San Diego Highrise to Use Light-Gauge Steel as Support Structure

San Diego--Leeding Edge LLC, a joint venture of Em Johnson Interest Inc. and Avion Development LLC, has inked a deal with FrameMax to use light-gauge steel multifamily highrise project in downtown San Diego.

San Diego–Leeding Edge LLC, a joint venture of Em Johnson Interest Inc. and Avion Development LLC, has inked a deal with FrameMax to use light-gauge steel multifamily highrise project in downtown San Diego.

The company is using light-gauge steel as part of its efforts to win LEED gold certification for the project. The light-gauge steel will be used as support structure for the building’s gravity loads.

According to FrameMax, this will be the first such use of light-gauge steel in a building over six stories, using a system that combines it with high-rise core techniques to resist lateral loads.

The building, which will be called LEEDing Edge Towers, will consist of a 22-story tower measuring 180,000 square feet. San Diego-based AVPR is the project’s architect, and the local office of structural engineers KPFF has been tasked to build the structure. FrameMax specializes in steel framing technology.

“One-third of the natural resources is [saved] by changing from a typical concrete structure to light-gauge steel,” Phil Ellis, president and CEO of FrameMax, tells MHN. “Also, a steel structure emits one-sixth the amount of carbon dioxide as a concrete structure.”

Ellis further points out that the steel is fully recyclable, “allowing us to use recycled steel, which will be recycled yet again at the end of the building’s useful life cycle,” he says.

Other aspects of the structure that will contribute to the development’s LEED certification include other environmentally friendly building materials, attention to energy conservation, and reduction of carbon emissions in the overall design.

Another goal of the project is to complete construction from start to occupancy in only 12 months by using some off-site assembly of building components, thus minimizing disruption to the surrounding downtown area and reducing the project’s overhead costs.

LEEDing Edge Towers is slated to start construction in early 2011. It will offer affordable apartments for both the downtown workforce population as well as student accommodation.