The Valley Apartments and Townhomes
State College, Pa.
Award of Merit 

Owner: Homestead Development Partners
Construction Manager: Poole Anderson Construction
Lead Design Firm, MEP Engineer: Kitchen & Associates
Civil Engineer: PennTerra Engineering Inc.
Structural Engineer: MPP Engineers
Interior Design Consultant: The Childs/Dreyfus Group
Subcontractors: M&M Concrete Services LLC (Concrete and Gypcrete); Arrow Electric Inc.; Moore Fire Protection Inc.; Allied Mechanical & Electrical (HVAC); Mark Torgent Mechanical Inc. (Plumbing); R.C. Bowman Inc. (Sitework); RNR Construction Co. (Steel Erection)

The 253,000-sq-ft, 200-unit student housing facility includes a lounge, fitness center, gaming areas and café. Technologically advanced conference rooms for research and small study groups are equipped with videoconferencing technology. Planned to be completed in time for the start of a new school year, the project’s already aggressive schedule was continually beset by unexpected obstacles, including a two-month delay in finalizing property acquisition. Unsuitable soils coupled with record rainfall threatened to disrupt sitework and vertical construction. Close coordination of sitework, foundation and framing activities helped phase work around excessively wet site locations. Due to the site’s topography and proximity to an existing apartment complex, a carefully synchronized soil nailing process stabilized existing soil slopes without compromising existing building foundations. Preplanning and collaboration also proved critical in finishing the clubhouse—design was completed just three weeks before the project’s opening. Pre-installation meetings with trade contractors helped discover several problems, such as with window framing, that might have required extensive rework. 

The team’s evaluation of various building systems and materials helped identify numerous cost-effective alternatives that met the owner’s goals for appearance, functionality and sustainability. The approach also helped speed installation time and reduce jobsite clutter.

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