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July 22, 2014

Kauri uses special wall panels to build Hyatt on a tight spot

By BENJAMIN MINNICK
Journal Construction Editor

Photo courtesy of Kauri Investments [enlarge]
Prefab panels are brought in by crane and screwed into place. The monorail tracks are just 10 feet away.

A tight site near the elevated monorail track led Kauri Investments to try a new system of panelized walls to build the Hyatt House at Fifth Avenue and Broad Street.

Kent Angier, president and CEO of Kauri Investments, said each steel-framed panel arrives at the jobsite with everything installed: windows, vapor barrier, sheathing and siding.

“I'm not aware of anyone else having done it (locally),” he said.

The panels are hoisted into place and screwed together. Once that's done, electrical and plumbing are roughed in, and insulation is installed after those systems are inspected.

The panels are made by Modo, a division of Centura Buildings Systems of Delta, B.C. Angier said his company has used Modo panels in the past, but not the all-inclusive variety.

How does the monorail figure into this?

The Hyatt House site is just 10 feet away from the monorail so there is no room for scaffolding. These panels don't need scaffolding because they come pre-finished and are installed by crane.

The only exterior work involves installing gaskets to seal seams between the panels. Workers will lower themselves on swing stages to do that.

Angier said it won't cost much more to use the panels because of the savings on scaffolding. And, he said, they don't have to pay the city to use the right of way for scaffolds.

The panels were designed and built by Modo. DCI Engineers reviewed the plans and RDH reviewed the assembly process at the factory. DCI is the project's structural engineer and RDH is the building envelope consultant.

Kauri's K Contracting is about half way through with the eight-story Hyatt House. It will have 116 hotel rooms and 56 high-end apartments near Seattle Center. Johnson Braund is the architect.

Angier said the apartments will be about 650 square feet. No property management firm has been named, he said.

The hotel is scheduled to open next spring. It will be run by Intermountain Management and cater to business and leisure travelers, with a gym and a 24-hour restaurant/bar.


 


Benjamin Minnick can be reached by email or by phone at (206) 622-8272.


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