The results of all our architectural work is Pre-Value Engineered®. Our Pre-Value Engineered architecture is achieved with our understanding of cost and extensive technical knowledge of what works and what doesn't, gained over twenty years of building multifamily and mixed use neighborhoods, synergistically combined with the design talents of our in-house architects and the development knowledge of our development professionals.

Below we have displayed some of our Pre-Valued Engineered proprietary systems, designs and structures.


Elevé Lofts

Glendale, CA 208 units


This .83 acre urban infill Project occupy a prominent corner one block from the center of Downtown Glendale, which sits 6 miles due north of Downtown L.A. The Project Site is also at the geographical center of the City's planned Arts and Entertainment District. In keeping with this theme,   the ground floor will be targeted for art, entertainment and restaurant venues.

Above the ground floor, the Project includes 208 apartments in a five-story six level structure above the podium, targeting Glendale's Young Urban Professionals who are primarily single (80%). Notwithstanding the Project's attention to design with 50% of the units two story a Mezzanine and urban lofts with 1.5 baths, and such condominium level quality finishes as granite countertops, bamboo cabinets, and in-unit laundries, 10,000 of young adults living and working in Glendale will be able to afford the Project's average rents. Most in this group are young urban professionals who prefer to live downtown where many work and they all play. None in this group can afford the average rents of the three Downtown apartment projects built in the last 10 years. (Average occupancy for these three projects and the Five large Glendale apartment projects is 98%).

This site has more urban amenities within a quarter of a mile than any known, comparable project outside of NYC. With the recently completed Americana at Brand and its apartments and condominium over upscale retail including Guess, Tiffany and J. Crew, and the Galleria with Macy's, Nordstrom, Target and Penney's as its anchors. The Project is 1/4 of a mile from 161 clothing and accessory stores.   In a quarter mile radius there is also one hundred and eight restaurants and numerous other shops, both local and national chains, the main public library, twelve churches, and two weekly farmers' market. This urban amenity-rich environment is capped with the Project's 72 foot high, indirectly lit, 26,000 sq ft sky terrace with hot tubs, BBQs, fire pit, private and open conversation areas, and enticing views of Downtown Los Angeles in the distance and Glendale's City lights up close.

The Project, which will be certified as LEED Silver, is served by public transit. Within 2.25 miles by bus there are employment opportunities in the Glendale Gateway Corporate Center, three major hospitals, and entertainment industry studios including Dream Works Animation and Disney and Disney Grand Central Creative Campus (in total about 4,500 current young urban professional jobs).  The Metrolink Station providing direct transit to Downtown L.A. is an eight minute ride by bus from our Site. 

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Design/Build Case Study


Our Design for a larger, but similar configured project is 16% less (on a comparative basis)...

Project Details

  • Project is four stories of apartments over retail, over three stories of subterranean parking.
  • We did not design this project.
  • We did not participate in pre-construction.
  • Experienced developer with a number of highly successful, high quality, high visibility projects.
  • Experienced, award winning Architect, with years of multifamily/mixed use experience.

Construction Savings

                   Item                                                                                                                         Pricing                                               % Savings

  • 2007 pricing                                                                                              $17,727,000                                             0.0% 
  • Today's Pricing                                                                                         $14,182,000                                          25.0%
  • Today's American Value Engineered Pricing                         $13,868,000                                           27.8%
  • Today's American Pre-Value Engineered Pricing                $12,498,000                                          41.8%

Value Engineer Savings (work that can be changed without major re-design)  

                   Item                                                                                                                                                                                                       Savings

                  1.   Reduce floor ceiling height of subterranean garage to code minimums.                                            $135,225

                  2.   Replace 2 layers of drywall ceiling at all floors except roof with 1 layer and r/c channel.            $32,224

                  3.   Reduce cementious exterior siding 50% and replace with plaster.                                                            $47,284

                  4.   Replace courtyard pavers with colored patterned concrete.                                                                        $73,776

                  5.   Use single manufacturer of plumbing fixtures (moen) in lieu of different types.                               $42,272

                  6.   Use all wrought iron railings in lieu of combination of different manufacturers.                              $16,891

                  7.   Delete metal fascia from courtyard side of elevation.                                                                                          $8,716


Pre-Value Engineered Savings (These savings would require design/build, which is too late for a case study project)

                 Item:                                                                                                                                                                                                         Savings

  1. Eliminate concrete dropped beams and dropped heads by designing retail                                    $200,000

                        designing retail component that stacks with garage column spacing below.

                 2.   Design residential units with structure and plumbing walls that stack.                                              $250,000

                 3.   Reduce number of unit types to two from seven, with up to seven variations.                               $300,000

                 4.   Currently the ground floor is Type I, and the four stories above are Type V. Design                    $200,000

                        all five five floors as Type III.

                 5.   Design 2nd and 3rd intermediate level subterranean parking decks without dropped             $120,000

                        heads reducing the depth of excavation 28".

                 6.   Design/Build MEP and structure.                                                                                                                                $300,000


How can we reduce cost 14% beyond what the economy has done and traditional V.E. can do?

  • American Process: Design using our  Pre-Value Engineered® process of designing from the inside out, optimizing each element as we go, while synergeistically integrating and coordinating all building systems at each step.
  • Traditional process: Design the outside first, cut up, maneuver, and individually and separately design each component of each unit to fit into the predetermined shell, then pass on the design work to the next systems designer with the task of making their design function with what they have been given, leaving much of the coordination to the Contractor.

It is significant to note:

  • Traditional value engineered savings on this case study was:                                                                             2.8%

                        (typical of other projects designed by an experienced multifamily Architect)

  • The additional savings from Pre-Value Engineered® design could have been:                                              14%

The greatest savings is always at the oncept stage! We can capture these savings with Design/Build.

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Our In-House Design


We believe our in-house designed, Pre-Value Engineered® buildings are as exciting as the designs of traditional award winning architects, and we know the cost of our design/build products are much less.

An American in-house Design/Build Example: (All the renderings on this webpage is this project)

  • Similar to case study but larger, with four stories of apartments over retail, over three stories of subterranean parking.
  • 248 units, 240 are two types (no variations), all stack. (Other eight "feature units" are two types). *
  • We achieve exterior architectural variation with plaster joints, texture, and color.
  • We utilize stairs as exterior architectural elements.
  • We concentrate "feature design" to most visible area (in this case corner), leaving remainder as "production".

* We have seen no evidence that identical apartments (before tenant furnishings) affect occupancy rates or rents. We do know from our National Survey, that rent cost was the number one consideration when selecting an apartment.

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Contact Us

To discuss how much we can save you

Call Jeff Chen at (714) 377-1414 x 118

American Multifamily Inc.

12610 Westminster Avenue Suite A, Garden Grove, California 92843, United States


Appointment is recommended