Six Stories in Six Months: Portland's Shaver Green sets a standard for accelerated and affordable superstructures

With a ground-breaking in May, Portland's Shaver Green Building becomes one affordable housing project designed to achieve LEED gold or platinum certification.

Portland's Daily Journal of Commerce covered the event noting that the development company, Armstrong Stafford, was "selecting finishes and building materials to achieve LEED goals and to keep cost as low as possible, while building living spaces that will last and remain affordable for at least 60 years."

A big part of the affordability factor with Shaver Green can be attributed to the timeline of construction on this project. In fact, an entire floor is being constructed in approximately 15 working days, allowing the six-story structure to be completed in a short six months.

Each story is completely constructed off-site and consists of a combined panelized load bearing steel framed wall system and Hambro composite open-web-steel-joists floor system. With the steel framework in the wall system using up to 95% recycled content (and the in-factory process assuring minimal on-site waste) the structural framework greatly contributes to the building's LEED certification application.

Yorke & Curtis are the general contractors on the project. The awarded contract was valued at US $1,975,925 for the structure of the building and called for completion of five townhouse units, 80 apartment units, a community center and 32 parking stalls. Minaean Building Structures, based in Vancouver, Canada, provided the construction system with light gauge steel load bearing wall panels that are fabricated in-factory and then shipped to the site.

According to Mervyn Pinto, President of Minaean "the factory-built wall and floor systems provide a budget advantage of up to $20 to $25 a square foot for a concrete and steel building. The most experienced developers have found that using the factory-built structural system accelerates their entire project, and at a lower cost. Moreover, we can boast unmatched prices for construction of buildings ranging from 4-8 stories, which remains our niche sector of operations."

In fact, the triple-hit feature of time, budget, and green advantage found in the factory-built wall systems have made Minaean a perfect choice for other multi-story building projects in Portland. Minaean has completed three other projects to-date with private developers in the city -- Clinton Condominiums, Belmont East and SunRose Condominiums -- and recently completed another six-story affordable housing project with the city of Eugene, Oregon, named West Town on 8th. The successful completion on all these projects has led to further negotiations on contracts with Portland, as well as Vancouver, BC.

To learn more about commercial modular construction and its applications, visit Modular Building Institute: The Voice of Commercial Modular ConstructionTM.

(c) 2008. Modular Building Institute. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of the Modular Building Institute.