Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, Fla., MAA Robinson is a mixed-use structure that offers residents a luxurious state-of-the-art space to work and live. The project features 369 luxury apartment units in 11 stories, an attached 725-stall parking structure, and 3898 ft² of restaurant space. The residences offer high-end amenities such as a private dog park, clubhouse, rooftop pool deck, fitness center, and walkable access to retailers.
The designer chose a DualDeck precast concrete building system to achieve many of the financial and aesthetic benefits sought by the owner. “Using precast concrete for this project delivered significant benefits in terms of this project’s speed and site restrictions,” says Jorge Arboleda, architect at Finfrock.
The use of precast concrete allowed Finfrock to premanufacture the superstructure off the critical path, which accelerated the turnover of units to the client. “This approach allowed the owner to lease units faster and begin to see a return on their investment sooner,” Arboleda says.
The design uses long and unobstructed spans that are column free and provide the owner with increased flexibility for any future changes that may be made to the building later in its life cycle. The long spans extend more than 60 ft in some instances, with 24 in. Or less depth. The innovative building system eliminated floor prep and core drilling and allowed the team to apply paint directly to the concrete walls and ceilings with minimum preparation. All of this resulted in fewer trades on site and faster project delivery.
Off-site manufacturing also reduced site disruptions for the busy city location and helped the building achieve National Green Building Standard Certification at a minimal cost, which was an important goal for the client.
In the parking structure, 200 stalls needed to be dedicated to a church group that previously owned the land and relied on the space for parking. Finfrock’s in-house architects and cost estimators used building information modeling (BIM) to create a parking structure design that fit the cost needs of the owner while meeting the needs of all stakeholders.
The project team also sought innovative solutions to improve the views for the pool and other exterior amenities. “They lacked natural light due to the surrounding residential tower, causing us to pivot and move the pool and exterior amenities to the rooftop of the parking garage,” Arboleda explains. “This change allowed us to achieve better views and more light while integrating the structural support through the garage without compromising valuable parking stalls.”
The modular precast concrete design also enabled easy access to interstitial space, which proved to be important during the pandemic. “COVID-19 caused various challenges throughout this project, such as staff shortages, temporary shutdowns, supply chain issues, and more,” Arboleda says. “However, we overcame these issues while still delivering the project on schedule and on budget.”
Because Finfrock was the architect, engineer, precaster, and general contractor on the project, the team was able to coordinate seamless, end-to-end delivery, meeting the project schedule. Leasing began less than a year after the last structural piece was placed. “The MAA Robinson apartments provide a suburban-like feel for their residents living in the busy city of Orlando,” Arboleda says. “This multifamily structure’s multiple uses allow residents to engage in a community feel while still living in the middle of an urban core.”