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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections ->
AIA Nevada Design & Service Awards Archive -> 2008 awards



Entry number: B08061
Project Name: 8 on Center
Building Type: Residential
Completion Date: March 2007
Architect: Hawkins and Associates
Building Location: Reno, Nevada
Project Location: 840 Center St., Reno, NV 89502

Design Team:
Electrical Engineer: Jensen Engineering
Landscape Architect: Places Consulting
General Contractor: MB Construction
Structural Engineer: Gabbart & Woods
Civil Engineer: Odessey Engineering
Interior Designer: Hawkins and Associates
Photographer: Stuart Murtland Photography
Lighting Designer: Light and Space


Project Description:
8 on Center is a live/work infill project in an older, mixed-use area adjacent to downtown Reno. For the past 16 years the derelict 1/2 acre site had become overgrown with weeds, trash and graffiti.

The first-time developer's program was brief: she requested (7) live/work residences on the property, but with expensive land and rising construction costs, the project's pro forma failed. The site had to accommodate one more unit to become 8 on Center. The mix of residences is (5) three bedroom units with (3) two bedroom units. The units have stacked floor plans that create (8) single family residences with zero lot lines.

The units are angled to Center Street to create landscape buffer zones from the public sidewalk and street, but more importantly to capture breathtaking views of the Sierras. Each unit has a private entry with a small enclosed patio. All of the units have the same ground floor plan, with a (2) car garage and a ground floor suite which can be used as commercial office space, a guest suite, a home office, or artist studio.

To create visual interest on the exterior, as well as acoustic separation from opposing master bedrooms, the living/dining/kitchen areas are on different levels. The 2-bedroom units have the living/dining/kitchen area on the 2nd floor, while the 3-bedroom units have the living/dining/kitchen powder room on the 3rd floor. The master bedrooms are then never directly on opposite sides of the same party wall. Also, for additional acoustic separation, a double wall separates each unit. The double wall has an 8" cmu, two-hour fire wall as well as a framed wall with sound batt insulation. This also allows for each unit to have one exposed sand-blasted cmu wall on the interior.

An added benefit to angling the units from busy Center Street is the increased privacy and additional sun shading from the southwest. Each unit has (2) balconies as well as (2) "French balconies" at different levels to capture the views and to extend the interior to the exterior. This intensifies at the living room where each unit has a full-height, dual-glazed garage door that opens onto a deck. These, along with high ceilings, create a space that feels larger than the actual square footage as well as providing ample day lighting to the living/dining/kitchen space. Balconies are enclosed with slats of corten steel to add visual privacy for the occupants and mask visual clutter from the street.

The project is well constructed with quality materials, energy-efficient appliances, and high-end cabinetry. The interiors were designed and detailed with a contemporary, minimal aesthetic. For the developer, the greatest reward has been the transformation of a small derelict property to (8) households. The units are all occupied and were purchased in a downward-spiraling housing market. The project has added vibrancy to the neighborhood and spawned three other developments nearby.

Sustainable description:
Reno has experienced tremendous sprawling growth over the past 15 years. 8 on Center is the antithesis to sprawl. 8 on Center's density is its greatest contribution to Reno. As an urban infill project, 8 households now tap into an existing infrastructure, public transportation, and reduced driving due to its central location.

The project's orientation is skewed from its Center Street frontage to capture views of the Sierras, but to also minimize the harsh western exposure to a more southwestern exposure. All glazing is 1" dual glass in thermally broken aluminum "storefront" frames to provide ample daylight for all units. No artificial lighting is required during the day. Many operable windows, doors, and glass garage doors provide natural ventilation for Reno's temperate climate. The project's fin walls and decks help to screen the glazing from the southwestern sun angles.

The project is constructed of high quality, long lasting materials. The bulk of the walls are of concrete masonry units which provide both fire and acoustic separation between units. The cmu walls are sand-blasted, where exposed, to provide naturally beautiful walls. Remaining walls and floor/roof framing are of sustainable engineered wood products that include micro-laminated beams, tji joists, and sturdy studs. The project is very well constructed.

The envelope of the project is well insulated. The walls have a minimal R-21 insulation and 1" dual glazing with low E coating. The rigid roof insulation is continuous over the roof sheathing and it tapers from a minimum of R-30 to R-45 at the ridge. The single-ply roof is white in color to reflect the sun in the summer.

The project has sustainable site amenities for its occupants including visitor bike racking, a designated screened area for recycling, and low water-consuming landscaping. Although the landscaping is beautiful and lush, there is no turf and all plant types are water conserving with only minimal drip irrigation. An added benefit for the occupants is the strawberry ground cover and the fruit-bearing trees.

The kitchen appliances are Miele with high energy star ratings. The mechanical system is a multi-zoned system with roof-mounted forced air units (one mechanical unit per residence). The mechanical equipment has a 13 SEER rating, the highest for that equipment. The hot water service units are high efficiency.

The project has no exterior painting. The interior finishes are sustainable as follows: There is no carpet specified, only sealed concrete and sustainably harvested bamboo flooring. The project uses low VOC paint on the interiors. All cabinets are pre-manufactured, with kitchen cabinets manufactured by Scavolini. The developer allowed the implementation of sustainable materials and design elements of the project as far as a market-driven project in Reno would allow. One of the owners recently installed a net metered solar voltaic system for 100% of his electrical requirements.




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Material in ASL Library: Form Core Boards, Project Description Form, Exteriors Photos, Location Map, Site Plan, Floor Plan, and Interior Photos

These images are low-resolution reproductions of the images provided for the AIA Nevada Design Awards. All materials should be considered copyrighted and may not be reproduced or used without permission.

Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:50:05 PST