Newman Garrison + Partners' New Block ™ Design Concept Pioneers a New Era for Urban-Infill Development

The sustainable design model achieves higher densities without the use of concrete

Aug 20, 2013, 09:00 ET from Newman Garrison + Partners

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Aug. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Newman Garrison + Partners (NG+P), an architectural firm with 28 years of experience based in Newport Beach, Calif., has developed a lower-cost sustainable concept designed for smaller urban sites in the two to four acre range. New Block™, which is awaiting patent approval from the United States Patent Office, creates the potential for value in parcels that traditionally have been ignored by builders for economic reasons.

"This will open the door for more economical urban development on smaller two-acre parcels as opposed to the more traditional 'podium' and 'wrap' configurations," said Kevin Newman, CEO of NG+P. "In addition; New Block™ will capture the important sustainability, open space and livability aspects of multi-family urban housing."

Based on the firm's extensive experience designing multi-family mixed-use projects, as well as input from a host of city planners, developers, brokers and financial consultants, New Block™ is the culmination of several years of research by NG+P.

The concept is flexible and can be adapted to almost any low-rise residential or mixed-use project, including market-rate, workforce housing, senior and student housing.

Lower development costs are a key component of New Block™. The concept does not require large volumes of increasingly expensive concrete, as the design utilizes surface parking in lieu of vertical parking structures. Developments can be built more cost effectively by utilizing Type V construction, which reduces overall costs up to 35 percent.

While cutting costs is an important aspect of attracting developers to the concept, New Block™ is also attractive to cities as it implements high quality, sustainable design in areas that otherwise may have been neglected while still complying with open space requirements.

The New Block™ design creates usable open space on the rooftop of the surface parking cover, utilizing a unique, modular, green roof planting system. The meadow-like open space contains a variety of native plants and decorative hardscape for barbecues, picnic tables and social gatherings.

The rooftop space is readily accessible to residents and provides an attractive amenity. Additional benefits include the reduction of the "heat island" effect, filtration of pollutants and reduced and filtered storm water run-off.

Due to the compact nature of the concept, New Block™ also allows for the implementation of a variety of sustainable design elements, such as use of photovoltaics, better performing insulation, and more efficient HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems. In addition, the ability to be located on constrained urban sites close to public transit addresses pending greenhouse gas legislation in California.

Most recently, Jamboree Housing Corporation's 70-unit affordable Park Landing development in Buena Park, Calif., was designed by NG+P using the New Block™ design. The development is slated for an October 2013 opening.

"Southern California is expected to push developers and municipalities to continue to create more sustainable, diverse housing options," added Newman. "Architects and designers must continue evolving toward building a better and safer environment, while at the same time understanding the costs that come with sustainable design. We continue to educate developers and municipalities on the benefits of providing sustainable design while exploring viable solutions that promote higher densities. New Block™ is our answer to this demand."

As New Block™ has garnered a tremendous amount of interest for its sustainable and environmental alternatives for urban-infill sites, NG+P continues to develop concept studies for various sites in the Western United States.

Newman Garrison + Partners

Newman Garrison + Partners is a team of highly trained design professionals who specialize in creating innovative, yet timeless, architectural design for mid- and high-rise multifamily towers; mixed-use, urban infill and transit-oriented developments; resort communities; and work-force and student housing. For more information on NG+P please visit

To learn more about New Block and the Park Landing project, please visit

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