Walton Rises

Last Fall we happily announced the start of construction on the new 60-unit affordable housing building going up in Mt. Eden, the Bronx, under a partnership between Settlement Housing Fund and The Briarwood Organization. 1561 Walton Avenue has progressed steadily ever since and is now more than halfway through plank installation — project team Daughtry, Kerry, and Andrew are very pleased to share a few shots of the progress below.

The building is visually broken up into 4 planes stepping back from the front property line, which will be further articulated with different shades of brick to create a 4-step gradient across the facade.

The project’s anticipated completion is Fall 2017.

1561 Walton Birds Eye

 

Architects in Action

One of the many joys of architecting is getting into the field. Here are a few of our favorite Architects-In-Action shots …

From the Field – Support of Excavations

Kimberly Murphy

As 2016 will be a year of heavy construction administration, we’ve taken the opportunity to learn from each other and share our experiences in a bi-weekly office forum. One recent topic that has emerged from a change in the DOB application approval process is Support Of Excavations (SOE).

battleSOE’s are a Department of Buildings application filed to describe the design, means, and methods for excavating the site in preparation for the new construction. In our experience prior to last year’s filings, the SOE had not been a requirement prior to approval of the New Building (NB) application, leaving this application in the hands of the General Contractor as part of the requirements in pulling the Construction Permit. Now that the DOB is requiring the SOE to be submitted along with the NB prior to approval, the architects have become involved in this process and the SOE design, which is prepared by a geotechnical or other structural consultant to the Architect or Owner, and becomes part of the Contract Documents. Essentially the SOE design becomes another trade consultant to coordinate whose design has impact on cost and schedule. Including the consultant earlier than later in the design process and coordinating with the Structural Engineer has been key. It’s critical that we understand the impact of the proposed SOE design, the proposed impact SOE ESKWon the adjacent properties, and the resultant costs.

The cost associated with the SOE work is significant, and as with any trade, there are several ways to skin the cat. The SOE design that goes out to Bid, could be subject to value engineering and is a way that submitting Bidders can propose to cut costs. This could mean revising the consultants’ design or even replacing the SOE application and superseding the design professional.

Even once the SOE and the NB are approved and the GC has permits in hand, there is no guarantee that things will sail smoothly. Due to unforeseen below-grade conditions, the SOE design is likely to change—possibly many times. As with all approved DOB applications, the SOE then needs to be amended to reflect the updated design.

We all know that getting out of the ground is more than half the construction battle, so being more familiar with the SOE process has become something worth talking about. Our internal office discussions have been crucial for furthering our knowledge.  Any thoughts or experience with SOE? Feel free to comment or contact us!

Happy digging!

Update: True Colors Bronx

true colors 123456

After months of MTA review, BEST Squad reviews, and demolition sign offs, there is nothing that makes an architect happier than seeing concrete being poured in a freshly-dug hole. This week, footings were poured at True Colors Bronx. Since the building doesn’t have a cellar level and underpinning is not required, these footings extend only to match the level of the adjacent building’s footings. Our foundation walls will follow shortly and before you know it we will be lifting plank, or so we hope! Check back for updates.

true colors

Photos used with permission of Artemis Development.

Under Construction – Hour Children

Hour Apartment House III in Long Island City, Queens, has topped out at the roof!  Our client Hour Children is thrilled to see the building rise out of the ground. Meanwhile, here at ESKW/A, we are relishing these views of back-up structure while we can, before the insulation and brick veneer wraps the exterior, and before the interior partitions are framed out.

Check back for more updates.

Under Construction: Bronx Comm. Charter School

Construction of the Bronx Community Charter School is progressing: the building shell is complete and partitions are being laid out on the 3rd and 4th floors. The new 29,000 SF space will provide clustered grade classrooms for K-8 students with shared entry nooks, providing an alternate learning space for each grade cluster. Additionally, several break out classrooms are integrated throughout the corridors for special instruction. A rooftop play area will also extend the program learning spaces outside of the classroom.

The space of what will be the Multipurpose Room on the 4th floor overlooks the treetops below.  A skylight opens over the communication stair which connects the 3rd and 4th floors.

You can learn more about the project here.