Dayton Condominiums, a 45-module, 20,600-square-foot residential project in Morgantown, W.Va., was site-set in a remarkable one week this summer. Sources connected with the project attributed the speed and precision of the installation to the engineering expertise of Deluxe Building Systems, Berwick, Pa., manufacturer of the system-built units.
The condominium project included 21 dwelling units, assembled in three-story configuration above a site-built parking garage and retail stores. Overall, the condominiums feature 36 bedrooms.
Employing wood-frame 5A construction, the system-built units are factory-equipped with fire-sprinklers and an EPDM roof. Specially angled modular units were created to accommodate architects’ design requirements and site conditions.
According to Gary Weigel, president of Top Dog Modular Services, the Muncy, Pa. contractor responsible for site assembly of the project, setting began on Monday, June 9 and wrapped up by Friday, June 13.
Prompt delivery and rapid completion of the project’s site was of critical importance to the developers and owners of the project, The Phoenix Group of Morgantown. As the home of West Virginia University, Morgantown is a location with a constantly growing demand for multi-unit housing. Quick installation turnaround meant that the project would be available for occupancy by the fall term.
Two years in the planning, the site was prepped with demolition of the previous site structures in the fall of 2007 and excavation/foundation placement in late February and early March of this year. The buildings were ordered in April and factory-built in time for the extraordinary week-long setting process in June.
Michael Castle, president of The Phoenix Group, said that unprecedented speed was only one positive aspect of the project. "Deluxe had the production capacity for this project. They helped to reduce our risk exposure—crane risk, setting risk, and so on."
"What mattered most from a developer’s perspective was their engineering capability. They really [understand] multi-family [projects]. Our site manager was impressed with the quality of the plans they delivered – you really don’t get that degree of engineering foresight from lot of others."