Lasting Heritage: Residential building respects community’s legacy

Named after the word for “elm tree” in Old Norse, the Almr resides in a historic Portland area that was once an active cultural hub for the Scandinavian community. The building’s setback was designed to accommodate an existing 85-foot tall elm tree which defines the streetscape. The four-story mixed-use retail and residential building comprises of a two-level concrete podium and three above-grade levels of light gauge metal framing with concrete topping. The Almr has a total of 57 residential units, 62 parking stalls, and 10,722-sf of retail space at street level.

DCI Engineers was the structural engineer of record for the Almr. Post-tensioned (PT) concrete slabs were installed on Levels 1 and 2. The PT slab at Level 2 was designed as a transfer slab for the light-gauge bearing walls above allowing for a wide open retail space at the ground level.

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Portland, Oregon
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Square Feet:
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Commercial, Multi-Family Residential
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Primary Material:
Concrete, Steel, Wood

Project Highlights

  • The building’s setback accommodated space for an 85-ft tall elm tree, which is designated as a “heritage” tree by the City of Portland.
  • The floor systems’ deep beams maximized the below-grade parking space, allowing the basement to extend under the sidewalk and still meet the City’s dedication requirements.
  • The PT slab at Level 1 allowed for concrete planters to be arranged around the building to give the street experience of natural plantings.
  • The PT slab at Level 2 was designed as a three-hour fire separation using greater clear cover at the tendons to increase fire protection.
  • LEED Platinum certified.

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