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May 12, 2016

Community/Public Service

Photo from Donovan Brothers
Phoenix Rising helps young adults transition out of homelessness in these dorm-like buildings.

Valley Cities
Phoenix Rising
Donovan Brothers

Architect: The Keimig Associates

Owner: Valley Cities

ABC member: Parker, Smith & Feek

Valley Cities Phoenix Rising helps displaced youth and young adults ages 18-24 transition out of homelessness to independent living.

The three-building complex in Auburn consists of two 4,394-square-foot residential buildings and a 4,556-square-foot common building. The group residences contain 24 single-occupancy units in a dorm-like environment. The common building houses the job training center with a focus on food service, providing an opportunity for young adults to learn real-life job skills in a commercial kitchen.

The complexities of the project included environmental concerns, the discovery of a gas main running through the right of way and navigating many layers of government oversight.

Concerns over the specified pervious asphalt in the right of way required that the civil engineer prove the long-term performance of the material by providing research about its durability in many jurisdictions. A redesign specifying a uniform flat sub-grade required another review and approval by the city.

It was after construction began that a gas main running directly through the right of way was discovered, requiring the utility to re-engineer and relocate it. In addition, a low-permeability layer had to be installed under all drive aisles because infiltration exceeded the maximum allowable rate. This required extensive testing because the infiltration rates were unknown.

Phoenix Rising falls under the guidelines of an affordable housing project, so the state required that the facility be built to Evergreen Sustainable Development Standards. Meeting these standards and building a long-lasting facility that could withstand hard use by tenants required an additional round of research.

The result is a building with a projected 50-year-life with minimal maintenance featuring LED lighting, EnergyStar appliances and pervious paving throughout. The project uses low-flow and high-efficiency products that minimize energy and water consumption, both conserving resources and reducing utility bills.

To meet Section 3 requirements to direct employment or other economic opportunities to low-income persons, Donovan Brothers created a plan for hiring and subcontracting during the project.

Also, the state Department of Labor & Industries required the use of apprenticeship training programs on the project. Donovan Brothers met the goal of 15 percent of total labor hours by enrolling three laborers in a carpentry program to further their education and encouraged their subcontractors to do the same.

Despite the challenges, this complex project was delivered on time and on budget. There were no time-loss or medical injuries during the 13,062 hours worked.

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