Elite Care at Oatfield Estates

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"Our environment reduces stress, creating home-style smells, tastes and functions."
The Elite Care at Oatfield Estates II building is the latest addition to Elite Care’s existing campus located in Milwaukie, OR.  Providing an additional 24 “homes” to elderly individuals with varying degrees of memory loss, Oatfield Estates was designed with the following goal.  The client wanted a building that would make their residents final years of life as full and rich as possible, so the quality and habitability of these buildings would be essential to the quality of life experienced by their residents. 

Oatfield Estates II is constructed on a 1-acre parcel adjacent to Elite Care’s existing six building campus.  The total combined square footage for this building is 26,656 sqft.  The building has a ground level floor that provides six staff living units, a lobby, storage and mechanical room; the second level has twelve residential units, an open kitchen combined with a common dining area; the third level provides another twelve elder resident units and a sitting/ lounge/ recreation area.
Construction Site 1 | Elite Care at Oatfield Estates | NWVentures
Construction Site 2 | Elite Care at Oatfield Estates | NWVentures

Quality

To help us maximize both the comfort and quality of these buildings, we used the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum standard as our guide to achieve multiple healthful benefits of green construction practices.

Rain water was managed in two ways.  First, roof downspouts were tight lined to two 2,500 gallon underground retention tanks with pumps that supply gray water to all lavatories and also irrigate the community gardens in the summer.  Second, permeable concrete and artificial turf were installed to allow rain water to drain freely into the surrounding site.  Artificial turf also reduced the need for excessive irrigation while providing a safer outdoor walking surface for residents.
 
To protect the health of sensitive residents from temperature extremes and to save energy, the walls were first insulated with 5½ inches of closed cell spray foam insulation between the stud cavities and then the exterior side of these same walls were sheathed with ½ inch polyiso insulation to greatly reduce drafts and thermal bridging from the outside.  The windows installed were triple paned glass to further insulate the interior spaces and also help minimize noise pollution from the outside. To improve indoor air quality, the carpets installed were a low VOC product and the interior paint used was zero VOC paint.

High efficiency PTACs (packaged terminal air conditioners) were installed in individual rooms which allow each resident to set the room temperature to their optimum comfort level.   Additionally, tankless water heaters were installed to continually service radiant piping installed under the tile bathroom floor and provide a warm walking surface.  To increase occupant comfort, these same tankless water heaters also provide instant hot water to resident sinks and showers to avoid cold water temperatures.


Low flow shower heads, low flow toilets, Energy Star fans, and Energy Star appliances were just a few ways in which the owner was able to minimize utility consumption while still providing convenience to the residents.  
Brand New 1 | Elite Care at Oatfield Estates | NWVentures
One of the more innovative features of these buildings is the low voltage electrical systems and technology installed to monitor the health and safety of residents. Smart sensors were installed throughout the buildings to allow residents to safely walk the buildings and exterior gardens as they please while providing caretakers with a means to track where residents are in case of an emergency.  These same sensors track the weight and sleep patterns of residents and control room lighting.  In addition to turning lights off when not in use, these sensors also help regulate the natural circadian rhythms of the residents by changing the color of room lighting depending on the time of day.  Blue tinted lights mimic morning, white lights mimic day time and red tinted lights mimic the evening hours.  The combination of independence, comfort and peacefulness that this technology allows is critical to the health of the individual residents.

Even though the many LEED features identified above are impressive, the biggest innovation of this project was that it was constructed modularly.  In short, from the top of foundation to peak of the roof, the 26,000 plus square foot building was erected in 14 working days!

To summarize, all construction from the site clearing, to the site work, to the pouring and framing of the foundations and finally to the button up of the interior boxes at “marriage lines,” was performed on site.  The rest of the building was built 74 miles off site in Aumsville, OR by a modular builder as 36 individual boxes.  Each box was built to 90% completion including all MEP rough-in to fixtures and framing and all interior finishes including appliances.  Once complete, all thirty six individual boxes were trucked to the property and then craned into place.  Total off site fabrication for both buildings was four months; total duration to crane both buildings into place was 14 working days.  Total duration to tie all interior and exterior finishes together was three months.

CHALLENGES AND OBSTACLES

As with any construction, there are challenges and obstacles to modular construction. First, because many jurisdictions are unfamiliar with modular, permitting and inspections took a little more time in order to educate the local building department. In addition, because 90% of the facility was constructed off site, inspections needed to be coordinated with the factory in Albany. Another challenge was transportation. Because of transportation regulations, the largest a single box could be built was 16 ft. wide by 65 ft. long and 13 ft. high, so rooms needed to be scaled to fit within these dimensions. In addition, because of the sizes of these boxes, all transportation was scheduled to take place on weekends. Finally, because the boxes were 90% finished to completion, open mechanical chases and soffits needed to be built into the design to allow for the box to box connections of electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems that were roughed in at the factory, but still needed to be connected together on site and then routed back to a central mechanical room.

The biggest challenge was getting both the client and architect to finalize virtually all of their design prior to breaking ground. In order to reap the benefits of modular, it is critical that construction of the modular units off site begins at the same time that you mobilize onto site. Modular construction relies on having all the materials and finishes approved, purchased and in hand prior to beginning production. To build a single box took an average of seven days, so there was very little room for change without impacting production.
Brand New 2 | Elite Care at Oatfield Estates | NWVentures

SCHEDULE AND BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS


Other than a few lead time items, the Platinum LEED standards did not impact our schedule.  The scheduling benefits of modular however, were two fold.  First, because we choose modular, we were able to complete site and foundation work simultaneously while constructing the buildings in a factory offsite, so the project was completed approximately 3 months faster than traditional onsite construction.  Second, because the building was fabricated in a controlled environment, construction of the buildings was not impacted by weather.

Other than a few lead time items, the Platinum LEED standards did not impact our schedule.  The scheduling benefits of modular however, were two fold.  First, because we choose modular, we were able to complete site and foundation work simultaneously while constructing the buildings in a factory offsite, so the project was completed approximately 3 months faster than traditional onsite construction.  Second, because the building was fabricated in a controlled environment, construction of the buildings was not impacted by weather.
Living Room | Elite Care at Oatfield Estates | NWVentures

EXCELLENT SAFETY

Weekly safety meetings were mandatory for all in-house and subcontracted trades on site and served as a consistent reminder of safe construction practices.  Each subcontractor submitted a mandatory site specific safety plan as part of their submittal process and every Charter employee and subcontractor employee went through a mandatory site safety orientation prior to beginning work on the site. Every phase of construction required an extensive Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) assessment between our team and our safety officer.  In addition to our own in-house site safety audits, we proactively worked with OR-OSHA. 

Most impressive is the fact that 570 tons of modular building boxes were craned into place with zero injuries and no rigging accidents.

OVERALL PROJECT


Sustainable construction practices, especially for senior housing facilities, increases the livability of buildings at minimal cost to the business while making these places more healthful and attractive for future residents.  With modular, most of the construction occurs in a controlled factory which directly increases quality and efficiencies while reducing schedule and holding costs.  

Our client’s mission was clear from day one; make their residents final years of life as full and rich as possible.  As a team, by constructing their buildings to LEED’s Platinum standard and utilizing modular construction practices, we provided a building that significantly contributes to this goal. 
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