QUALITY TO STAND THE TEST OF TIME
Scott Erickson is a principal at DCI Engineers. He is the project’s structural engineer of record. He is responsible for the building itself. Another current project is The Grand LA, the Frank Gehry-designed lifestyle destination in Downtown Los Angeles.
Mohamed Ait Allaoua is the principal at A3 Acoustics. It’s his job to be sure the only thing you hear is the sound of peacefulness within your own home and the ocean breeze when you open your patio doors. He has consulted on more than 250 residential projects in the Pacific Northwest.
Together, they have made thousands of critical decisions that will impact the quality of the building as well as the quality of life for the residents of Infinity Shore Club.
Mohamed Ait Allaoua
What was your mandate for Infinity Shore Club?
Scott Erickson: From our very first meeting, we understood this was going to be a truly unique residential project. High-end quality drove the process. The vision was to create very open living spaces, highlighted by floor-to-ceiling glass and extended balconies — all to take full advantage of the water and mountain views. The best possible way to accomplish these goals was with a concrete structure, as it allowed us the freedom to move walls and columns around to create custom floor plans with lots of open spaces.
How does that impact the rest of the design?
Scott Erickson: There are a lot of intricacies with moving walls and shaping the articulated building, so we obviously worked closely with Bob Tiscareno and Susan Marinello to accommodate their vision for urban waterfront resort living. A wood building is much more restrictive. The key really is the column spacing, so you can get a lot longer span to enjoy the open space — especially with the waterfront and snow-capped mountain views. It allows a lot of light into the residence and you can open the wall of windows and smell the sea air and enjoy the sunshine. It’s high-quality indoor / outdoor living.
What are the benefits of concrete construction versus wooden structures?
Scott Erickson: All buildings meet safety and code requirements, but wood is vulnerable to external threats like fire, wind, insects, moisture and mold — all of which can results in structural damage and safety risks. Additionally, concrete and steel construction are more fire-resistant, typically require less maintenance and they are built to be more durable. The Infinity Shore Club homes are built to stand for 100+ years without the owners worrying about the framing. Another huge benefit is that it’s waterproof, so if ever there was a leak in another unit, it is contained without concern of it dripping through the floors or walls to another unit.
What considerations are made regarding the acoustics of a quality condominium project?
Mohamed Ait Allaoua: Concrete slab is definitely the best option for the floor structure between condominiums for acoustic benefits, though it isn’t very common for a 5- to 6-story building. The party wall consists of a double-stud wall construction, which meets the high-end criteria for sound isolation between residential units.
The mechanical and plumbing systems were reviewed to reduce noise and vibration to within industry standards. Cast-iron was used for the waste pipes and rain drain lines to greatly reduce plumbing noise. And lastly, high-performance windows were used to reduce traffic noise. The bottom line is that every step has been taken to reduce noise that could be a distraction to the lifestyle quality that the homeowners are seeking..
The quality design of Infinity Shore Club is obvious from the outside, but the investments behind the scenes are just as important — even if you never see it. You’ll hear the difference, that’s for sure.