Nines Apartments 950 Hamilton Street

Nines Apartments 950 Hamilton Street

General Contractor: North Star Construction

Location: Allentown, PA

Project Description:

950 Hamilton Street created quite a buzz in the community for its unique residential model and the complexity of the construction due to the extremely tight construction site, its proximity to electrical wires, and the more than 30 inches of snow that fell during the project.

Located in the heart of downtown, the five-story, multi-family complex features 78 luxury apartments, retail space, and a pedestrian walkway connected to a neighboring parking garage. Known as an urban infill project, the complex reduces urban sprawl by redeveloping vacant land within an existing neighborhood.

Quality Buildings’ off-site construction model was instrumental in keeping the project moving with minimal disruptions, while also lowering the risk of injury. As North Star Construction’s turnkey framing partner, our work started by reviewing and resolving conflicts in the wall panel design between the architectural and structural drawings before getting to the job site. Part of this process involved obtaining additional details on the sheer wall hold-downs. This information allowed us to accurately coordinate the exact structural components with all MEPs. Then, using our shop drawings, we were able to create a phased delivery schedule for our pre-fabricated wall panels and floor & roof trusses, to minimize job site congestion by having deliveries arrive as needed.

Using our panelized process, Quality Buildings played an important role in saving time and money. Panels constructed in our in-house manufacturing facility go up quicker once on-site and reduce delays due to discrepancies and bad weather. Utilizing our off-site process also allowed us to eliminate cutting and trash on-site, which was important given the dumpster needed to be placed blocks away. In the end, our team successfully executed an aggressive 6-day framing duration per floor, in the middle of winter.

Given the space restrictions, we had limited options on how to best erect the building. Once on-site, extreme precision was required to ensure neighboring buildings were not damaged by construction equipment which included our massive Potain Self-Erecting Tower Crane. Using our crane, with a 165’ reach, our NCCO-trained operator was able to distribute walls and trusses to any part of the building directly from our trucks parked beside the building. In addition to the tower crane, we used an 80 ft. boom lift and a 10k telehandler to complete exterior work and install the windows.

I have had the opportunity to work with Quality Buildings on the 950 Hamilton project in Allentown PA, where they demonstrated their ability to keep the flow of work progressing on schedule even through the harsh winter weather.

Quality Buildings provided excellent workmanship and time management throughout the
project. I have found their personnel to be professional, friendly, responsive, and highly
knowledgeable in their trade. They had the skills needed to plan and execute the wood
framing of a five-story wood-framed apartment building in an urban environment. Also, as
part of the execution of the project, they provided prefab wall panels for all the bearing
walls and were adept at being able to troubleshoot and providing suggestions for coordination
of HVAC, Plumbing, etc. during the floor and roof truss layout.

The straightness and plumbness of the gypsum are a testament to the attention and detail that was extended during the framing process. The building looks good and shows well!

Rob Smith

Project Manager, North Star Construction

Quality Buildings successfully drove the schedule for several months as the building went vertical. Their advanced preparation, planning, and coordination allowed for an easy transition from floor to floor, as the building was going vertical during winter conditions the project encountered a snowstorm with a snow accumulation of up to 18”. Even though snow removal was not part of the QB scope of work they diverted manpower to cleaning off the snow to keep the project moving forward on schedule. They also overcame the challenges of working on a tight urban site with limited laydown area by coordinating “just in time” deliveries which were attained by using prefab walls that Quality Buildings manufactured offsite and delivered as needed.

In addition to driving the schedule, Quality Buildings installed the wood framing with high quality and required minimal punch list work after inspection by the structural engineer. Their leadership for both the administrative and the field installation was extremely professional and cooperative.

Robert DiLorenzo

Senior Project Manager, City Center Investment Corporation