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OPUS NW LADD.

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OPUS CORP. NORTHWEST DIVISION – LADD TOWER

building: adding two more floors, reduc-


Upon completion in 2009, the Ladd ing the floor-to-floor height from 10.5
Tower will be a 23-story residential
development located in the Cultural feet to 10 feet, bringing in exterior walls,
District of downtown Portland. while keeping the same square footage
from the [original] design as approved by
the city of Portland. We had to redo the
design while starting construction and
maintaining the original schedule.”
Teamwork pays off when working on
a demanding project like this, Koerner
adds. “Our designers, architects, engi-
neers, the city and everyone involved
[work as a team] to make the changes
and still continue on with our original
schedule,” he stresses. “We will have
temporary occupancy by March 1, 2009,
which is about 20 months from the start
of excavation to turning over the units.
We have been successful in convincing
the subcontractors and the city that we
can build faster than anybody else has in
Portland to date.”

Qualified Contractor
The project is running ahead of schedule,
thanks to everyone’s hard work. “One of
the key factors in Opus’ success on this
project is the fact that we are a fully inte-
grated design/build firm who excels in
maintaining our design, quality and
schedule within budget,” Koerner says.
“Our construction team manages the
design of the project from the onset. All
the details are closely reviewed by our
field superintendents for constructability
as we develop the design.”
Koerner also credits its qualified subcon-
Opus hired a moving company, ance on the street for the house to squeeze tractors. “Maintaining mutually respectful,
Northwest Structural Moving, to move between the neighboring buildings,” he long-lasting relationships with them is
the house about five blocks away from states. “We moved it and stored it for a a huge factor why we are successful from
the site and into a vacant parking lot. “It year in the middle of downtown. We both the budget, quality and schedule
took six weeks to prepare and two days worked hard with the city and with the standpoint,” he says.
to move,” Koerner notes. “It involved Friends of the Ladd Carriage House, a
steel I-beams inserted into the existing group [dedicated to] preserving the Still Busy
foundation of the house, underneath Ladd House.” Although the Portland market has slowed
the floor joists. And, in the intersection down, construction in the city is still “pret-
of those I-beams are hydraulic jacks [that Open to Changes ty busy,” Koerner says. In fact, Opus is
were used to] slowly jack up [the house] Challenges did not end once the Ladd working on another apartment – Park
off the ground. The jacks had wheels House had been moved off site. “The 19 – situated near entertainment and
on them that allowed the wood framed building was originally a condominium retail centers in the Northwest District.
building to simply be hooked to a big project,” Koerner says. “Opus opted to The 94,727-square-foot project will
tow truck and pulled.” change it to a market-rate project, so we house 101 units and is scheduled to be
Moving the Ladd Carriage House in a had to modify the design significantly completed in May 2009.
busy downtown area took coordination and bring the average size of units down “If you’re in Portland, you can see 10
with the city officials and the neighbors, to be in line more with apartment living. cranes in the downtown area if you look
Koerner adds. “It was a challenge, consid- “It was a significant challenge we were around,” Koerner states. “What I hear is
ering there was only eight inches of clear- given to make the design changes to the that everybody is still busy. ■

140 ■ WWW.CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM ■ FEBRUARY 2009