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May 2, 2014

Interior Residential (Washington) -- UW Mercer Court Apartments

Photo by Chris J. Roberts Photography
Mercer Court’s buildings sit on a concrete podium with metal-stud walls below five floors of wood-frame construction.

Location: University of Washington, Seattle

Contractor: Northwest Partitions

Architect: Ankrom Moisan Architects

Team: Kent Gypsum Supply; Sherwin-Williams; Hilti; Fry Reglet Corp.; Armstrong World Industries; Cemco; Grabber Construction Products; USG Building Systems; Plastic Components; Hamilton Drywall Products; Georgia-Pacific

Mercer Court is the newest addition to the student-housing complex at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus. It consists of five eight-story buildings on 4.5 acres overlooking Portage Bay.

The placement of the complex was carefully designed to maximize students’ convenience. Each unit is equipped with a living space, kitchen, and combination of private and semi-private restrooms. Amenities include access to the rooftop terrace, community lounge, group study areas, music practice rooms, laundry facilities and the Husky Grind Cafe.

This project’s uniqueness lies in its structure and magnitude. The lower half of each building is constructed of interior and exterior metal-stud walls framed within a three-story concrete podium. The podium supports an additional five floors of wood-framed structure, which required the team to account for shrinkage, axial loading, wood-shear walls, and warped or crowned studs.

The magnitude of this project posed unique challenges in material stocking, jobsite logistics, manpower sequencing and trade stacking. To maintain the schedule, Northwest Partitions had 12 to 15 business days to complete each floor. Just-in-time deliveries allowed different trades to work in adjacent areas. During peak times, more than 100 employees were on the site, requiring extraordinary time management and dedication.

Judge’s comment: “The ability of the construction team to maintain the schedule while achieving outstanding quality is a true accomplishment. The students are fortunate to have this fantastic new housing facility.”


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