Fontaine Hall is Columbus’s newest student apartment housing complex in Uptown Columbus. With private beds, private bathrooms and full kitchens, Fontaine Hall is the premier housing option for non-freshman students enrolled at Columbus State University.
About the Project:
Fontaine Hall is a joint venture project that is currently under development in Uptown Columbus. It is an adaptive reuse project that is pursuing State and National Historic Tax Credits from SHPO and NPS. It is also pursuing LEED Certified TM from the United States Green Building Council and is participating in the Georgia Power EarthCents program.
The renovation project will bring to life the historic Fontaine Building – a three-story masonry building constructed in 1895. As Columbus’s first “mixed-use building”, the Fontaine Building originally housed a wholesale boot and shoe business, the offices of a local dentist, a private club, and rooms available for rent. It later served as offices of a local cola company, a second-hand furniture store, offices of cotton brokers, and offices of an insurance and real estate business. The building fell into disarray in the late 1970’s and was vacant from 1980 until today.
Architecturally, the Fontaine Building is the only type of its kind in Columbus as it employs Sullivanesque techniques that can be seen in the slender pilasters that accentuate the height of the building. According to the National Trust, it is a very rare combination of building type with segmented and rounded arches, terra cotta tiles, circular vents and rounded pilasters. In 1980, the building was listed on the National Trust’s Register of Historic Places.
The Commitment to our Environment
The adaptation of the Fontaine building from an early twentieth century office building to a twenty-first century apartment building is an example of how a building’s historical character can be preserved, while still adding energy efficiency and technological capability. The building is seeking LEED Certified TM, and is participating in Georgia Power’s EarthCents program.
The project is inherently green: instead of tearing down a vacant building, it is being repurposed. The site is centrally located to downtown’s Columbus urban amenities, and is reachable by walking, bike, or public transportation. All paved areas and all roofing materials are highly reflective, to reduce heat island effect.
Materials and Resources
Over 85% of the building’s structural system was able to be re-used (the brick walls, interior floor joists, bearing walls, and roof joists). Over 50% of the interior non-structural components were either left in place, or will be renovated and reused (including hardwood floors, trim moldings, and beadboard wainscot). This saves on materials that are sent to landfills. During construction, metal, wood, and drywall waste is sent to recycling centers. After construction, the buildings occupants will be able to utilize recycling bins for the on-site recycling collection system.
While the International Energy Conservation Code does not require buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places to meet energy codes, the Project Team incorporated upgrades to the building envelope wherever possible. R-19 batt insulation will be added to all floor and roof cavities, as well as board insulation above the roof deck. An air gap will be added between the existing masonry walls and new finished drywall walls, to provide some insulation. New windows will have insulated glass with a film to offset heat gain. Each unit will receive a high efficiency, 16-SEER heat pump with a programmable thermostat. All lighting fixtures will be fluorescent capable. Refrigerators, dishwashers, and clothes dryers are Energy Star rated.
All plumbing fixtures (commodes, faucets, and shower heads) exceed the Code minimum for flow rates.
Indoor Environmental Quality
All new finish products and sealants comply with low- to no- VOC regulations, including paints, caulks, adhesives, solvents, and sealants. The flooring products are Floorscore certified to be low emitting. Each unit has windows with direct access to views and daylight. The building will be designated as Smoke-Free.
In addition to being environmentally responsible, the Project Team has maintained the historic integrity of the original building by respecting the tall ceilings, window moldings, and wainscot detail. The unique original circulation pattern, which used the second floor as the main occupancy, was preserved by keeping the grand central staircase at the front entrance. The building’s ground floor is fully accessible, and offers one full ADA-compliant unit, with the remainder being adaptable units.
The Project Team
Developer: W.C. Bradley Co. Real Estate Division www.wcbradleyrealestate.com
Contractor: Flournoy Construction Company www.flournoycompanies.com/construction.asp
Architect: Pimsler Hoss Architects www.pimslerhoss.com
Structural Engineer: Wright Engineering www.wrighteng.net
LEED Consultant: Trident Sustainability Group www.tridentsustainability.com