Project Spotlight – Parkway Overlook Apartments (Washington DC)

 LOCATION DETAILS

Property Name: Parkway Overlook Apartments

Address: 2841 Robinson Place, SE, Washington, DC 20020

Owner and Client: District of Columbia Housing Authority

PROJECT BACKGROUND

The Parkway Overlook Apartments project is a rehabilitation initiative of an abandoned garden apartments complex in Southeast Washington, DC’s Congress Heights neighborhood. The site is located just three miles from the U.S. Capitol across the Anocostia River.  Site reclamation converted the property into 220 units of affordable housing consisting of 1-2-3 bedroom units. Workforce development training programs were implemented to provide onsite support for residents. Solar power systems were installed which will provide up to 30% of the energy needed for the facility.  For more information about the project, read the press release from the Washington, DC mayor’s office.

TREX FENCING INSTALLATION

Trex Fencing is used throughout the seven acre Parkway Overlook Apartments project in applications for trash enclosures, group condenser and HVAC equipment enclosures. Trex Fencing was selected specifically because the architect felt the unique board-on-board characteristics of Seclusions contributed to the site design. The fence was used to surround three sides of the enclosures but left open in the front for easy access and to avoid a sense of the large enclosures appearing closed-off. The architect wanted a small amount of transparency, so the fence was designed for such by cutting alternating pickets near the top to provide a gap. Horizontal rails ran below the semi-transparent top as a way to give the enclosures a finished look to the open feel. This solution provided relative ease of construction and limited costs.

The adaptability of Trex Fencing makes it a perfect solution for trash enclosures or HVAC enclosures. Even tall dumpsters or HVAC equipment can be hidden from view behind a Trex fence since the structures can be adapted to various heights. The sturdy, dense posts can be installed directly into the ground or on top of concrete pads sleeved over post mounts. With a 5/8″ thick wall, Trex posts are designed for standalone support up to eight feet tall.

Like the Parkway Overlook Apartments complex, every housing site has trash collection locations and utility equipment. While necessary for living spaces, these site features are typically unattractive. Dumpster enclosures provide obscurity to hide unsightly trash receptacles and HVAC enclosures block noisy equipment. The aesthetic improvement a Trex fence can provide extends beyond the functional benefit of heavier, more industrial structures such as block walls. Both serve to provide durable enclosures, but Trex fencing is a softer, more natural barrier and provides a value engineering option to finished, textured walls. Trex fences are easier to repair and adapt, and gates can be constructed with Trex Fencing components ensuring a matching design throughout.

PROJECT ARCHITECT

EDG of Bethesda, Maryland was selected as the project architect. The firm provides comprehensive design and production services in the DC Metro area. For more information on the firm’s work on the Parkway Overlook Apartments and the use of Trex fencing in this project, please contact the project architect.

Tim Powell RA, LEED AP

3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 110
Bethesda, MD 20814
301-654-0058

www.edgarchitects.net

ABOUT TREX FENCING FOR COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

Trex fencing is a composite fence system designed to provide full or partial privacy with durable, low-maintenance materials. Available in vertical or horizontal picket orientations, the fence is versatile; it can be stepped or sloped and built up to 12′ tall. Since the early 1990’s, Trex has led the outdoor building materials industry in composite products, providing innovative, environmentally responsible solutions for commercial building projects. For more information on how Trex Fencing can be used for your projects, please contact our corporate offices as 877-700-8739 or [email protected]

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Trex Fencing for Tall Enclosures and Perimeters

A Tall Trex Perimeter Fence for a Utility Enclosure in Mendocino California.

Commercial projects typically use masonry or chain link for dumpster enclosures or perimeters that require fencing over 8 ft. tall. Wood fencing at that height isn’t practical because it is too tall for wood posts and maintenance is even more challenging than it is for more common 6 ft. or 8 ft. heights. Vinyl fencing is lightweight and more appropriate for 6 ft. tall residential applications.

Trex fencing was originally introduced for the residential market but its unique attributes quickly became an effective option for commercial properties that require sight obstruction, security, and a softer, more natural look. This is particularly true for commercial properties that back up to residential or public spaces that require a non-industrial appearance. Schools, hospitals, and design-focused retail stores turn to Trex fencing for a functional yet aesthetically-pleasing solution.

