Converting Sacred Spaces into Multi-Family Housing

How SHELTERWERK Uses As-Built Plans to Redesign Spaces

Converting Sacred Spaces into Multi-Family Housing

How SHELTERWERK Uses As-Built Plans to Redesign Spaces

At Precision Property Measurements, we pride ourselves on partnering with forward-thinking architecture firms to deliver precise As-Built plans. Recently, we collaborated with SHELTERWERK, a full service architecture and design firm based in Oakland, California, on a transformative project in San Francisco. This two-story religious building, spanning 4,000 square feet, posed unique challenges and opportunities, and we were excited to be part of its journey.

SHELTERWERK, known for their comprehensive design services and commitment to creating enriching built environments, undertook this project with a clear vision. Heather Sanders, Principal at SHELTERWERK, played a crucial role in shaping the project’s direction and shared some details in an interview with us.

As-Built Scope of Work

  • Revit Model
  • Floor Plan
  • Roof Plan
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Still Photos

Transforming a Historic Space

SHELTERWERK took on this project after a referral from a religious organization. The building, originally a worship hall on the ground floor with a pastor’s apartment and fellowship hall on the second floor, had a significantly reduced congregation. With less than ten members remaining, the client sought to develop the space into multi-family housing. Heather Sanders and her team explored various design schemes, ranging from three to five units.

The As-Built plans provided crucial insights, including the unexpected challenge posed by a telephone pole near the building. This obstacle significantly impacted the project’s progress, as it complicated potential parking solutions. In San Francisco, resolving such issues required navigating the regulations of three different agencies.

Choosing PPM for Quality and Efficiency

Heather Sanders has been working with PPM for nearly a decade. She first discovered PPM while working on a property flip and was impressed by the value and quality of our services. Since then, SHELTERWERK has exclusively partnered with PPM for their as-built documentation needs. Heather appreciates PPM’s balance of detail, quick turnaround, and competitive pricing.

“I exclusively work with PPM for my As-Built documentation because the price point is always great, and we get a nice balance of detail with a quick turnaround.” - Heather Sanders, Principal at SHELTERWERK

Surveying Challenges and Solutions

Michael Li, our As-Built surveyor for this project, provided insights into the technical and logistical challenges of this project.

For this project, the property was vacant and partially boarded up with fences around the sides. To accurately measure wall thicknesses, he opened a window to the light well along the side of the building, which allowed the scanner to be brought outside. This method ensured accurate wall thickness measurements while maintaining the property’s security.

To avoid leaving the front door open and unattended, Michael took multiple scans and manually merged the point clouds after the visit. By dividing the project into multiple scans, he was able to capture smaller, quicker scans to ensure accuracy while remaining secure on site. If he were to have performed a single scan, he would have been required to walk the entire interior and exterior of the space before closing the front door.

PPM utilized the GeoSLAM Revo, which is well-suited for small to medium sized projects and allows for quick on-site processing to verify accurate cloud data. Special attention was required for the lower level of the building, which had floor height changes throughout.

One significant challenge was accessing the roof, which is typical for many two-story buildings in San Francisco. Michael propped a ladder up on the rear exterior stairs and attached the laser scanner and camera to a painter’s pole. This worked as an extension so that the scanner could reach high enough to capture partial cloud data without Michael having to go on the roof.

The Importance of a Strong Starting Point

In conclusion, the collaboration between our As-Built services and SHELTERWERK highlights the successful starting point for a remodel. SHELTERWERK, led by Heather Sanders, utilized our precise As-Built plans to navigate unique challenges and deliver a thoughtful redesign. This project exemplifies how detailed documentation and innovative design can revitalize spaces to meet modern remodeling needs.

At PPM, we remain committed to delivering precise, reliable as-built documentation to support our clients’ visions. Whether it’s transforming historic buildings or preparing for future projects, our expertise ensures success every step of the way. To learn more about SHELTERWERK, visit their site here.