The Many Names and Faces of Making Old Buildings New AgainJan 25 2018 · 0 comments · Nishkian Chamberlain, Renovations, Tenant Improvement ·0
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:
- Will portions of buildings need to be demolished?
- Will sections or perhaps the building as a whole require a Code mandated retrofit?
- Will a voluntary retrofit be recommended as we extend the life of the building beyond its original intention?
- How do we marry old materials with new building materials which may not be compatible?
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