre pond. The George Kaiser Family Foundation-backed park redevelopment began in September 2014 with Phase I projected for completion in mid-2018.

• Fiber-reinforced plastic wall cladding to lend a contemporary look for a home under construction in Beverly Hills, Calif.

For a decade, Kreysler built high-performance racing sailboats — including 12,000 Laser class dinghies — before founding Kreysler & Associates in 1982. His plan: apply boat building materials, technology and craftsmanship to the construction industry.

He moved the business to the American Canyon, Calif. facility, located just north of San Francisco, in 2001.

The longtime composites industry advocate received the 2015 lifetime achievement award from the American Composites Manufacturers Association of Arlington, Va. Kreysler heads ACMA's architectural division and was among those creating the updated 2016 edition of Guidelines and Recommended Practices for Fiber Reinforced Polymer Architectural Products. He served as ACMA's 2005 president.

Another Kreysler project has an ongoing presence at the American Canyon location.

Kreysler & Associates Bill Kreysler with a replica 10-foot-high bear which peers into his office window.

Years ago, Kreysler transformed a small 3D sculpture of a standing bear from conceptual artist Lawrence Argent into a massive 40-foot-high work of art carrying the title, "I See What You Mean."

As Argent up-scaled the design model and Kreysler prepared for fabrication, both made extensive use of software including NewTek Inc. Lightwave animation and Robert McNeel & Associates' Rhino 3D modeler programs.

Kreysler machined molds for the bear directly from computer-aided-design files. Production materials included a gel coat primer, plies of chopped strand mat, polyester, silica-aggregate-flecked polymer concrete and a final clear urethane coating. An internal steel framework provides structural support.

Kreysler supervised the complex 2005 installation of six sections of the statue at the expanded Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The entire project cost about $425,000.

Kreysler liked the blue bear and secured permission to create his own 10-foot-high replica of the Denver statue. Now, the quarter-size version peers into Kreysler's office window.

Kreysler & Associates employs 30 and, on a 5-acre site, operates in a facility of 28,000 square feet plus outdoor tented areas for sandblasting and storage.

Olympic sailor Caleb Paine started at the firm in March 2017 in the digital fabrication department. He programs and operates a four-axis computer numerical control hot wire machine for cutting foam.

Paine, 25, of San Diego, won a bronze medal for the U.S. in the men's heavyweight dinghy Finn class at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and he has ambitions to represent the U.S. at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Kreysler helped support Paine's sailing development program in advance of the 2016 games.

» Publication Date: 12/09/2017

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [609149].

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