Silva Crossing: Preplanning Methods to Replicate

Kristy Eudy

Nearly two years ago, as the coronavirus already emerged as a global pandemic triggering worldwide project delays, increased staffing precautions and supply chain issues, the KPRS multifamily team began construction on Silva Crossing—a 56-unit community that provides much needed affordable housing in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles.

Forging ahead with the project amid the heavy restrictions and ambiguous lead times, the project team pivoted in several areas to help mitigate the many challenges at hand.

Their first solution—scheduling the early manufacture of finish material installations such as lighting, flooring, and plumbing fixtures—concurrently with the beginning phase of rough framing the structure with the use of prefabricated restroom pods.

The other solution—pre-planning for more substantial materials such as HVAC, sheet metal and light fixtures, and ordering them at the beginning of the project as well, and storing them in a building adjacent to the project site. Each of these materials were conveniently pulled as needed for the duration of the project.  

In addition, instead of facing the risk of not having the proper framing materials at the scheduled time, the team prefabricated infill steel stud walls due to a shortage of stud materials.

With these solutions in place, the team did not have to wait for materials through all the remaining COVID supply shortages. According to Multifamily Vice President Eric Donnelly, increasing material prices were hedged, and the project was kept on budget.

“Due to the continued uncertainty of COVID, and when faced with any similar constraints, we will apply these same methods again and again,” Eric said.

There’s also one other element that the multifamily team will continue to repeat for many other projects in the works—the use of prefabricated wood panels. With offsite prefabrication, the framing is already started before the concrete pouring is finished, creating a significant cut in the schedule for the framing portion. The walls are drawn in CAD, then manufactured at the plant and shipped to the site. Conflicts are solved before the walls are built, and onsite work flows seamlessly.

In the case of Silva Crossing, and with other tight urban infill projects, the space to build the walls onsite is non-existent. Yet once shipped to the jobsite, the efficiency of offloading and installing is completed with ease. This process also creates less waste as there is limited cutting of materials on site.

As many projects found their footing during the onset and lingering concerns of the coronavirus, the opportunity for newfound efficiencies also created a fresh roadmap to deliver projects on time and on budget. Even as the economy continues to repair, the successful preplanning methods applied toward Silva Crossing will point future multifamily projects toward continued success as well.

Met with much enthusiasm by the community, including the attendance of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at the groundbreaking, Silva Crossing is a Type I and Type V structure totaling over 47,000 square feet. The new development is situated with convenient access to the Metrolink station, as well as other established amenities, city parks and restaurants.

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