Protecting our Clients’ Liability – Designs that Comply with All Applicable Codes

In our last blog post, we highlighted the building codes that govern design and construction. Building codes are complex and constantly changing. Not having the knowledge of the latest code and zoning regulations can result in project delays, major headaches, and liability for project developers. That’s why owners and user representatives turn to Curtis Miner Architecture (CMA) to meet these codes while creating housing that makes vibrant neighborhoods and streetscapes.


Multifamily Building Codes: Rockpoint Apartments Case Study

One recent example of CMA’s innovative design to meet building code requirements is our Rockpoint Apartments project in Bluffdale, Utah. This six-building development of four-story apartment buildings was built on a steep site in the heart of the Silicon Slopes and was the recipient of Utah Construction & Design Magazine’s 2020 Most Outstanding Multi-Family Project award.

To meet FHA codes, CMA would need to distribute openly accessible dwellings amongst the entire project site—no small feat. To distribute the FHA-compliant buildings, while also accommodating the 40’ slope across the property and provide accessible routes, CMA placed the property’s clubhouse/amenity package in the center of the development. The extreme slope on the site presented an accessibility challenge, so our team designed the clubhouse building to have an entry on each level of the two-story building. An elevator inside the building provides an accessible route between both levels.

Another unique design feature of this property is that the buildings themselves are on stepped building pads instead of the typical flat arrangement. To mitigate the steep slope of the site, CMA designers split three of the five buildings in the center hallway (with doors on one side of the hallway but not the other). This unique design solution enabled our team to drop the downhill side of the building an entire level.

As a result, we maintained safe and accessible routes with appropriate sidewalks and other features to meet residents’ needs, while also complying with building codes. Furthermore, a local building code required providing a design that connected the sidewalk system inside the project site to the public way (street). We designed sidewalks that did not exceed the maximum slopes of the road and sidewalks on both the high and low sides of the site.

The 318,850 SF Rockpoint Apartments community consists of 251 units and was completed in 2020. While CMA is elated with the stunning design of this property, it was our expertise with the applicable building codes that allowed us to successfully deliver a functional and accessible development that residents can proudly call home.


Award-Winning and Compliant Design

As much as the CMA team is honored to help our clients deliver award-winning buildings that enhance our communities, it brings us peace of mind knowing our clients can trust our team to navigate the complex and challenging details in building codes that apply to their facilities. By investing ourselves into maintaining building code familiarity, we can directly optimize construction efficiency. This is evident in our Rockpoint Apartments design. By dropping the downhill side of the building one level, the client avoided costly accessibility ramps, and residents can easily access their units.

“Whether it is a commercial, healthcare, education, public, industrial, automotive, residential, retail, or another type of facility, CMA delivers designs that comply with all applicable codes,” asserts Principal Curtis Miner. “This helps protect our clients’ liability while giving them confidence that their facilities are stylish, functional, and safe for the residents, employees, and consumers that will use their developments.”