Choosing Your Multi-Story Configurations
Generally, multi-story mixed use and multi-residential projects come in one of three configurations: tuck-under, wrap around and podium. Recently, a fourth option combines light wood-frame with mass-timber to achieve additional building height. More than with other types of construction, the structural detailing of mid-rise wood buildings plays a large role in the ability to manage investment costs per unit and maximize the lot configuration. Each one offers its own advantages and opportunities to consider, along with your project’s unique needs.
Common Multi-Story Configurations
- Tuck-under/walk-up. Tuck-under units with private parking garages are common in suburban residential settings where high density is not a priority. Typically three stories, this configuration achieves the lowest densification rate, but is also the least expensive.
- Wrap-around.The wrap-around configuration consists of a centralized multi-story concrete parking structure surrounded by multiple stories of wood-frame units built from the ground up. This configuration provides accessible parking for occupants as well as security and visual appeal, since the parking structure can’t be easily accessed from outside the development or seen from the street.
- Podium. Podium construction typically includes multiple stories of light framing over a single- or multi-story podium of another construction style, which may include retail as well as above- or below-grade parking levels. Concrete podiums are the most common, though steel podiums also exist.
- Mass Timber. Although not considered ‘podiums’ under the IBC, using a heavy timber system to separate parking from light wood-frame residential units above is gaining popularity.