Rafn Company Wins Eagle of Excellence and Multi-Family Construction Awards
BELLEVUE, WA The discovery of a mammoth tusk during excavation of Phase 2 of the AMLI South Lake Union Apartment build didn't stop Rafn Company from maintaining its fast track schedule and value engineering earning them the Eagle of Excellence at the 2016 ABC Excellence in Construction & Safety Awards. The project also won an Excellence in Construction Award for Multi-Family Construction. ABC honored six outstanding firms with 12 awards in this year's competition.
The awards credit all members of the teams responsible for the winning projects, from contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, to owners, architects and engineers.
Eagle of Excellence and Multi-family Construction Award
Rafn Company - Phase 2 of the AMLI South Lake Union Apartments.
Owners - AMLI Residential
Architect - GGLOEngineer - KPFF
Phase 2 of the AMLI at South Lake Union is a 118-unit, 147,000-square-foot, multi-family building in the dense and growing South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. The building includes 112,000 square feet of high-end apartments above two levels of underground parking. During pre-construction and value engineering Rafn successfully reduced the project cost from more than $2 million above the owner's budget to $125,000 below it.
The Rafn team developed ideas for several high-performance, cost-effective methods including: horizontal venting in lieu of vertical that also improved energy performance; a soffit-less ceiling venting system; using a waterproof topping coat directly on the PT slab at the courtyard entry in lieu of hot rubber and pavers; changing the alley faÃ§ade material to Hardiesiding instead of metal; and finding an alternative backsplash that achieved the intended look but at a lower cost. Rafn also devised a streamlined version of the "shadowboxes" that frame the building's exterior windows that achieved the architect's design goal but at half the original cost.
Construction began before the design was complete, so Rafn continued to refine the project components and systems aligning the design with the established budget. When a backhoe operator discovered a mammoth tusk at the bottom of the excavation, the project's schedule could have been adversely impacted. However, Rafn's superintendent immediately secured the fossil, took steps to ensure the safety of paleontologists who came in to preserve and remove it and changed the workflow to keep the project moving forward. Instead of having an adverse effect, the tusk, named LuLu in a community competition, became a key element in the identity of the project. (The tusk is currently being cared for at the Burke Museum in Seattle. You can follow its conservation and research at the Seattle Mammoth website: http://seattlemammoth.org/).
The project achieved LEED Silver certification due to team efforts such as diverting 75 percent of waste from landfills, implementing HVAC protection during construction thereby reducing contaminates in the system, employing LED temporary lighting during construction to reduce energy usage, making product choices such as low VOC paints, adhesives and flooring, increasing fresh air circulation and ventilation to keep future residents healthy and using reclaimed wood from the pre-existing building, a chocolate factory, in the common areas.
The site was adjacent to a working day care facility, so Rafn took precautions to ensure the children's safety in a play area next to the site. The South elevation was draped with heavy protection mesh to ensure that if construction materials fell, even from the highest floors, they would be contained on the project site. Additionally, potentially dangerous activities were scheduled at times when children were not present. To create a safe working area around the exterior of the building, Rafn "wing-armed" (pushed the power lines out and away from the pole, temporarily increasing the distance from line to building during construction) an adjacent power line for safe construction clearance. Weekly safety meetings, safety audits and a traffic control plans for the heavily traveled area also contributed to keeping the jobsite safe. Despite the tight site and heavy traffic, there were no medical or time-loss injuries during the 41,489 hours worked on the project.
The ABC members that worked on this project were: Davis Door, Evergreen Concrete, Hallmark Construction, Pacific One Construction, RC Painting, VanWell Masonry, Clark Nuber and Propel Insurance.