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May 15, 2015
General contractor: W. G. Clark Construction
Owner/developer: Imagine Housing
Primary designer: SMR Architects
Velocity is a 58-unit affordable-housing project built on a site split between Bellevue and Kirkland jurisdictions and with ownership divided between King County Metro, a private developer and Imagine Housing, a nonprofit provider of affordable housing.
During construction, another 184-unit housing project was being built by a separate team of builders but on the same podium as Velocity. Shared construction elements and access, different completion timelines and overlapping permits with that project required extensive coordination. W.G. Clark Construction was charged with shepherding these relationships successfully from start to finish.
W.G. Clark, Imagine Housing and SMR Architects overcame numerous challenges.
The site’s hydrology made the original geothermal-energy source impractical, and wells had to be abandoned. The team responded quickly and found other green upgrades to incorporate, reallocating funds intended for the geothermal wells to improve sustainability and durability of other project elements. Higher-efficiency, air-cooled heat pumps were also found to replace geothermally cooled units.
The ultimate result was a more energy-efficient building with additional upgrades that the budget had not originally allowed. Other solutions provided included large steel planters that were replaced with handmade steel boxes sourced through the farming industry, saving over $50,000. Venting and soffits were reworked, resulting in another $60,000 of savings.
There were no accidents on the project, which included approximately 51,000 hours of general contractor and subcontractor labor.
Ann Levine, executive director of Imagine Housing, stated, “Through the course of design and construction, W.G. Clark demonstrated the ability to not only solve problems but anticipate them before they happen... Hiring W.G. Clark resulted in more than high-quality work; it resulted in a long-term partnership that has been incredibly beneficial to our organization.”