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In its standard configuration, Trex fencing immediately meets the needs of a 6 ft. or 8 ft. tall fence. However, many properties have taller HVAC or electrical equipment.  It isn’t just for the security of the equipment behind an enclosure. A Trex fence offers an attractive face to hide equipment that has to be located in a highly visible area.

Masonry gives a heavy, imposing look to a space. People identify masonry walls with functionality but not beauty. Even textured or brick walls give the impression that whatever may be on the other side is big, expensive, or dangerous. While that may be true, a tall fence still meets the typical requirements of blocking intruders and obscuring equipment that is behind it, but it does so without acting as a formidable structure.  From an installation standpoint, a tall masonry wall requires a substantial footer which not only increases material costs, it can have a big impact on landscaping and underground utility placement.

A 10 foot tall Trex Fence around a utility equipment at a private health care facility near Atlanta Georgia. The fence completely blocks the view of the equipment from the outside thereby providing security.

Chain link is less obtrusive but is not a design-oriented solution. Chain link is primarily associated with perimeter fencing where cost is the primary factor for choosing it. Even with privacy slats, chain link does not offer full sight obstruction and it it has a highly commercial appearance. 

FDS Fence Distributors developed a solution approximately 10 years ago for tall fencing as an alternative to masonry or privacy chain link. The creation of Trex fencing was conceived as a merger of aesthetics and functionality. To meet the rigors of a tall fence for enclosures and perimeters, Trex was enhanced by using heavy duty steel post stiffeners and mid-rails. With this configuration, Trex fencing can be built to 12 ft. heights (and even more with alternatives to the Trex fencing post). That’s typically sufficient to enclose most commercial buildings’ HVAC and electrical equipment.

A list of Trex Fence benefits that are important for architects to evaluate when deciding if Trex is the right solution for their projects.

The fence was developed to provide architects and designers the ability to provide an attractive yet durable alternative to masonry and achieve a low-maintenance objective. Trex is a manufactured fence system with enough history to demonstrate its performance. The composite material has been in consistent use for over 25 years and the material density and thickness has been proven for years, giving the fence the strength that lighter products do not have.

For locations that do not retain property management services or do not have personnel on hand to maintain the fence, this can be an ongoing challenge for enclosures and perimeters. A Trex fence does not need to be painted or stained and it will not rot so property owners have the ability to eliminate ongoing costs for maintenance. 

Trex fencing does not require specialty skills or equipment that other products require. That means the overall cost for a tall Trex fence is typically lower than a masonry wall with an engineered footer. Additionally, in a commercial setting damage is sometimes inevitable, particularly if there are moving vehicles around close by. Should damage occur, repairing a Trex fence may only take a few hours and may not incur the heavy costs associated with dismantling an entire masonry wall and rebuilding it. Trex fencing is built in sections so an isolated impact could be limited to replacing a few pickets. Even a damaged post may only require removing the Trex composite, cutting and welding a new steel post stiffener and sleeving the composite post back over it.

Commercial projects increasingly rely on Trex products to provide a compatible look. Some of our most common clients are schools, universities, and hospitals since most of them maintain large HVAC or electrical equipment. With high human traffic around the area of an enclosure or a highly visible perimeter, a Trex fence gives off the appearance of an attractive, natural-looking product, while also providing full privacy.

The following gallery and accompanying presentation document provide a visual sampling of Trex Fencing installations in tall configuration. 

If your project requires LEED points, Trex can help. As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, Trex is committed to sustainable products and manufacturing processes. Trex can contribute up to five points. For more information, read about Trex’s Eco-friendly Fencing or call 877-700-8739. 

Download Trex Commercial Fence – Tall Fences presentation.

 

A 16' tall fence screen made from Trex horizontal fence boards at a Skatetown facility in California.
Project Spotlight: Big Bend National Park, Emory Peak

Project Spotlight: Big Bend National Park, Emory Peak

 

Big Bend National Park in beautiful southwest Texas is one of the latest customers of Trex Fencing. Trex was selected to create privacy screens around composting toilets situated near Emory Peak, at the base of the ascent to the highest point in Big Bend National Park. All of the fencing materials were hauled in via a mule pack string as there are no roads or other way to access this location. A second location along the trail will be installed in 2017.

 

According to Erik Walker, Trail Maintenance Supervisor for Big Bend National Park, “the Trex Fencing product was was a very efficient system to install. We are very happy with the final product that is now being utilized by thousands of visitors who hike the trails in the park each and every year … our visitors are sure to enjoy it for many years to come.”

