AvalonBay Communities Inc. – Avalon Park Crest

As the owner, developer and construction manager, AvalonBay Communities Inc. believes it can deliver a higher level of quality on projects than competitors, Director of Construction Rick Borowski explains. “It makes a more symbiotic relationship between the owner and developer,” he states. “We’re aligned for all the same goals.”

The company is bringing this symbiotic and comprehensive approach to its Avalon Park Crest project in Tysons Corner, Va. When finished, the $48 million, six-floor apartment community will house 354 units and three floors of underground parking. “We’re scheduled for completion of the units in March 2013,” Borowski says.

AvalonBay has conquered several challenges during the Park Crest project, including constructing it on the side of a hill on West Park Drive. 

“We also had some deep foundations we had to [build] because of the loads that our building would put on the site directly adjacent to us,” Borowski says.

From a building materials standpoint, the project also is unique, he says. Park Crest’s exterior consists of a masonry veneer, and an aluminum panel system.

While both materials are commonly used in construction, AvalonBay has had to install a rain screen system behind both to prevent water intrusion. 

Although aluminum is a non-pervious material, “The construction application is such that [water will enter] behind the cavity at its joints and run down the sheathing of the building,” he explains. 

Strong Support

As an owner/developer/construction manager, AvalonBay  relies on its subcontractors and vendors who have satisfied the company’s needs on the project, Borowski says. “They understand how we run our job,” he states.

AvalonBay strives to make work easier for its subs and vendors, Borowski asserts. “We strive to minimize changes from the beginning to the end,” he states. “We shoot straight, [and] we maintain the same message throughout the job.”

Borowski adds that he is proud of the company’s employees and subcontractors for staying safe on the Park Crest project. “Ten years ago, we were always fighting for guys to have on work boots,” he recalls. “That’s not an issue today.”

Instead, the employees will willingly put on the boots and safety vests. “The industry has taken a turn for the better, and [is] embracing safety and its requirements,” he states. “We’ve had a clean safety record throughout this job.” 

Borowski adds that local residents are supportive of the project, which is being built on a previously undeveloped site. “It probably, in some respects, was an eyesore,” he admits. 

AvalonBay has maintained strong relations with local citizens by respecting their rights and not working late hours. “It’s going quite well,” Borowski asserts. “[We’ve had] a good relationship with the neighbors.”

Fresh Communities

Based in Washington, D.C., AvalonBay focuses on communities in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and Northern and Southern California regions. The company owns and holds interest in hundreds of communities with 50,000 housing units. 

AvalonBay also strives for a fresh and contemporary feel in its communities. “We were ahead of the curve in anticipating increased consumer demand for a more convenient living experience,” it states.

As a result of this, AvalonBay’s communities are adjacent to centers of employment, retail locations, transportation, and sources of arts and entertainment. “In addition, our communities offer a range of on-site amenities which include business centers, workout facilities and retail services, such as dry cleaning and restaurants,” it states.

A 14-year veteran of AvalonBay, Borowski says the company is looking forward to a strong future. “One of the advantages we have as an owner/ operator/developer [is] we’re out there building for ourselves,” he states.

“[I] see the future as being bright,” he says, noting that the company will follow a moderate growth pattern. “It is good for everybody.”

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