The demand for affordable housing in urban areas is increasing as rent prices skyrocket. Many developers are now required to include a percentage of affordable housing units to obtain approvals for their new multi-family construction projects. Additionally, affordable housing projects that wish to access alternate funding sources are often required to meet various green building requirements.
Recently, Nishkian Chamberlain began work on a new affordable housing project in Ventura, California. The project is unique in that it is entirely comprised of affordable housing apartment units. In order to receive some state and federal funding, the project is required to meet several green building targets. One such target is the use of “Advanced Framing”.
In short, Advanced Framing is energy and material-efficient wood framing. Conventional wood framing, typically used for many years, includes many structural redundancies (double top plates, three-stud corners, multiple jack studs, double or triple headers, etc.). The goal of Advanced Framing is to eliminate unnecessary redundancies and achieve savings in material usage while also taking advantage of opportunities for increased energy efficiency.
There are various techniques commonly used in Advanced Framing. Which technique(s) are used is determined on a project-to-project basis. One technique applied to a recent project was the use of engineered wood floor joists. Using engineered wood floor joists allowed larger joists spans and wider joist spacing, leading to savings in materials, increased construction efficiency, and reduced construction costs. It is critical for the structural engineer on the project to coordinate joist depths, which may be larger due to the increased spans and spacing, with the architect and MEP early on in the project to minimize conflicts and rework later on.
Additionally, for this project, the increased floor joist spacing affected the design of the floor sheathing. A larger span rating was required, and serviceability characteristics such as floor vibration were investigated. It was recommended to use a thicker floor sheathing than what we use for Conventional Framing to achieve the required span rating, reduce vibrations and increase the perceived stiffness of the floor.
In addition to using engineered wood floor joists, other Advanced Framing techniques include:
These techniques can be mixed and matched to accommodate the unique aspects of each project while still achieving the targeted green building requirements.
In conclusion, the demand for affordable housing is increasing, especially in high density urban areas where housing is in short supply and rents are high. Affordable housing projects often target green building requirements such as the use of Advanced Framing techniques to obtain State and Federal funding. Advanced Framing techniques can be used individually or in combination to achieve the desired green building criteria.
If you are interested in finding out how using Advanced Framing techniques can benefit your next project, Nishkian Chamberlain has significant experience in this technique and would be happy to discuss your construction and development needs. You may contact Craig Chamberlain at CChamberlain@nishkian.com or (310) 853-7180.
The grand opening of the new 3 story Class-A office building located at 3025 Clearview Way in San Mateo was in late September 2016. The new building provides spectacular views of the bay area from its elevated bluff located just off highway 92 in San Mateo. The hilltop site provided many construction challenges for general contractor Build Group, but they were up to the task. Build Group constructed both the new office building and a 5-story precast parking garage on the same site at the same time while the campus was occupied. This complex site requires a unique building foundation which employs a unique combination of micro-piles and spread footings. The building is a steel frame and utilizes a Nippon Unbonded Braced Framed (buckling restrained brace frame) lateral system.
The American Concrete Institute (ACI) has just awarded the structural and construction awards for 2015 to the Centerra project in San Jose. Nishkian Menninger, and Webcor Builders were recognized for constructing approximately 615,000 square feet of concrete floors in 9 ½ months. The ACI described this achievement as a great example of what the design build process can bring to a structure of this magnitude. The 22 story apartment complex is located near the SAP Center in San Jose and is almost ready for its first residents to move in.
The San Francisco Apartment Association has awarded Green Building of the Year to Etta Apartments, at 1285 Sutter St. in San Francisco. The 13 story, 107 unit apartment building was opened in early 2014 and is LEED Gold Certified. The sustainable features create apartments that are estimated up to 25% more efficient than standard apartments. Some notable features of Etta are the high efficiency façade system, rainwater collection, and high efficiency lights and HVAC systems. Located at the corner of two prominent and transit filled streets, 1285 Sutter St. has a perfect walk score of 100.
More and more discussions these days are focusing around the resiliency of our communities. How well are the cities in which we live prepared to react to emergencies? In the Structural Engineering community here on the West coast, we tend to think of these related to our response to earthquakes, but this can also related to hurricanes, flooding, tsunamis, fires or other significant events. Community resilience has to do with many different things from our building structure survival to emergency response teams to communication lines to water distribution and other lifeline critical elements.
One major aspect to the community resiliency discussion is the ability of our existing building stock to survive a disaster. An effort is underway to better track and categorize how safe each and every building is that we live, work and play in every day. A relatively new organization, The U.S. Resiliency Council (http://www.usrc.org/) is working to address this topic. This group is developing a system to measure the risk and resiliency of our existing building stock. Ratings will benefit Owners, Lenders, tenants and government jurisdictions by increasing the value of well-designed buildings and providing a means for quantifying risk. See the chart below of an example of how these ratings could be posted on a building.
Six years ago ten countries from around the globe have been invited to participate in the Future House International Sustainable Energy Community Project Exposition at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as part of China’s effort to promote energy-saving strategies and construction that will have a minimal impact on the global environment. In order to address their role as the second largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, China’s Ministry of Construction, PRC, commissioned a demonstration project titled Future House Community Expo aimed at integrating a number of concepts including the use of new and renewable energy sources, energy conservation technologies, environmental compatibility, pollution reduction and the use of modern digital technologies to create a housing design for China’s future. As part of this project, the Ministry authorized the construction of ten demonstration homes located in the Changping district of Beijing, just 8 kilometers north of the Master Stadium for the Olympic Games. Each of the homes was to be built by a different country, demonstrating the most modern and environmentally sustainable housing construction practices and technologies available from each country—Canada, China, Japan, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, UK, USA and Italy. The Future House USA project was a consortium established to undertake construction of the entry from the United States. Nishkian Monks is proud to be a part of Future House USA, and this international green building exposition which will be closing next month.