Mosler Lofts is a 148-unit high-rise condominium built in 2007 in Seattle, Washington. When construction defects were identified post-occupancy, the owners and the developer reached a settlement. In 2014, we were retained by the owners to correct these deficiencies and orchestrate a project that would bring the occupied condo up to code.

Bringing an occupied building up to code can be a significant task. When a new building is built, it is a construction site from start to finish, making it fairly easy to get access to correct any defects. In contrast, correcting defects in an occupied building means the contractor must perform construction activities in someone’s living room—a much more delicate environment than a work site.

The Mosler Lofts project presented additional coordination issues when communicating with tenants who were not owners and whose private units had unique features, such as delicate Venetian plaster walls, large murals, and outdated and unmatchable flooring. With so many variables, our team viewed this project as 148 smaller but overlapping individual projects.

To orchestrate such a large and complex project, our first step was to come up with a effective communication plan that involved all the invested parties. Our goal was to resolve the construction defect in each unit within only 3 or 4 weeks while working in multiple occupied units at once, so precise scheduling was essential. The factor that had the biggest impact on our successful communication was conducting a team preview of each unit that included the consultant, the superintendent, the trades, the liaison, the owner, and any tenants. At these meetings, the parties discussed schedules, reviewed special circumstances, and set expectations.

Construction completion times varied for each unit, but the residents said they felt informed and empowered with a voice about what was happening in their own unit, on their floors, and throughout the building. We made efforts to communicate special circumstances and accommodate the residents quickly and efficiently, saving time, money, and headaches. This approach benefited all parties involved, keeping disruptions to a minimum and the construction schedule on track. While every project in an occupied building is different, good communication is always the critical factor that ensures project success.

Date:

May 6, 2019

Client:

Mosler Lofts Condo Association

General Contractor:

Charter Construction

Our Role:

Building Enclosure Consultant

Key Services

Renewal and Rehabilitation

Our diverse team of experienced professionals will collaborate with you and your owner group on your project, whether it involves renewing specific building components or conducting a complete building enclosure rehabilitation. Our knowledgeable staff have the building science and project management expertise to lead you each step of the way, from the initial planning stages through design, budgeting, construction documents, and working with a contractor to implement the work.

Our field review work involves visiting the building during construction to monitor progress, ensure that the contractor has a clear understanding of all requirements, and confirm that the work is being implemented correctly.

In addition to visual field review, we undertake field testing to confirm that the specified materials are being used and the components are correctly installed. We can conduct a range of tests, including water penetration tests, airtightness tests, and membrane and coating adherence tests, to ensure that your project meets the appropriate industry standards.

Robert Bombino | MS, PE (WA, MA)

President, Senior Building Science Specialist
View Bio
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