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A Modern Community in a Revival Neighborhood
This project was neither low-stress nor straightforward, but you made it look easy and delivered the building on-time and under-budget.
Jeffrey D. Blum, Principal, Level 2 Development, LLC
Location: 
Washington, D.C.
Client: 
Level 2 Development, LLC
Architect: 
SK+I
Additional collaborations with SK+I:
Contract Value: 
$50,000,000
Size: 
282,000 Square Feet
Year Completed: 
2009

This $48 million, 185-apartment building is located at the intersection of 14th Street and Florida Avenue in Washington, D.C.'s revived U Street Corridor. The building stands nine stories tall with two levels of below-grade parking, as well as a fitness center, screening room, and rooftop terrace, and street level retail.

The apartment’s intricate exterior façade is a blend of brick cast stone, metal panels, punch windows and curtain wall. The upper floors of the building’s south elevation have a sightline down 14th Street featuring views of many Washington, D.C. landmarks. The project site, which previously housed industrial buildings and satellite towers, added to the complexity of construction. Metro's Green Line runs along the east side of the excavation.

The permanent power was not available until three months prior to the final completion date. The project team adapted the schedule to work out of sequence for the interior finishes. With the completion date weeks away, the project team made sure that only hardwood floors and touch-up to finishes remained to be completed once power was made available.

Self-Perform

Clark Concrete's work on the project was particularly challenging. The building's intricate design required careful coordination between concrete and glass and glazing trades. The slab edge was extremely detailed and the project team had to be especially diligent to ensure slab edges were installed per the contract documents.

Additionally, large scale changes to the structure were made after concrete work had already begun. The ground floor is situated on a slope, creating a two-level lobby that can be entered from the street level on the lower side of the building. Originally slated as retail space, the entire lobby was redesigned to create a sprawling entryway. These changes were made while the concrete structure was coming out up to grade.

Along the east side of the site, Clark Foundations installed three tiers of heavy walled pipe rakers to support the 45-foot excavation adjacent to the Metro Lines. These rakers were larger than usual in order to support WMATA’s strict load requirements, and cncrete heel blocks were installed to support the loads from these raker supports. Throughout, Clark Foundations monitored the impact of their work to ensure the Metro tunnel was not impacted.

In addition to fulfilling WMATA requirements, the raker supports, some as long as 75 feet, had to be accurately located to avoid the proposed columns, beams, and elevator shafts. Each raker was preloaded to 100 percent of its design load.

Being close to Comcast services and the neighboring homes required Clark Foundations to be sensitive to the vibrations caused by drilling and drive piles where necessary. Additionally, one neighbor never signed the mandatory tieback agreement. Clark Foundations modified their plans and adjusted the angle of tie back and added extra support to accommodate this.

The team was also tasked with dewatering the jobsite. The water had created areas of running sand, which made completing the excavation significantly more difficult. To tackle this, the Clark Foundations crew installed six dewatering wells and numerous sump pits to control ground water during construction.

Ultimately, Clark Foundations overcame all challenges and completed the job on time and under budget.

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