Zaragon Place is a 10-story, 128,000-sf luxury high-rise student living facility located in the heart of the University of Michigan’s central campus and within walking distance to numerous restaurants and bars. This mixed-use development designed by Neumann Smith Architecture, offers dramatic and flexible living spaces including oversized loft-style apartments; penthouse entertainment space; retail, fitness and office space; as well as a two-level heated underground parking structure. Zaragon Place’s development is part of a philosophical shift on the part of Ann Arbor city leaders toward the “walkable urbanism” concept as a way to grow Ann Arbor that links vertical student housing and dense, downtown development to viable commercial activity.

During the 20-month construction period, SME assisted O’Neal Construction by providing construction materials services related to foundation, concrete, engineered fill, structural steel, masonry, pre-cast concrete panel erection and pavements. Converted to masonry from an original design of structural steel, Zaragon Place provides the building’s owner a more durable building with increased energy efficiency, decreased sound transmission, and exceptional value, including minimal operational and maintenance costs, for the life of the building.

Since the building is a masonry load bearing structure, the project specifications required that SME provide a Special Inspector for masonry on the site on a daily basis. The masonry inspector reviewed each day’s work including general masonry construction procedures, resteel installation, mortar and grout mixing and placement, flashings, material storage and weather protection.

SME also provided materials consulting through quality assurance testing of the floor treatment installation in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements. This included adhesive and surface testing of the substrates, as well as moisture emissivity of the slabs. Our materials consulting services also provided pulse radar testing on the supported concrete slab to identify the location of reinforcing bars and conduits.