On February 16, 2007, a fire destroyed the building at 75th and Washington in Kansas City, Mo. Owned and managed by Diane Botwin, general partner of Botwin Family Partners LP, this corner building had been in Diane Botwin’s family for more than 35 years. After watching the building burn to the ground, Botwin assembled her team of architects, engineers, contractors, realtors, lawyers, and friends to strategize on how they would bring this building back to life.
Hoffman Cortes was selected as the construction management team and got to work immediately on the developer’s vision. Botwin wanted the building to be built to exact size and scale, include sustainable features, incorporate art, and fit into the community.
Construction begin in October 2007 on the 12,000-square-foot, two-story building. Eleven short months later the building, now known as The Botwin Building, was completed in October 2008 under budget.
The Botwin Building posed its fair share of challenges. The initial challenge for the owner was navigating through the insurance claims process with the insurer and its adjustors. The uniqueness of a 100+ year old two story building with little plans available, but photographs, added to the challenge. Hoffman Cortes provided invaluable expertise from our decades of experience in this industry, i.e. construction forensics. Being very familiar with the types of construction analyses and estimating used by adjustors, Hoffman Cortes was able to take our construction cost numbers for a new building and translate them into a format needed by the adjustors to evaluate the costs within the terms of the insurance policy. Hoffman Cortes has the high level of experience and construction knowledge to work with the adjustors that helped navigate Diane successfully through this process.
Second and major challenge was the location of the building. The construction site was located next to one of the busiest streets in Kansas City – 75th Street. The roads and parking lots surrounding the building were used heavily throughout the day and could not be disturbed, therefore Hoffman Cortes was creative about laydown space as well as material delivery.
Another challenge was creating a building that was sustainable, artistic and modern, but still fit into the diverse, older Waldo neighborhood.
Hoffman Cortes worked around the location by utilizing a small lay down yard simply for storing necessary materials and supplies. They assembled materials offsite and brought them in whenever possible in order to work around the tight space. When it came to delivering materials, Hoffman Cortes did these during non-peak hours so they would not interrupt local businesses and traffic.
The project team developed sustainable ways to give back as well as to bring the community into the building. The Botwin Building incorporates a native planted roof, a Hoffman Cortes first, that has a root-resistant filter fabric separated from a drainage layer in order to properly irrigate the roof during dry periods as well as handle excess rain water. Other sustainable measures were taken such as power-assist toilets that conserved water; sliding doors/windows for natural ventilation; energy efficient (LED) lighting in the building overhangs and between double-panned glass on the second floor; it was primarily constructed of recyclable materials; double-glazed glass with low-emittance coating; and expansive glass art display that functioned as sunshades.
The Botwin Building was delivered on time, under budget and did not have one lost-time injury.
Success was achieved on all levels including:
- 75th Street remained opened during construction.
- The parking lot to the northwest of the building was only closed for two months during the summer.
- The planted roof reduces not only heating and cooling costs for the building tenants, but more importantly absorbs 70 percent of the rain water for the building, which is good because 75th Street does not have storm drains.
- Incorporated a 200-foot art installation, entitled ‘slips and shifts’ that functions as a sunshade for the second-floor tenants.