 

Trex Seclusions interlocking pickets are a perfect solution for privacy screens. Combined with durable, rot-free Trex Fencing posts, the privacy screens will endure the climate and use for which they are intended. Woodland Brown, the selected color, provides a natural, low-profile appearance that blends into the environment around the service areas.

 

The composting toilets at the Big Bend National Park are environmentally-friendly service areas that consume no electricity and provide vital services for hikers. Trex is proud to supply building materials to ensure responsible care of natural resources in our national parks.

 

For more information about the trail, visit Big Bend National Park . To learn more about how Trex Fencing privacy screens were selected for the composting toilets, contact Erik Walker at [email protected] or 432-477-2316.

 

Project Spotlight: PG&E Substation, Mendocino CA

Project Spotlight: PG&E Substation, Mendocino CA

The California-based utility company, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), recently selected Trex Fencing to enclose a substation in Mendocino, CA. Chain Link Fence & Supply (Livermore, CA) installed the fence. Like many commercial projects using Trex, the fence height is 10′ tall. The color installed is Saddle, and the total length of fencing is 230′. Trex was selected because it provides sound suppression and a unique, attractive appearance that reduces the industrial look of the substation. The fence completely blocks the view of the equipment behind it.

 

Adverse soil conditions required a deeper foundation for the posts than normal. The architectural design called for 96″ post holes, filled with concrete. Galvanized steel posts were embedded in the concrete and extended up out of the ground so the Trex posts could sleeve over them. One of the advantages of a Trex Seclusions post is that for fences up to 8′ tall, they do not require reinforcement, but because the posts are hollow they also can be used as sleeves for taller fences such as this one.

 

Trex fencing is a popular choice for these types of applications. Utility and dumpster enclosures, as well as perimeter fencing or privacy screens, utilize the high durability and aesthetically pleasing benefits of the product. Most privacy fences are limited to 6′ or 8′ heights, but with Trex, heights up to 12′ tall are possible. For technical details regarding Trex Fencing, including architectural drawings and installation guides, please visit our resource support page.

 

About Chain Link Fence & Supply. The company has provided commercial and government installation services throughout the Bay Area since 1996. Chain Link Fence & Supply primarily installs and repairs chain link fences but will install other materials and will extend their service area on a case-by-case basis, such as with this PG&E job. If you would like more information on a how to acquire installation services for commercial and government projects, please contact Kenny Stanley: 925-606-8167 / [email protected]

 

Steel posts embedded in concrete foundation for Trex Fencing posts

120" tall Trex Fencing  Trex Fencing at Pacific Gas and Electric Substation in Mendocino, California

Project Spotlight: Pooler City Hall, Georgia

Project Spotlight: Pooler City Hall, Georgia

Installation Project by Savannah Fence & Entry Contractor, Savannah, GeorgiaSavannah Fence & Entry Systems of Savannah, Georgia recently installed a Trex Seclusions fence for the city of Pooler. The new city hall complex in Pooler required a privacy area around a portion of the new town square and selected Trex fencing. In addition to its low-maintenance and aesthetic benefits, Trex was selected because it was able to be built to the required 10 ft. tall height. The color selected was Woodland Brown.

The new city hall in Pooler is part of a development project that has been in the works for years. The nod towards a historical square is part of the city government’s vision to provide an area which will hearken back to the traditional appeal and function of a city government space. The area will also eventually include a walkable community and will help revitalize the section of town running along the Highway 80 corridor.  Watch the WOTC reported on the city hall project.

Trex is a perfect compliment to the new property. The architecture firm that designed the building and surrounding area, Hussey Gay Bell, was tasked with developing a property that would serve the city for several decades. With Trex, the city chose a fence that will last much longer than wood and will not require the upkeep of a typical fence.  The brickwork columns provide a beautiful contrast to the wood-look Trex Seclusions fence. The fence was attached to the brick columns by cutting Trex posts in half and mounting them to a treated 2×4 that was anchored to the column.

About Savannah Fence & Entry. The company was founded in 1991 and serves the Coastal Empire and Low Country areas of southern Georgia. Visit the company’s Facebook page for more company information.  For information on how to acquire Trex fencing installation services from Savannah Fence & Entry, contact Roy Tomazin at (912) 234-5188 or [email protected]

Dark Brown Trex Fencing built for Pooler City Hall, Georgia  Tall Commercial Fencing for Government Facility