Modular Building Institute

Three on Abbott

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Main Category:
Modular Building Design
R&S Tavares Associates
Champion Commercial Structures
San Diego, CA
Building Use:
Vacation Rentals
Gross Size of Project:
2600 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    Three on Abbott is a series of unique housing units catering to San Diego's rental market. Sited just a block from the sand in Ocean Beach, the 840 square foot homes offer 417 square feet of glazing with windows opening up to capture the Pacific breeze and provide cross ventilation throughout. A skylight/roof access hatch allows heat to escape from the top and leads to an expansive roof deck with panoramic views of the Ocean to the North and West and Point Loma Hills to the East. The project shipped peculiar modules as tall as 15 feet (4.5 meters) 90 miles to San Diego and contained ballon-framed floors to create 4 foot tall loft space sleeping areas on the first and second floors of the house. The living areas feature cathedral ceilings 13 feet tall. Because of zoning limitations, the Master Suite shower was placed outdoors to comply with the FAR. 15 tons of Portuguese Cobblestone were imported from Portugal to recreate the Copacabana Boardwalk pattern on the site's hardscape ar
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    The 15 foot tall modules utilized special carriers to ship the units from Corona to San Diego to stay under the 17 foot special permit restriction in California. The third module of each house was a 6 foot by 30 foot balcony unit with a tower that contained the master suite bath with an exterior shower open to the sky and now surrounded by redwood fencing and bamboo palms. Floors were balloon framed within the modules to create a half level on the second floor that led to multiple loft spaces in the first floor studio to fit extra beds. Another balloon framed floor on the second floor above the kitchen provides yet another sleeping area perfect for children or extra guests. Steel floor chasses were utilized to avoid on-site holddowns, opting for welds to the foundation and multi-story mod connections instead. The Alley Unit's second floor mod is framed with two W10x68 beams on each side to accommodate a 12 foot cantilever that provides parking access for the middle unit.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    Time from ground-break to Final Inspection was 6 months leading to significant savings in General Conditions. In-Plant construction was fast-tracked in order to comply with San Diego's Coastal Building Moratorium between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The modules arrived to great public interest 5 days before Memorial Day. Utilizing the factory's standard material pallet while re-purposing some materials for their unique uses for the contemporary style the units were designed for allowed us to capitalize on the factory's purchasing power.
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