Market Overview

SOVA a Statement of Building Innovation, Sustainability


Prefabrication, LEED drivers in construction of multi-unit
residential project in Denver

The Weitz Company took a major step towards delivering 211 new
apartments in downtown Denver on July 20 when it topped out SOVA, a
12-story multi-unit residential project for developer McWHINNEY in the
city's Uptown neighborhood.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Prefabricated and prefinished exterior wall panels were used to build SOVA Apartments to alleviate c ...

Prefabricated and prefinished exterior wall panels were used to build SOVA Apartments to alleviate construction constraints and create a predictable project schedule. (Photo: The Weitz Company)

Located at 1901 Grant Street, SOVA combines construction innovation and
LEED green building to deliver maximum value to project stakeholders and
future residents. It is being built using multiple prefabricated
construction methods with materials and systems intended to help the
project achieve LEED Silver certification.

"We stretched the imagination of what can be accomplished at SOVA with
our trade partners. Some of it was driven by circumstance but every
decision was purposeful in order to create value for McWHINNEY and a
final product that will generate pride and satisfaction," said Bruce
Porter, executive vice president and general manager of The Weitz

The exterior walls were the most technical component of SOVA. They were
prefabricated off-site in 10-foot tall by 20-foot wide panels (on
average) and then delivered on a flatbed truck over a six-month period
for installation. Manufactured by Littleton, Colo.-based South Valley
Prefab, the wall panels came 100 percent finished, needing only windows
inserted to complete the exterior skin of the building.

Working on a zero lot line jobsite that has limited space for material
lay down was one factor in using prefabricated exterior walls. Two
others were creating a predictable project schedule in a tight labor
market and eliminating upwards of $1 million from the project budget by
not scaffolding the building.

Incorporating other prefabricated systems such as the electrical and
plumbing – in addition to utilizing the Infinity metal framing system on
the interior – led Weitz to create a big room atmosphere with all
project stakeholders and trade partners before starting construction.
The upfront planning enabled the project to be fully built in a virtual
environment, increasing collaboration with all team members and
eliminating potential issues during construction.

"Early in design, we focused on prefabrication with the owner and design
team for speed to market with Infinity's load-bearing wall system and
South Valley's exterior prefinished wall system," said Laura Eathrone,
senior preconstruction manager of The Weitz Company. "To support the
prefabrication schedule, the project team built SOVA 100 percent
virtually using the building model before a shovel was put in the

As construction progresses in anticipation of a February 2019
completion, SOVA will be finished with more than 20 percent of its
purchased building materials containing recycled content sourced within
500 miles of the project. Other sustainability efforts that will
contribute to SOVA's LEED merits include:

  • Water efficient fixtures that are expected to save 41 percent of total
    indoor potable water usage
  • LED lighting, high-performance glazing and HVAC systems and appliances
    aimed to consume 22 percent less energy than the standard
    code-compliant building
  • 95 secure and covered indoor bike racks for residents

Altogether, SOVA will offer residents a first-rate living experience in
a highly sustainable building that embodies the best of modern
construction with amenities such as a golf simulator; hot tub;
fourth-floor courtyard with adjoining fitness center; and rooftop deck
with barbecue area and lounge.

About The Weitz Company
Founded in 1855, The Weitz Company
is a national, full-service general contractor, design-builder and
construction manager that serves all 50 U.S. states. Weitz is the sixth
oldest Architecture/Engineering/Construction firm in the United States
and an industry leader in lean construction; senior living; sustainable
building; and virtual design and construction. Headquartered in Des
Moines, Iowa, The Weitz Company annually ranks in the top tier of
Engineering News-Record's Top 400 Contractors and Building
Design+Construction's Giants 300 Contractors lists.

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