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September 13, 2012
Kraus-Anderson completes renovation of Volunteer of America’s Nicollet Towers
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (September 2012) – Kraus-Anderson Construction Company (KA), one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest commercial general contractors and construction managers, has completed the renovation of Nicollet Towers, sponsored by Volunteers of America National Services and managed by Volunteers of America of Minnesota (VOA). Located at 1350 Nicollet Ave. in downtown Minneapolis, the property’s two towers and townhouses contain 306 units of multifamily housing.
The VOA project focused on the replacement of the brick, windows, roof and courtyard surface along with the renovation of unit interiors. The entire building’s mechanical and electrical systems were upgraded, including a new heating and cooling system, fire alarm system and corridor lighting. Four existing elevators were also upgraded. Approximately 150 apartment units received new kitchen cabinets, countertops, sinks and flooring, new vanities and medicine cabinets, new carpeting and energy-efficient lighting.
VOA of Minnesota manages the 30-year old Nicollet Towers, comprised of two towers and townhomes totaling 306 units of multifamily subsidized housing. KA worked with VOA for over two years to define the scope of work and develop budgets and phasing for the project, which was funded through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) with a HUD guarantee.
“With the tax credit financing, you can’t come back at it for 10-12 years, so we really wanted to take care of it right,” said Jim Bettendorf, VOA’s vice president of strategy and operations.
Construction commenced in January 2011 and proceeded in phases, addressing multiple mechanical, public and private apartment upgrades. A leaky water feature in the courtyard was removed and replaced with a new decorative concrete patio. Kite-like fabric shade canopies, garden landscaping and a new playground installation further enhance the new courtyard. The brick tower exteriors were refaced to improve weather resistance. Roof and windows were replaced, then recovered with new brick selected to exactly match the old.
The building remained fully occupied during construction.
“The extensive project was managed with great respect and care for all of the buildings’ residents, who remained in their homes throughout the 15-month schedule,” said Lyn Ringold, KA’s project manager.
KA crews completed two apartments per day, and residents were provided a hospitality room while their home was being worked on. Close coordination and continual communication were essential to minimize disruption to the residents, 60 percent of whom are elderly Russian immigrants — some are frail, disabled or with other special needs. KA utilized an interpreter at resident meetings and a translator to prepare notification letters to each resident whose apartment was slated for renovation. The VOA facilities director kept a translator app handy.
With all the mechanical and electrical upgrades and the improved exterior wall construction, the facility saved $12,000 in operating costs in the first 60 days following construction completion. VOA anticipates about $60,000 annual energy savings.
“This will be a sustainable project for another 30 years,” said Bettendorf.
KA has deep experience in providing energy efficiency renovations and upgrades to commercial and residential buildings, schools and municipal campuses. Just some of its recent work includes:
– Orono Public Schools – installed high/low light in the school’s classrooms with occupancy sensors, thermopane windows, new roofs with increased “R” value, and new hot water heating system.
– Washington County, Stillwater Campus – installed new automation system, higher efficiency equipment and lighting control system.
– North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale Schools – replaced 40-50 year old boiler systems with high efficiency Condensing Boiler Systems with 98 percent thermal efficiency; upgraded air-handling units to Air to Air Energy Recovery Units, providing more energy savings; upgraded mechanical and electrical system controls into energy management systems; and replaced light fixtures and light bulbs to more energy efficient fixtures/bulbs. The district received energy rebates for installing this type of boiler system in their buildings.
Established in 1897, Kraus-Anderson® Construction Company (www.www.krausanderson.com) is one of the nation’s premier commercial general contractors and construction managers. The company has been ranked consistently among the top Green Contractors in the U.S. by Engineering News Record and has been leading the charge in sustainable design and construction for the last 20 years. Kraus-Anderson, an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity Employer, is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. and has regional offices in Phoenix, Ariz., Madison, Wis., Minot, N.D., and Duluth, Bemidji and Rochester Minn.