YWCA Home At Last

A structural design variance resulted in significant cost savings for the owner.

YWCA Home At Last

Tacoma, WA

Located on Broadway and South 4th Street, Home At Last is a $23 million new apartment project with 55 units that range from 300 SF studios to 950 SF three-bedroom units, for homeless and low-income families with disabilities.

Located on a steeply sloped site, it was originally thought the project would be 5 stories of wood framing over 1.5 stories of concrete. During design development, given the site’s steep slope and the height limitations, SSF suggested the possibility of designing 6 stories of wood over one-half level of concrete. In Tacoma, the building code caps at 5 levels of Type VA wood. SSF has successfully designed 6 levels of Type III wood framing in Seattle where the code was recently revised. SSF suggested this solution to the design team and attended a meeting with the City of Tacoma building officials to discuss their experience with 6 levels. It was noted that this alternative would save the client significant money by replacing one full level (8500 SF) of concrete construction with wood frame. The city approved a variance for this project which provided significant cost savings for the owner and developer.

June 19, 2019 news article


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