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Seattle Activity Report

Work Pours into South Lake Union, Sprinkles Elsewhere

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Othello Station, named for the light rail stop at the corner, will consist of a 471,000-sq-ft building with 351 market-rate residential units, 11 retail spaces on the ground floor and 335 parking stalls below grade.

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Work on the structure started in September and should be completed in June 2011 with a phased occupancy. The building owner, Othello Partners, is expecting a LEED silver or gold certification.

The wood-frame building relies on a new framing technique designed by Matt Stodola, a quality control manager and superintendent with Exxel Pacific Inc., Bellingham. The system, designed with DCI Engineers, Bellevue, is expected to diminish the cracks in the drywall on nonload-bearing interior walls that typically occur in a normal wood-framed building.

Key Players
Amazon Phase IV
Owner: Vulcan Real Estate
Design Firm: Callison
General Contractor: GLY Construction Inc.
Structural Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen
Subcontractors: Otis Elevator; All New Glass; McKinstry; Valley Electric; Sitrrett Johnson
Pike Place Market
Owner: Pike Place Development Authority
Architect: SRG Partnership
General Contractor: Turner Construction Co.
Othello Station
Owner: Othello Partners
Architect: Ruffcorn Mott Hinthorne Stine
General Contractor: Exxel Pacific Inc.

The contractor, whose specialty is wood-framed structures, also “had a lot of door issues and other problems that would come up at the one-year builders warranty inspection,” Stodola says.

The system works by top-plating all the bearing walls with standard 1.5-in. dimensional lumber and reducing the interior nonbearing-wall top plates by 0.75 in. The air space between the joist and nonbearing walls reduces noise transfer.

Some of weight of the building is evened out using a deflector on the nonload-bearing walls. The deflector consists of a long screw with a plastic sleeve that can move up and down as the building shifts. The sleeve keeps the wall from shifting, eliminating cracks and door problems.

Cost of the deflectors, about $30 for 25, is easily covered by the reduced amount of lumber and faster framing time, Stodola says. “Othello Station is the first place we used this and the framing went in five times faster,” he adds.


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Blog: Evergreen
Tim Newcomb is a newspaper and magazine journalist based in Western Washington, covering design and construction in buildings and transportation around the Northwest.
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