Renaissance Downtown Lofts
Award of Merit

Owner: The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
Lead Design Firm: Christopher Carvell Architects
General Contractor: FCI Constructors
Structural Engineer: Anderson & Hastings Consultants Inc.
Civil Engineer: Wilson & Co. 
MEP Engineer: MEP Engineering Inc.
Structural Framing System Design-Build-Manufacture-Install: Prescient

The Renaissance Downtown Lofts shelter some of Denver’s homeless residents. Located on the busy Broadway transportation corridor a few blocks from two RTD light rail stations, the building looks like many other apartment complexes going up in downtown Denver. 

However, unlike those other buildings, this six-story, 85,000-sq-ft complex is comprised of 100 one- and two-bedroom apartments and a highly interactive first floor filled with social programs, counseling facilities, case-management offices and medical and addiction-support services. Transparent and welcoming at the street level, the structure encourages its residents to connect with each other and the city beyond. A chronically homeless person costs Denver taxpayers $29,000 a year. By providing housing for 100 residents, Renaissance Downtown Lofts is not only saving lives but also saving the city of Denver $2.9 million a year by helping people stay out of jail and detox facilities and providing them with a safe place to call their own.

Facing a limited budget and a constrained triangular-corner site, the design team sought out innovative construction methodology. They determined that a premanufactured Prescient light-gauge steel panelized wall and floor framing system, lifted into place over a concrete podium, would save money by allowing tighter site setback tolerances, accelerating installation and helping with sustainability goals for recycled content by eliminating jobsite waste.

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