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August 2014

The Residential Revolution

S+A LEADS THE WAY FOR QUALITY AND INNOVATION

 

How did Smith + Andersen become the consulting firm of choice for so many residential developers?

By responding to their demands for better designed projects.

S+A’s commitment to an especially dynamic sector of the market is reflected in the creation of our multi-unit residential group. With the significant client interaction required to deliver the quality expected of S+A, a dedicated team was assembled – one that fully understands the economics of the residential developer. Leading the group is Bram Atlin. His wide-ranging experience with projects of all types and sizes makes Bram the perfect choice to further the S+A mission: delivering engineering excellence in highly-specialized markets.




Q&A with Bram Atlin, Associate
Multi-unit residential group

Why should S+A design my next Multi-Unit Residential Building (MURB)?

Residential buildings are no longer just a few standard floor plans sitting on top of a lobby. They have expanded dramatically in size, scope and ambition. New developments are attempting to “touch the clouds” while incorporating a significant amount of retail, restaurant, commercial, hotel and live-work spaces, plus expansive amenities. When you couple projects of this scale with today’s increased energy performance requirements and more restrictive codes and by-laws, it becomes clear that this sector can no longer support the industry’s “do as we have always done” approach. All of this plays to our strengths at S+A. Our technical experience and ability to provide creative engineering designs for our clients is coupled with a full understanding of the limited attention that systems receive during a building’s lifespan.

Is S+A competitive in this sector?

The MURB sector is certainly one of the most competitive I’ve seen for consultants of any discipline. But it only takes one job with a new client for them to appreciate the value we bring to their project. Residential is a very tight-knit sector of the built environment, and what’s most gratifying to me and our team is the recognition of our commitment to high-quality documents, and giving back saleable space on jobs where every square foot is precious. It’s quickly earned us a favorable reputation in the sector. Overall, our goal is to show how your project will truly benefit from engaging Smith + Andersen. And based on the amount of repeat work we’re getting, I think it’s safe to say that goal is being met.

What does the future hold for mechanical and electrical design in MURBs?

We’re seeing a growing demand for building automation systems (BAS) and integration in residential units. Metering is already common for suite services. In many cases, it’s being utilized for billing the unit owner. This kind of information is invaluable to a networked BAS in terms of understanding and predicting the performance of the main mechanical and electrical systems. Integration also has two other significant advantages. First, it provides a single platform within a building for the BAS, fire alarm, metering, lighting, security and AV systems. And all these systems can be monitored remotely by property management – something that’s becoming increasingly of interest in the rental sector.

Aura at College Park
Toronto, ON
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Pier 27
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Paintbox Condos
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L Tower
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River City Condos
Toronto, ON 
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