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Atlanta Tower on the Rise

The 25-story, 575,000-sq.ft. apartment tower, known as Post Midtown Atlanta, will include more than 350 residential units.

Wed October 28, 2015 - Southeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Construction work is under way in Atlanta, Ga., on a highrise designed to offer an urban lifestyle experience. The 25-story, 575,000-sq.ft. (53,419.2 sq m) apartment tower, known as Post Midtown Atlanta, will include more than 350 residential units.

General contractor Brasfield & Gorrie broke ground on Post Midtown on July 1.

“Currently, we’re continuing work on grading and deep foundations,” said Eddie Sanders, Brasfield & Gorrie senior project manager. “Foundations are scheduled to start in early November. We should be out of the ground and going vertical in late January 2016. To date, Brasfield & Gorrie has mobilized on site and started deep foundation work. We’re about a tenth of the way through the two-year schedule.”

The project is located on a tight site in midtown Atlanta, an area surrounded by high-rise buildings.

“Working in this environment requires expert coordination of material deliveries and detailed planning of logistics from crane placement to laydown and staging areas,” Sanders said. “Complicating matters further is the availability of material due to market conditions, such as limited glazing resources and availability of labor, due to surrounding projects and labor shortages.

“Our primary focus is on maintaining the schedule and ensuring that the project receives materials as scheduled and sequenced. These two concerns go hand in hand. The site constraints prevent us from storing materials on site, so the project management team must make certain they are delivered on site when the field team needs them for installation.”

The project is located over an existing MARTA tunnel.

“The structure of the high-rise is designed to span over the tunnel, so that the tunnel does not bear the building’s weight,” Sanders said. “We are building on every side of the MARTA tunnel. We are communicating with MARTA weekly, not daily, regarding ongoing foundation work. As on all of our projects, coordination with neighbors, stakeholders and the surrounding community is a key to success.”

As for the condition of the property, “It was a vacant lot. We had to remove the existing trees, old construction debris, topsoil, etc. The clearing work we performed was typical for the start of a project.

“We have encountered and removed a good deal of rock to date. One vein of rock was the size of a railroad freight car. These materials continue to be hauled off the site. Encountering the behemoth rock is the primary challenge we’ve faced so far,” Sanders said.

The building will feature a rooftop pool, as well as a landscaped terrace and a club room.

“The pool, hardscape and planters are our areas of concern. Waterproofing is critical at these locations. As contractors, we do not typically try to accumulate and retain water on the roof of a structure. Multifamily, mixed-use, and hospitality projects like this one are the exception to that rule. In comparison to the rooftop pool, the club room will be the easy part.”

Sanders said sustainable construction methods include recycling construction waste, implementing basic indoor air quality cleanliness, reusing existing on-site materials when possible, recycling demolition debris when possible and following sustainable office procedures such as recycling, using electronic documentation and limiting printed materials. “Additionally, Post Midtown is seeking National Green Building Standards [NGBS] Bronze certification. Design and construction are geared toward achieving that goal,” said Sanders.

According to Sanders, one major challenge of the construction phase itself is getting the project out of the ground and building the structure. This process sets the production cycle and solidifies the schedule for the entire project.

“The most time-consuming part of construction is actually our pre-construction effort,” Sanders said. “To ensure that we get it right in the field, we spend a great deal of time developing an accurate budget, creating an efficient, reliable schedule and conducting constructability analyses, MEP coordination and risk management analyses. All must take place for the construction phase to be successful.”

Equipment being used on the job includes a JLG 1044C-54 series II lull, a Cat 259 B3 skid steer loader, a Peiner SK415 tower crane, two Ingersoll Rand 375 air compressors, two Watson 4400 CM drill rigs, a Watson 3110CM drill rig, a Link-Belt LS 418A crawler crane FMC, a Link-Belt LS 118 crawler crane, a Komatsu PC 270 LC hydraulic excavator, a 963B track loader and a Cat CP-563C vibratory compactor.

The main materials being used on the Post Midtown Atlanta project include exterior finishes, such as EIFS, brick, decorative CMU, metal panels, aluminum window wall and aluminum windows. Interior finishes include wood panels, prefabricated cabinets, custom cabinets, wood trim, granite countertops, tile, carpet, luxury vinyl tile, paint/wallcovering and glass panels.

Currently, Brasfield & Gorrie has a total of six multifamily projects planned or under way in the city of Atlanta. The projects over two million square feet of space and have a combined construction value of approximately $320 million.

“After the condo boom in Atlanta in the mid-2000s and the subsequent dip during the great recession, we’ve seen a steady increase in high-rise apartment developments with mixed-use components over the last few years,” said Roddy McCrory, Brasfield & Gorrie regional vice president and division manager, who focuses on construction in the multifamily market sector. “These projects have fueled the local economy, and they don’t seem to be tapering off, perhaps as a result of the city continuing to top the list of moving destinations in the country.”

Said McCrory, “As single-family home sales increase over the next several years, we believe the market will see an upswing in condo developments. Currently, the return of condo projects is just beginning with particular developer interest in high-end, luxury residences with extensive amenities.”

According to Tim Williamson of the Atlanta architectural firm The Preston Partnership, “The vision for Post Millennium Midtown was to create an urban lifestyle experience in a walkable, transit-oriented location in midtown Atlanta. The tower’s luxury amenities include a sky lounge, state-of-the-art fitness center and expansive views of the city.

“Five levels of residential units wrap the seven-level parking deck to provide a base for the upper tower,” Williamson stated. “The base is clad in brick and designed to recall the traditional materials and scale of this pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. The tower transitions into a more contemporary blend of stucco and glass, relating the upper floors to the modern Midtown skyline.”

The project is set for completion in the third quarter of 2017.

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