Welcome to 2018 and the first blog of the year from the Southern California arm of the Nishkian companies, Nishkian Chamberlain. We are excited to have the year underway with a number of new project designs starting, several major construction projects set to begin and significant positive signs for a great year!
With construction costs continuing to rise and rates beginning to follow this upward trend, Owner/Developers are beginning to look towards the many faces of building renovations in new projects. This includes full remodels of existing buildings, rehabilitation of historic structures, retrofits of structures due to ordinance mandates, adaptive reuse due to occupancy changes all falling under the umbrella of building renovations. This trend allows Owner/Developers to enhance an existing property and create new without actually building from the ground up. The path to project implementation is shorter without the significant capital investments that come with new projects and good margins can still be realized. That sounds like win, win, win!
Building renovations generate a number of structural challenges that must be considered. This starts with an understanding what the building is combined with the vision of what it is to be. Then the puzzle of determining how to get it done begins:
NOVA Academy Santa Ana, CA – Adaptive Re-Use
The challenges are many, but the end results are often beautiful. One such example is our award-winning project at Nova Academy. As we wrote in our July 2016 blog , this 1970’s office building went through an adaptive reuse turning an old office building in downtown Santa Ana into a vibrant learning center through a full building retrofit and renovation. The project, which utilized performance-based design and included full peer review, utilized viscous dampers to upgrade the pre-Northridge moment frame connection lateral system without requiring costly and time-consuming foundation upgrades.
NOVA Academy (Image courtesy of Berliner Architects) – Viscous Damper Brace
A significant tool in the Structural Engineer’s toolbox to efficiently manage building seismic retrofits and renovations is ASCE 41. In our May 2017 blog , we discussed the process this document allows to review, remodel and seismically retrofit existing buildings. Although often not specifically referenced in the Building Code, many jurisdictions allow it’s use given a thorough discussion of the purpose and methodology. This document is now being cited specifically in new City Ordinances in both Los Angeles and Santa Monica among other areas.
ASCE 41-13 Evaluation Process
Renovation projects are becoming more and more favorable as costs continue to rise and empty lots become fewer and fewer. Nishkian Chamberlain and the Nishkian Team have extensive experience with these types of development projects. Should you have any questions about an upcoming project, do not hesitate to contact one of our offices.
Pacific Amphitheater Entrance – Costa Mesa, CA
Originally constructed as a medical office building, this four-story, semi-circular structure will be the new home to Nova Academy located in Santa Ana, California. In order to meet the increased design criteria required to convert the existing building to a school building, a series of fluid viscous dampers were installed into the structure to supplement the existing pre-Northridge steel moment frame system.
The Orange County Fairground is host to many events each year and one of the biggest venues there is the Pacific Amphitheater. Nishkian Chamberlain is proud to be part of the design team that was tasked to bring a new entrance structure and entryway plaza to the venue.
Planned tenant improvements (TI) and a review of building code requirements were discussed in a previous blog post, but… what happens when structural requirements of a new tenant space may need considerations different from what the “Building Code” specifies for strength and stiffness? We commonly experience specific client parameters beyond what the Building Code addresses for our fitness club clients who are commonly moving into new mixed-use spaces below residences or into repurposed, previously designed, office space. While there are alterations that we often think of as standard structural tenant improvement modifications, such as new openings for staircases, or new MEP units for ventilation, some of the upgrades to the existing structure require investigation beyond typical Building Code issues.
Owners of new and existing mixed-use buildings typically have two main concerns when considering leasing space to a new fitness club tenant, the transmission of noise and vibration into sensitive adjacent tenant areas. The comfort of office and residential tenants, which typically share tenancy in the mixed–use building development, is a great concern. Careful measures and criterion must be developed to mitigate that the noise and vibrations from the fitness club tenant from propagating into more sensitive areas of the structure and disturbing the other building tenants. In collaboration with an acoustic/vibration consultant, recommendations for the comfort level of all the building tenants will typically determine what treatments need to be made, but the structure itself must be prepared to receive the treatment.
Building owners and architectural consultants lose many a night’s sleep wondering how much they can alter the existing building space and structure to accommodate and attract new tenants before they are slammed with the Department of Building and Safety’s request to have the “Existing Structure Reviewed or Upgraded.” In a previous blog post, a review of the requirements for upgrading existing structures was discussed with a focus on repair due to unexpected building damage. In this post we focus on planned tenant improvements, a quick review of Code requirements, and a short project example.
Tenant improvements (TI’s) are one of the most common projects in construction today. Often renovations, upgrades, or even additions to existing structures are more enticing for Owners than building from the ground up. With limited budgets and tight timelines, sometimes tenant improvements are the only answer for “new” space. TI’s can work within tight budgets by reusing much of the existing structure or at a minimum within the framework of the original building. They also save time by eliminating some of the overall building construction as well as simplifying the permitting process with fewer permits not to mention fewer fees to be paid.
The Nishkian firms have recently worked on more than a dozen Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar across California and Washington State, teaming up to work on both new construction and tenant improvements. With our offices located throughout the west, we were able to efficiently support multiple sites from Washington to California. Buffalo Wild Wings is an expanding retail restaurant chain that caters to anyone from sports enthusiasts to families and welcomes them in with cheery colors and an inviting feel. Although each building sports the distinctive yellow color, every location is different, as we learned throughout the course of these projects.
With more than 60 locations in the United States, Equinox Fitness Clubs are creating an integrated approach to the well-balanced life – from personal training to group fitness to rejuvenating wellness treatments in major metropolitan locations. Nishkian Chamberlain has engineered a large number of these locations in the Southern California area and across the country.