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Luxury Apartment Complex Features Panelized Cold-Formed Steel Exterior Framing

Philadelphia mid-rise incorporates an unorthodox approach to the exterior connection design, panelization of the wall framing, and Building Information Modeling.

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2021 Chestnut Street was originally a four-story structure located in downtown Philadelphia that served as an annex to the Mid-City YWCA. Falling into disrepair, the structure was closed and remained abandoned for 23 years. Aquinas Realty Partners purchased the property in 2012 with the vision of razing the existing building and creating a new, 12-story, luxury apartment complex. This structure would be composed of a structural steel frame, concrete slabs and exterior cold-formed steel framing. Today, that vision has been realized and 2021 Chestnut Street, now known as AQ Rittenhouse, stands as one of Philadelphia’s best residential complexes for upscale, urban living.

What made this project unique from a design and construction standpoint were a number of items, including an unorthodox approach to the exterior connection design, panelization of the wall framing, and Building Information Modeling (BIM). The smooth coordination between these processes allowed for many issues to be resolved prior to construction as well as an expedited construction timeline.

The cold-formed steel framing contractor, Clemens Construction, specifically faced several challenges in regards to the installation of the exterior, cold-formed steel stud framing. Not only were they faced with the usual issue of a short construction schedule, but they also faced the challenge of installing the framing in very tight quarters and within a high-traffic area. ClarkDietrich was chosen by Clemens Construction to help address these issues through the development of exterior framing details, engineering shop drawings, panelization drawings and BIM modeling.

This project received first place in the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute Design Excellence and Innovative Detail Award ceremony.

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