One Ten Westminster - Providence


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May 25, 2006
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I couldn't find a thread for this building so I started one here. Although this building is in Providence it is of significant height, and an interesting major development (even though it has a horrible name). I suppose that Providence is arguably in Boston's metro anyways. Please move the thread if it seems inappropriate here.

Dumping steel
Skyrocketing prices prompt a developer to switch to concrete
By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff | June 26, 2006

When it comes to commercial construction, New England is steel country. Other parts of the country favor concrete, which is more expensive, but here almost all modern towers and tall residential buildings are built on skeletons of steel columns and beams.

But with construction costs skyrocketing, due largely to the rising price of steel, the developers of a new luxury condominium in Providence that will be Rhode Island's tallest building scrapped plans for a steel structure and drew up a new design for concrete. As a result, Blue Chip Properties LLC squeezed two extra floors into a building that didn't need to be any taller.

``The steel price rises day to day," said Minhaj Kirmani, a principal of Weidlinger Associates Inc. of Cambridge, consulting engineers to Blue Chip Properties. ``Nobody can guarantee prices six months down the line."

Though costly, structural concrete has severalsignificant advantages -- including ensuring maximum peaceand quiet in high-priced, high-rise homes. ``You really are looking for as quiet as you can be," said Gary C. Johnson, a principal at Cambridge Seven Associates Inc., the architectural firm on the project.

At 435 feet, One Ten Westminster will be the same height as if made of structural steel, and from a distance it will look almost identical to what was originally planned. But a few key details will vary: In the new, concrete version, it will be 38 floors instead of 36. Floor-to-floor heights are several inches less in concrete, even though ceilings in finished units are at least as high.