NEWS | March 17, 2020
Dear valued MV+A clients, consultants, and partners:
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) health emergency and in accordance with the CDC and local government guidelines, MV+A Architects has provided a means for all employees to safely and effectively work from home for the next several weeks. A work-from-home protocol went into effect on Monday, March 16th. While the office remains open to key personnel, our employees, and our community’s health and well-being are of the utmost concern. Any and all project meetings will be conducted remotely until further notice to create distancing as recommended by the CDC.
MV+A Architects remains committed to our clients, consultants, and projects, and appreciates the opportunity to stay busy during this tumultuous time. We are confident that the current circumstances will create minimal disruption to the dedication and delivery of our projects and deadlines.
To contact MV+A team members, please reach out via email or cell. Employee cell phone numbers are provided in their email signature. And please, reach out to me directly with any questions or concerns.
Thank you for entrusting MV+A. We are wishing good health to you and your families and look forward to providing our continued support and dedication.
Jim Voelzke, FAIA, LEED AP
DESIGN BRIEF | March 2020
Construction in the Time of COVID-19
March 2020 was an unprecedented month for individuals and business globally. With many non-essential businesses or “non-life sustaining businesses” requiring employees to work from home, how has this impacted the architecture industry? And by extension, the construction industry? MV+A projects are currently concentrated in the Mid-Atlantic region, primarily in DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. All three states and DC have halted non-essential business activities, and PA ordered a stop to all construction activity starting March 21st. However, DC, MD, and VA are currently allowing construction projects to continue. As MV+A continues to work as well on a variety of planning and design projects, we want to provide some normalcy and share recent progress on three projects under construction this month.
Excavation and sheeting and shoring is complete at MV+A’s project at Towson Row, along with concrete footings and foundation walls. The first lift of columns is being worked on now with the tower crane erected and operational. The 300,000 square foot building will include a 45,000 square foot Whole Foods Market and 10,000 square feet of additional retail. When complete, the eight-story structure will contain 5 levels of student housing over retail and parking.
Sheeting and shoring were recently finished at Liberty East, and excavation was underway to the bearing elevation for the lower parking garage level. Rebar and foundations were prepared for the foundation to be poured mid-March, but then all construction activities were ceased per order of the Governor of Pennsylvania. Construction work was happening under the foundation to grade permit with the first round of building permit review comments received by the City of Pittsburgh’s Permits, Licenses, and Inspection offices before they closed. MV+A and the site contractor continue to work on submittals and other administrative tasks to be prepared to move quickly when restrictions are lifted.
While City Offices are closed, on-site construction inspections continue for Liberty Place, and this mixed-use project on the edge of the Historic District is taking shape. Framing, sheathing, and roofing are all in place, and the masonry exterior is starting to appear. Brick coming from a closed plant in Pennsylvania was able to be delivered despite the shutdown in that state. The parking garage is ready to receive the first precast panels, with erection beginning next week. Most of the two floors of office space and the five retail spaces are leased and tenant planning is underway.
MV+A Architects still has our regular staff meetings, now via Zoom!
MV+A Architects remains committed to our clients, consultants, and projects, and appreciates the opportunity to stay busy during this tumultuous time. We are confident that the current circumstances will create minimal disruption to the delivery of our projects and deadlines. As our dedicated staff work from home, we encourage everyone to stay informed on state restrictions to ensure the health and safety of yourself and to protect those around.