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How Zoning Restrictions Impacted the Building Design

3m 41s

Scott Parker of Studio 111 takes us through the schematic design and design development phases of a technology company headquarters.  He’ll talk about the challenges they faced with the structural system as well as the local area. Additionally he will talk through the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems used.

Well, the first thing we do is we go through all the zoning requirements. So what we're looking at here is what we actually submitted to the city in terms of our zoning analysis. This has a lot of information. Every architect does this on every project where you're going through and you're saying all the project site summary, what the zone is, some of those issues just to get the basics down. So we understand that we're a CCA zone with an HR4 overlay, for example, which we'll get into a little more detail in a moment. What's our use, what's our construction typology, which is a really important one for this project especially. So this is a long tactical document, but what it boils down to for us is these two different zones.

So this is part of a multi-part process, so I alluded to earlier the idea that we've been working closely with planning since literally the first sketch on this project. This originally was a residential zone, which allowed single-family residences. It also allowed commercial use in support of a use on the main boulevard.

So what we did was we took that, that allowed us to be this tall. Remember, though, we wanna be double that in terms of parking count. So even though we were going down one level, we still would have exceeded it by two full floors. So we negotiated changing the zone to a CCN zone, which they have the ability to do within their master plan. So we made that change and that allows us to go 38 feet tall, which is partially why we went with the flat slabs. When you do a conventional garage with the 5%, this ends up over that 38 feet because you have that last run to get this row of parking.

So by doing the flat, we get down to the 38-foot maximum. We're also allowed three stories, so we're one, two, three, and parking on the roof, which they've accepted even though it looks like four stories. On this side, this is the most, I think, most interesting thing that we've done with the project is it looks like a six-story building, but it's actually a three-story building by code. And this is something that we worked, once again, very closely with building and the planning department.

So we knew we were in the right, but it's getting everyone to understand what we're doing and accept it because it's an unconventional use of the mezzanine exception within the CBC. So how do we get what looks like a six-story building to read as a three-story building by law? So what we did was we used the mezzanine code. Now, what the mezzanine does is you take an area of the room that you'll be open to and you find out what that area is. That means in this case the core doesn't count and this large floor plate does, so let's say that's 100,000 square feet.

What you do in our case is we are a Type II building. So a Type II building is steel. It can be protected steel or unprotected steel. We're gonna be unprotected, and we'll get to that. But what that means is we could be 50% of that floor area. Now, if you were doing a Type V building, Type IV building, for example, you would be 30% of the floor area rather than 50%, so we can go up to 50%. So how do we determine the 50%? Well, everything that touches that mezzanine and is floor space is part of that 50% of the area.

So even though we didn't have to count, or couldn't count the core to our credit on the primary floor, we do have to count it against us on the mezzanine floor area. So this allowed us to be a three-story building by code.

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From the course:
STUDIO 111 - Technology Company Headquarters

Duration: 38m