The Uptown

  • LOCATION: Vancouver, WA
  • COMPLETED: 2018


The Uptown is an approximately 235,000 sq ft mixed-use development in downtown Vancouver. An entire city block will be redeveloped to create a 6-story building with retail, 167 apartment units, and internal parking. The vision is to cultivate a diversity of new uses that will complement the existing businesses and that will serve the resident population, as well as those working in and visiting the city center.

Located in the Uptown Village area of Vancouver, the ground level will have retail spaces along the entire face of Main Street, meant to enliven the activity on the streets. In respect the surrounding neighborhood, the remaining three sides on the ground level have walk-up apartment units.

Levels 2-6 will be comprised solely of apartment units. A few of the amenities include a central courtyard on the second floor, designed to bring natural light to the inner ring of apartments, and a rooftop terrace that will provide a tremendous outdoor space for the residents to enjoy.

Outdoor Amenities

2nd Floor Courtyard 

In the central core of the building, natural light penetrates to a second-floor terrace intended as a quiet space for reading and small gatherings.  Within this outdoor space, a collection of private garden patios join with common space, creating a ribbon of three communal gathering areas defined by a geometric floor pattern and steel trellises.  Concrete planter boxes filled with shade-tolerant plants and small shrubby trees provide privacy to the patios.  Benches are placed strategically in the shadows and natural light shafts of the terrace floor.

Top Floor Terrace

The upper terrace is an open-air space for large gatherings.  Along its south edge, occupants have a commanding view of the second-floor courtyard below.  Materials include a paver pedestal floor system accented by areas of decorative stones arranged in swirling patterns. Multiple strands of decorative night lighting, supported by stainless steel cable, twinkle on deck furniture below.

Construction Process

At the beginning of the construction process, LSW approached the contractor with the suggestion of utilizing an online session to maintain construction drawings.  LSW updates the drawings on a weekly basis, incorporating all changes and clarifications so that the contractor and all subcontractors have continuous access to the most current, correct set of documents in one place.  The team has seen the following benefits:

  • Information stays up-to-date, reducing confusion about which is the most current drawing
  • The site superintendent and subs have access to the same drawings at all times, and can take an electronic version of the drawing set on site
  • The process reduces less paperwork and is more efficient, resulting in less time spent on construction oversight
  • The subcontractors and general contractor can put mark-ups and questions directly on the documents that are automatically shared with LSW
  • The construction team can complete as-built drawings as they go, rather than waiting until the project ends
  • The plans can be scaled and measured in an accurate way
  • Changes and clarifications, such as RFIs, and tagged and hyperlinked so that changes are tracked and visible
  • At the end of the project, the architect and owner can mark punch-list items directly on the drawing set, reducing confusion as to where fixes are located


Uptown Timelapse

LEED™ for Homes

Geared toward residential applications, both single and multi-family, LEED for Homes has 8 major credit categories. Here are a few items that the Uptown is receiving LEED points for:

Innovation and Design Process The design team has incorporated measures to protect the building from issues related to exterior water penetration, interior moisture accumulation, air infiltration, pests, heat loss, and ultraviolet radiation.

Location & Linkages As a redevelopment of an existing site in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the Uptown is located is within ½ mile of 28 basic community resources, encouraging walkability by residents.  For services that require other transportation, the Uptown is located within close proximity to existing bus routes that travel throughout Vancouver, and the building accommodates bike storage and provides designated parking for low-emitting vehicles.

Sustainable Sites The landscaping for the Uptown featured drought-tolerant plants which reduces water usage, and a landscaped rooftop courtyard which reduces the urban heat island effect.

Water Efficiency Each unit will have low-flow toilets, faucets, and shower heads as well as Energy Star dishwashers that meet stringent water-savings criteria.

Energy & Atmosphere LED lighting will be installed throughout the units and overall building.  Additionally, each unit has its own display of how much power is being used.  The management group intends to give awards to recognize units with the lowest usage.

Materials & Resources The framing for the building is locally-produced, the interior finishes have low VOC content, and a minimum of 63% of all construction waste is being diverted from the landfill through recycling or salvaging.  Recycle bins are located on site for steel, wood, and concrete debris and a waste management plan tracks the items being sent to the landfill.  Additionally, the soil excavated on site was moved to the South waterfront to be repurposed.

Indoor Environmental Quality Healthy indoor air quality is being encouraged through radon-resistant construction measures and a non-smoking policy throughout the building.

Awareness & Education The owner intends to advertise the sustainable aspects of the project on their website. They also intend to hold several open houses once the building is open to engage the public, as well as display LEED signage on the exterior of the building.