With construction costs on the rise developers have become increasingly creative when it comes to the type of construction used for a project. While it may seem simple at first glance, there are actually a total of five construction types, Type 1 (Fire Resistive Non-combustible), Type 2 (Non-Combustible) ,Type 3 (Combustible or "Ordinary Construction"), Type 4 (Heavy Timber) and Type 5 (Wood Frame). Type 2 and Type 4 are rarely used for multifamily projects. Sacramento has seen the other 3 types of construction used by Developers in the last few years.
Projects such as the Q19 project by SKK developments have relied on Type 5 construction. This is the cheapest type of construction and is the least complicated to build. By sticking to four stories or less the Developer can stick to wood framing but still make a beautiful product.
Projects like 16 Powerhouse have relied on Type 3 construction over a Type 1 concrete podium. By building type 3 over type 1 developers are able to avoid the most expensive type of construction while still increasing density. Type 3 construction utilizes a wood frame but has masonry bearing walls and is 20% more expensive than Type 5 construction.
The Developer for 16 Powerhouse has pushed the envelope further with his project on 1430 Q Street. The project utilizes a 2 story concrete podium with 6.5 floors of Type 3 construction on top of it. This is considered to be the first project in the country to do this and required special permission from the Sacramento City Council.
While many are planned or in the works, only one recently constructed project in Midtown, Sacramento used all Type 1 Construction and that is the 19J apartment complex. Built up to 11 stories it is the tallest multifamily building built in Midtown Sacramento since the recession. The 16 story Sawyer building in the downtown is Type 1 as well. The state is building several office buildings that exceed 8.5 stories and a 14 story hotel in Downtown Sacramento is going through the approval process. Type 1 is is the most expensive type of construction and utilizes concrete and protected steel for most of its construction.
Below is a link that goes into the various subtypes for the different types of construction as well as a link talking about the 1430 Q Street project and how its pushing the boundaries of wood framing.