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  • Urban Planner: Torti Gallas and Partners

  • Architect & Interior Design: Quorum Architects, Inc.

  • Structural and Civil Engineer: R.A. Smith National

  • Landscape Architect: Ayres Associates

  • Mechanical & Plumbing Engineer: Thunderbird Engineering

  • Electrical Engineer: Czarnecki Engineering

  • LEED Consultant: Sustainable Business Solutions

  • LEED Green Rater: Thomas Krawcyzk

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Quorum Architects, Inc. would like to congratulate the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) for their recent development of the Victory Manor housing project located in the Westlawn Gardens. The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee established their mission for redevelopment to transform Westlawn Gardens, into a vibrant, sustainable community. A community that brings together a variety of people with a heightened sense of environmental sustainability. Victory Manor is a “veterans’ preference” housing project which expands the neighborhood relevance to Milwaukee by specifically addressing a need for affordable quality housing for our veterans. The success of this project is due to the collaboration of the Center for Veterans Issues, Torti Gallas & Partners, Quorum Architects, Sustainable Business Solutions, Travaux and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee. Victory Manor has the capacity to serve as Westlawn Garden Resident Group meeting space, the Housing Authority’s Annual Meeting location, VA services touch-down point, and much more. HACM and the design teams hosted a series of charrettes to engage the community in the design process. The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee deserves special recognition to their continued support of sustainable housing. NOTABLE SUSTAINABLE STRATEGIES USED IN THE PROJECT: HACM had very specific goals for Victory Manor from the beginning. This multi-family housing building was the first of Phase 2 of the redevelopment plan in the LEED ND Westlawn Gardens and would thereby set the standard for the subsequent projects. Victory Manor’s 60 units of affordable and LEED Gold housing units are design to be “Veterans Preference”. This quality is enhanced by providing supportive services on site with community space for all the Westlawn Gardens neighborhood. Victory Manor also exceed the normal standards for resiliency and accessibility in the HACM housing portfolio. Examples of how this is achieved is included in features such as emergency ventilation windows in the corridors and an emergency generator that is connected to the mechanical system. In the event of a power outage, the generator provides heat and elevator access. Lastly, there are emergency outlets in all common spaces and the community room, in the event of an emergency, individuals with electrical life support devices can rest easy. These are just a few examples which demonstrate the overarching goal to create a healthy and sustainable building that supports its residents and has a positive impact on the larger Westlawn Gardens community. Victory Manor is designed to a high standard of sustainability. The team used highly efficient air sealing details and worked with their trades partners to make sure that complete compartmentalization of the residential units was created. In addition to the air sealing details, higher levels of insulation were installed in the roof and walls, and the team coordinated the requirements of all windows/doors in the building. These strategies together helped the building surpass the requirements in LEED v4 Homes. Highly efficient Variable Refrigerant Flow heating and cooling systems were installed to condition all living and common spaces in Victory Manor. The purpose is to save energy and operating costs. Energy Star appliances and full LED light fixtures with daylight controls were also incorporated into the specifications to further meet this requirement. High water savings by the use of 1.2 GPM bathroom faucets, 1.5 GPM kitchen faucets, 1.5 GPM shower heads and 1.28 GPF toilets, all Watersense certified, were part of the owner’s requirements to save water demand on local community resources. Where possible the team strove to choose low-emitting materials that would contribute to the overall indoor air quality of the building. HACM included in the owner’s requirements the possibility of providing future PV panels on the roof, so the team designed empty conduit within the roof system to support this.

CHALLENGES FACED BY THE PROJECT TEAM: As with the design and development of any project, Victor Manor had several design challenges to overcome. Among these challenges were to design a space that could be sensitive to persons with PTSD, to have a high level of security, and to receive LEED certification. HACM’s primary commitment for this building was to respond to the need in our community for quality affordable housing to serve Veterans. This not only meant more consideration to materials, colors and patterns but also to sound attenuation and an emphasis on comfortable community spaces within the building. Quorum Architects did an extensive amount of research to be able to design a building that would meet the needs of HACM’s Veteran residents. Security had been a priority in the overall design from the beginning of the planning phase. The team participated and attended design meetings regarding best practices for multi-family housing security and access for residents. In the end, HACM has the latest technology for access control and security measures, which complements the integral building features that encourage a safer place. Quorum Architects met with resident’s post-construction to hear feedback on the functionality and usability of the space. The resident feedback verified that the building encourages residents to be aware of who is coming and going into the building and appreciated the seamless transition between public and private spaces. The third challenge was to achieve LEED Gold. Many collaborative meetings were held among the architects and engineers to look at the different potential points of air leakage and energy transfer and design to minimize this. The Design Team, Contractor and Owner worked collaboratively to refine the project throughout the process to meet the budget, schedule and still result in an amazing LEED Gold project that surpasses the standard of existing HACM buildings.


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