Despite a firm completion deadline, tough site conditions and damage caused by vandals, the 403-bed Redstone Lofts apartment complex on the University of Vermont campus in Burlington was delivered on time and under budget in July 2012—in time for the start of the fall semester.

The new apartments are privately owned and managed, but they were developed to help the university reach its stated goal of housing 60% of its undergraduates in university–affiliated housing.

The 169,000-sq-ft project features two curved wings that meet at a glass-walled common space, dubbed "The Lantern." The face is a blend of black brick accented with blue, yellow and white panels.

During excavation, crews discovered 40,000 cu yd of unsuitable materials and ledge, requiring that some be replaced. Some ledge was removed while crews were placing concrete 200 ft away.

To reduce jobsite activity in a limited laydown area, much of the structure was prefabricated off site and shipped to the site for assembly. Access for equipment and supplies had to be preplanned and was subject to the university's review.

As the project neared completion, the building suffered some vandalism. Approximately $50,000 of damage was done to the buildings, including broken windows and destroyed fixtures and fire extinguishers.

The apartment complex, which earned LEED-Silver certification, is clad in a rain-screen system with an outer layer that protects it from the elements and an inner layer that provides thermal insulation and prevents excessive air leakage, say project participants.

Redstone Lofts earned an award of merit in the safety category in ENR New England's 2013 Best Projects competition. During the project's 230,000 man-hours, there were no OSHA recordable incidents and no lost-time accidents.

The project marked the inception of DEW Construction's 100% high visibility clothing program, which is now part of the construction firm's safety culture. Every contractor was required to wear high visibility clothing at all times. It was also the first DEW project to implement fall distance calculation training for all site contractors using aerial lifts.


Redstone Lofts, Burlington, Vt.

Key Players

Owner Redstone Commercial Group

Architect Youkel

Construction Manager DEW Construction Corp.

Mechanical Engineer Pearson & Associates

Structural Engineer Hardy Structural Engineering

Civil Engineer Krebs & Lansing Consulting Engineers

Landscape Architect H. Keith Wagner Partnership