Jan 21, 2019

Eric Winters | Site Civil Multi-Family and Commercial Division Manager

By Focus Engineering In Expertise, News, Services, Team No comments

Answering the Steep Challenges of Multi-Family Residential

Eric Winters not only has a long title – Site Civil Multi-Family and Commercial Division Manager – he has plenty of skill, expertise, and dependability to go along with it. As our multi-family residential specialist, Eric manages between 15-20 active projects all over the spectrum of completion, from conceptual design through to contractor RFIs and submittals.

Eric started doing civil design work as a CADD designer straight out of school. “The land, contours and slope are different on every single property, so no two projects are alike,” he explains, “Even if you are placing the same building or parking lot on multiple properties, something has to be redesigned, and that is why I enjoy site civil design so much.” Initially, he started doing grading design for commercial and apartment projects. Today, multi-family residential projects, including apartments and townhomes, are his specialty.

The most important skill for multi-family projects? Understanding the grading design process and how each component of grading design effects each building. Multi-family housing structures are typically large and flat, placed on land that is sloped and that has smaller roadway widths. This increases the difficulty of grading and getting utilities routed through the project.

ADA requirements such as parking stalls, wheelchair routes, and accessible doorways add another level of complexity. “Many times, apartment projects require you to think about ADA design requirements even before drainage or earthworks,” says Eric, “This is different from single-family homes where you typically looking at drainage and earthwork design first and foremost.”

Eric and his team of five keep things in order with a high level of communication. “I really believe that up-front and constant communication will typically eliminate problems or questions in the field during construction,” Eric states. “The more communication we have, the less our clients have to deal with on their already-full plates.”

Eric leads by example using innovation and technical savvy on challenging projects. “The most interesting and challenging projects are always large apartments on steep terrain,” he explains, “These types of projects showcase our design expertise; we are the expert in the room when discussing how we can make the site work.”

This means that both developers and architects rely on the Focus team to layout the sites based on the terrain, maximizing efficiency while minimizing construction costs. Eric and his team are up to the task, no matter how steep.