"Summit Engineering has consistently
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Lenny Severini, Charles Leonard Steel Services, LLC

Legacy Park Wakefield Apartments Make Use of Podium Design


The following case study outlines work done on the Legacy Park apartments located at 101 Hopkins Street in Wakefield, MA. Work began on the two, four-story structures in 2011 after The Federated Companies approached THA Architects and Summit Engineering about the project. The two buildings are 60,000 and 64,000 square feet respectively, with a total of 128 units combined. The project, which was designed using a podium style structural technique, was completed in June of 2012.

Specific Challenges

Limited buildable land, fire code and zoning requirements, along with a steep build site all posed challenges to the design team. Zoning requirements and land area required the apartments to place parking underneath the building. Additionally, the steep site mandated large retaining walls, which were of an aesthetic concern to the Planning Board.

Solutions and Resolutions

Due to limited space, the height of the buildings and to comply with code requirements, Summit decided on a podium style structure using steel and concrete for the first floor deck and conventional wood framing for the upper levels. By using structural steel at the garage level, column spacing was increased to allow for vehicle access and parking. The podium style is an efficient design, popular in the Northeast due to limited land availability. It also allows for parking underneath the structure (stricter fire/life safety code requirements), which was essential in this case in order to meet both zoning requirements, and for less expensive wood construction above.


Summit utilized the podium style design in order to maximize the use of space, comply with all regulations, and provide an efficient construction methodology that saves the owner time and money.

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