Seniors Housing Business

AUG-SEP 2015

Seniors Housing Business is the magazine that helps you navigate the evolution of the seniors housing industry.

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80 Seniors Housing Business n August-September 2015 By Sean Fowler The MonteCedro Senior Living Center, by Episcopal Communities & Services (ECS), is a continuing care retirement community in Altadena, Calif. ECS, the project's developer, hired DPR Construction to build the 331,350-square-foot facility based on successful completion of two previ- ous projects for ECS. DPR Construction set out to try something new and different. The project will be the largest prefabricated modular construction project for DPR Southern California to date. Scheduled for completion by the end of this year, the plans for MonteCedro include 186 living units, a 90,000-square-foot subterranean cast-in-place parking garage, and four standalone buildings with a cock- tail lounge, an art studio, chapel, movie theater, business center, library, performing arts/multipurpose auditorium, ftness center and pool. Striking a balance between safety, comfort Typical for Southern California residences, the architect originally conceived the construction as a wood-frame structure. But a recent update to the California Building Code stated that if combustible build- ing materials were used — given the building height and nature of the occupancy — then the number of non-ambulatory and/or bedridden residents would be restricted to the lower two levels. MonteCedro's owners didn't want to impose these constraints on their residents. The goal was to provide a true "aging in place" environ- ment, such that residents could choose to remain in their apartments and not have to move if they required more care and staff support. Fortunately, there was a provision in the code. If MonteCedro opted to use noncombustible building materials instead, then non-ambulatory residents could reside on any foor, adding fexibility and maximizing the duration of use for each unit. DPR, the owners, and the architect got together to brainstorm ideas. Traditional choices such as cast-in-place concrete and structural steel were excluded due to their higher cost per square foot. Alternative building materials came under consideration. The decision was made to use light gauge structural frame (LGSF) panels, which are nonfammable. Although LGSF panels cost more per square foot than wood framing, LGSF still costs 22 percent less per square foot than structural steel and cast-in-place concrete systems. And by using metal building materials, this project is environmentally sustainable. Rise of BIM method Panel prefabrication added great effciencies to putting the LGSF system in place. By frst building the project virtually using building integrated modeling (BIM), DPR coordinated closely with a team that included the architect, mechanical designer, plumbing designer and electrical designer. DPR played a large part early in the design of joist spanning, stud gauges, headers, and most importantly in the details that enable the panels to be prefabricated, shipped and erected. It was key that the open-minded structural engineer understood how to run unique calculations to back up the design and still meet the prefabrication requirements. When the panel designs were ready for the prefabrication subcontrac- tor, the BIM method accurately accommodated the eventual placement of pipes, ducts and fan coil units. The prefabrication of panels offsite provided several advantages. First and foremost, prefabrication is a manufacturing type of environ- ment. There are a lot of repetitive processes and effciencies. Within this controlled environment, the prefabrication process has greater precision and quality versus building the panels in the feld. Therefore, the quality, trueness and accuracy (the straightness of the walls) results in a ft and fnish that is much better than a wood job. As a bonus, one of the subcontractors employed war veterans. It turned out to be a great program for the vets as it provided them a way to get involved with the LGSF industry. The offsite prefabrication schedule only required seven months and 63,246 hours, whereas onsite stick framing methods would have required approxi- mately 10 months and 175,000 hours. Highly efcient installation process The LGSF panels were delivered by 284 trucks. More than 3,200 wall panels and 1,300 foor panels (as well as the 2,000-plus trusses) were erected by two 65-ton rough terrain mobile cranes. The light gauge structural frame panels are not as heavy as red iron. Weighing less than 2,000 pounds each, the panels are uniform in shape and size. The installation of the panels was highly effcient. In the end, using the prefabricated LGSF system proved to save $4 million and shave four months from the schedule when compared to a non-prefabricated metal stud system. n Construction The many advantages of modular construction Use of light gauge structural frame panels helps maximize effciency, reduce project costs and shorten construction timelines Sean Fowler is a project executive with DPR Con- struction. He has been in the con- struction industry for over 21 years and with DPR for 18 years. Modular light gauge structural frame panels, shown in production, above, and being placed on new construction, left, provide an afordable construction material that is environmentally sustainable and nonfammable.

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