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60 www. bus- ex. com October 08 Decades of experience in building multi-family projects have given the Paradigm Companies extensive insight into how to get them done with the highest quality and lowest costs. The firm's principals tell Keith Regan how it is able to embrace projects that others look past Buildingonexperience

T October 08 www. bus- ex. com 61 the past 17 years has given the company unique insights that other builders with less experience don't have. Equally important is the fact that Paradigm has retained and continues to manage many of its buildings. " That gives you a chance to see how those systems perform in a building day in and day out," Ewart says. " You get a good understanding of how certain windows systems, for example, have held up in a building that you put in place 15 years ago. That gives you the knowledge that you can factor back into the design process that keeps circling back into the experience of the fi rm. Many other developers tend to sell their buildings, so they don't benefi t from that same feedback process." Over the years, Paradigm— which ranked 383rd on the Engineering News- Record list of the country's top 400 contractors this year— has also gained extensive expertise in building affordable housing, having constructed more than 1,500 affordable multi- family units. Two of its current projects have 40 percent of their housing units set aside as affordable. Affordable housing " can be a mechanism to get projects fi nanced and approved," Foster notes. They are also increasingly becoming a requirement in many communities, Ewart adds. " More and more communities want to see affordable rental housing built for local employees such as fi refi ghters and teachers, and it's something we feel good about being able to do for the communities in which we work." Paradigm has also embraced green building techniques. Its Park Rosslyn project in Arlington, Virginia, will be certifi ed as LEED Silver, making it one of the fi rst multi- family buildings in the DC area to win that level of The Paradigm Companies he Paradigm Companies got their offi cial start in 1991, when former principals with the local offi ce of National Development acquired that company's Washington DC portfolio of projects. Since then, Paradigm— which now operates a development company, a construction company and a management company— has kept its focus squarely on developing and constructing multi-family housing. Seventeen years later, Paradigm has continued to grow and has put in place over $ 1 billion of multifamily housing projects totaling over 10,000 apartment units in the greater Washington DC area ( which includes Virginia and Maryland). This growth has provided Paradigm with a proven track record that enables it to develop and construct not only apartment and condominium projects for its own account but for third- party owners as well, says Mike Foster, president of Paradigm Construction. " We focus on multi- family," he says. " We develop it, we build it and own it for ourselves, and we build it for other owners and developers. We've become experts in this fi eld in this market." Paradigm leverages that experience into cost-effective high- quality projects, he adds. " It's all about systems. We've worked for years with architects, designers and engineers on buildings, so we know what structural systems will work, what exterior wall systems work, which heating and air conditioning systems will be the ones that will provide the quality required at the right price." W. Clarke Ewart, a principal of Paradigm Development along with Foster and also a principal in the Paradigm Companies, says having built over 50 large- scale apartment complexes in