SLI 47+7

We believe this building gives a nod to Seattleites’ environmental values, while also reflecting our region’s reputation for embracing and advancing new innovation and technologies.”

Eric Bell, Portfolio Head of Intellectual Ventures

Component-based Design: Constructing much needed housing smarter, faster, and stronger

A meeting of the minds helped Sustainable Living Innovations (SLI) transform a vision of component-based, high-tech design into a reality. As one of the innovators on SLI’s multi-discipline team, DCI Engineers helped make their multi-family housing product, a viable plug-and-play construction solution. The collaborators set out to build SLI 47+7, the first residential mid-rise produced by component-based design technology. The outcome is a shorter development timeline to construct vertical housing at a lower cost model, the quick ability to market the property and generate assets, and high quality built environments to provide tenants with optimized living space.

The 13,907-sf apartment building located in the University District on the corner of 47th Avenue and 7th street (47+7), will appeal to tenants wanting quick access to I-5, the University of Washington campus, and downtown Seattle. 24 living units were scaled to a range of sizes: 427-sf to 534-sf.

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Seattle, Washington
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Square Feet:
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Structural, Civil
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Modular, Multi-Family Residential, Sustainable Design
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Primary Material:
Concrete, Steel

Building with a kit-of-parts

SLI wanted to integrate a streamlined way of building quality housing resembling a simplified assembly process. They also wanted column-free interior spaces so the apartments appear much larger for tenant comfort. DCI assisted with the research and development of numerous aspects of SLI’s component building technology. The engineers designed the initial structural systems for a warehouse prototype unit, then modified the system for a “production run” design.

Project Highlights

  • The component-based design product shaved off 20% of the construction costs for comparable built housing.
  • SLI 47+7 broke ground in August 2014 and topped off in December 2014.
  • SLI 47+7 is a solidly designed and built residential mid-rise expected to last around 60 to 100 years.
  • SLI 47+7’s material selection allowed the vertical housing to be constructed beyond just five stories, the city’s restriction for modularly built housing.
  • Wall and floor systems were bolted together instead of requiring a welding process.

DCI monitored overall structural design integrity, helped SLI determine standard building “infrastructure” components, and checked for feasible price breaks for bolt connectors to include in their kit-of-parts. SLI can now promptly estimate product pricing (even for a “fleet” of buildings) and offer their customers a recognized brand of precision residential housing.


  • 2016 NCSEA Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards – New Buildings Under $10M
  • 2016 ACEC Washington Engineering Excellence Awards – Gold Award, Unique or Innovative Application of New or Existing Techniques
  • 2015 NAIOP Seattle Innovation of the Year
  • 2015 City of Seattle's Urban Design Award - People's Choice Award, Mid-Rise Category


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Tom Xia

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J. Mark D’Amato

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