DENVER – The Weitz Company took a major step towards delivering 211 new apartments in downtown Denver on July 20 when it topped out SOVA, a 12-story multi-unit residential project for developer McWHINNEY in the city’s Uptown neighborhood.
Located at 1901 Grant Street, SOVA combines construction innovation and LEED green building to deliver maximum value to project stakeholders and future residents. It is being built using multiple prefabricated construction methods with materials and systems intended to help the project achieve LEED Silver certification.
“We stretched the imagination of what can be accomplished at SOVA with our trade partners. Some of it was driven by circumstance but every decision was purposeful in order to create value for McWHINNEY and a final product that will generate pride and satisfaction,” said Bruce Porter, executive vice president and general manager of The Weitz Company.
The exterior walls were the most technical component of SOVA. They were prefabricated off-site in 10-foot tall by 20-foot wide panels (on average) and then delivered on a flatbed truck over a six-month period for installation. Manufactured by Littleton, Colo.-based South Valley Prefab, the wall panels came 100 percent finished, needing only windows inserted to complete the exterior skin of the building.
Working on a zero lot line jobsite that has limited space for material lay down was one factor in using prefabricated exterior walls. Two others were creating a predictable project schedule in a tight labor market and eliminating upwards of $1 million from the project budget by not scaffolding the building.
Incorporating other prefabricated systems such as the electrical and plumbing – in addition to utilizing the Infinity metal framing system on the interior – led Weitz to create a big room atmosphere with all project stakeholders and trade partners before starting construction. The upfront planning enabled the project to be fully built in a virtual environment, increasing collaboration with all team members and eliminating potential issues during construction.
“Early in design, we focused on prefabrication with the owner and design team for speed to market with Infinity’s load-bearing wall system and South Valley’s exterior prefinished wall system,” said Laura Eathrone, senior preconstruction manager of The Weitz Company. “To support the prefabrication schedule, the project team built SOVA 100 percent virtually using the building model before a shovel was put in the ground.”
As construction progresses in anticipation of a February 2019 completion, SOVA will be finished with more than 20 percent of its purchased building materials containing recycled content sourced within 500 miles of the project. Other sustainability efforts that will contribute to SOVA’s LEED merits include:
Altogether, SOVA will offer residents a first-rate living experience in a highly sustainable building that embodies the best of modern construction with amenities such as a golf simulator; hot tub; fourth-floor courtyard with adjoining fitness center; and rooftop deck with barbecue area and lounge.