Transforming Urban Living: Revitalizing a Multi-Family Residence

Navigating Challenges, Empowering Design, and Crafting the Future of Washington, D.C.

Transforming Urban Living: Revitalizing a Multi-Family Residence

Navigating Challenges, Empowering Design, and Crafting the Future of Washington, D.C.

In the heart of Washington, D.C., Teass \ Warren Architects, an established firm specializing in urban infill projects, embarked on a project to rejuvenate an affordable housing, multi-family property. With a keen eye for urban redevelopment and a penchant for innovative design, they sought to transform this 16,000 square-foot property into a refreshing living space for families. Guided by their commitment to excellence, Teass \ Warren Architects partnered with PPM to obtain accurate As-Built plans, laying the foundation for their transformative vision.

As-Built Scope of Work

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

As-Built Plans: Accurate Guidelines for Transformation

To breathe new life into the multi-family residence, Teass \ Warren Architects delved into a comprehensive evaluation of the property’s existing layout. With the support of our meticulous As-Built plans, they embarked on a journey of feasibility analysis and schematic design, envisioning a future where the 30 small, cramped units would give way to about 20 spacious, two-bedroom homes.

Teass \ Warren Architects are considering an addition to the building to increase the space available. Because of the extensive approval process, Teass \ Warren requested a more intricate level of detail to be shown in the Exterior Elevations. By leveraging the Revit model and As-Built plans provided by us, the architects gained invaluable insights into the structure’s potential, propelling their design process forward with confidence.

Empowering Design with Digital Clarity

Harnessing the power of technology, Teass \ Warren Architects opted for a Revit model as part of their deliverable from PPM, streamlining their design process and accelerating project timelines. By digitally overlaying additions and alterations onto the existing As-Built plans, the architects could visualize their vision with unparalleled clarity, eliminating the need for tedious manual redraws and expediting the path from concept to reality.

“We used to always do our own As-Builts. From the first time we hired PPM, I noticed it saved my staff a ton of time and we were happy with the product. We enjoy working with you guys.”

- Charles Warren, Principal of Design at Teass Warren Architects

Navigating Challenges with Ease

Amidst the busy urban landscape of Washington, D.C., every inch of space holds significance. Teass \ Warren Architects encountered a myriad of challenges, from zoning restrictions to a four-foot grade change, each demanding thorough documentation and strategic navigation. With PPM’s As-Built survey delivering accurate measurements and critical data, the architects could navigate complex zoning regulations and floor area ratio calculations with ease, laying the groundwork for informed decision-making and regulatory compliance.

Understanding the Roadblock

To understand why the decisions Teass \ Warren Architects made were so critical, one must understand compliance with Floor Area Ratio (FAR) restrictions. In their specific scenario, the elevation of their floor line fell below the threshold of five feet above the adjacent grade. Consequently, this portion of space was exempt from contributing to the FAR calculation, thereby limiting the potential for additional construction within the building.

Solutions in Consideration

This revelation served as a pivotal juncture for the client, prompting them to consider pursuing a variance process to mitigate noncompliance. Options including a Developmental Board of Adjustment (DBA) or zoning adjustment were on the table, necessitating a thorough entitlement process rather than a straightforward matter-of-right project. Through the meticulous documentation provided by Precision Property Measurements’ As-Built survey, Teass \ Warren Architects gained invaluable clarity regarding the achievable yields of their design endeavors.

Meet Ryan: As-Built Surveyor Behind the Scenes

Which equipment did you use and why?
Using the GeoSLAM Zeb Horizon mobile scanner was crucial because it meant we could merge the hallways that were identical. We were able to copy the point cloud data and extrude it up the whole property.

What challenges, if any, did you face while surveying this property, and what techniques or process did you use to overcome the challenges?
All multi-family projects have their own unique challenges, and this one was certainly no exception. Coordination was key. I worked closely with the site contact and the architect to make sure that I knew exactly what they needed. When it comes to surveying a multi-family residence that has tenants present, it’s important to be respectful of their space and answer any questions so that they feel comfortable.

What did you most enjoy about surveying this property?
This was an older building with a lot of history, which made it feel like a walk back in time. I really enjoyed going down to the basements and looking at how the mechanical systems and plumbing of the laundry worked. Seeing the square-peg-round-hole retrofits was novel.

Meet Tyler Littlewood: The Revit Modeler

Tyler ensured accuracy by focusing first on initial elements to maintain consistency. The property had varying types of rooms across floors, which required Tyler to be meticulous with how he organized the data. Crafting the building’s front façade was particularly satisfying because it combined blending creativity with capturing its aesthetic appeal.

“There was one tall stairwell that went through all levels. It was challenging but fun to model. I took it flight by flight and made sure each was adjusted correctly all the way up the building. ”

- Tyler Littlewood, Southern California Pod Lead at PPM

Building Tomorrow's Urban Spaces in Washington, D.C.

In the dynamic landscape of urban redevelopment, precision and innovation are paramount. Teass \ Warren Architects’ collaboration with Precision Property Measurements exemplifies the transformative potential of accurate As-Built plans in reshaping communities and redefining urban living. As they embark on the next phase of their journey, armed with insights gleaned from meticulous surveying and modeling, Teass \ Warren Architects stands poised to breathe new life into the fabric of Washington, D.C., one revitalized building at a time. To learn more about Teass \ Warren and their work, visit their website at