pre-cut wallsW

Bernard Keck, senior project manager of Chico-based Sunseri Construction Inc., examines a group of individually cut walls assembled off-site to reduce waste. Tim Lindsey, Barrish Pelham & Associates Inc./Courtesy photo


New Harmony wins green award from structural engineers association

By Dell Richards

New Harmony Mutual Housing Community in Davis recently won another green award in sustainable design for its structural engineers, Sacramento-based Barrish Pelham and Associates Inc.

The development of 69 one-, two- and three-bedroom affordable units, is at 3030 Cowell Blvd. in South Davis.

“We are very pleased that New Harmony continues to be recognized for its sustainable design,” said Rachel Iskow, chief executive officer of Mutual Housing California, the developer. “Everyone who worked on the project helped create the vision we wanted for our residents.”

“It is exciting to be honored for something you believe in such as sustainable design,” said Jason Scanlan, a principal in Barris Pelham and Associates Inc.

Including sustainable design, the Structural Engineers Association of Central California honored excellence in four categories from historic preservation and retrofit to new construction in its 2014 Excellence in Structural Engineering awards.

The east-to-west orientation of the New Harmony buildings takes advantage of the rooftop photovoltaic system that supplies 80 percent of the community’s energy. Shading on southern windows reduces heat exposure.

To preserve resources, 90 percent of the roof and ceiling frames used engineered or prefabricated materials. To reduce waste, walls were organized individually, cut to fit and assembled off-site. After that, walls were put on pallets and trucked in.

“We had 10-foot-high stacks of walls,” Scanlan said.

Window and door headers were sized for specific load demand, while the top floor and interior walls were framed with 24-inch studs instead of the standard 16-inch frames.

The three-story buildings also use gearless elevators that don’t have oil that not only is a disposal problem, but can leak.

In May, New Harmony received a sustainability award from Breathe California Sacramento-Emigrant Trails.

This past year, New Harmony also won Best Community Project from Green Builder magazine and scored a 197-point rating from Build It Green, an Oakland-based nonprofit that began its certification system of single-family homes in 2005 and multi-family developments in 2007.

Special to The Enterprise

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