Washington, DC

The Horizon


Needing to replace the outdated DC General Family Shelter and looking to reduce homelessness, the mayor’s administration implemented Homeward DC to provide community-based, short-term family housing. The Horizon, a four-story building in Ward 7, provides thirty-five family units, an outdoor playground and recreational area, indoor activity and study spaces, and other amenities for the residents and staff. SGH served as the structural engineer of record (SEOR) for the single-story podium, modular superstructure, and screenwall around the rooftop mechanical equipment.

SGH collaborated with the project team—including the architect of record (Cunningham Quill), the foundation SEOR (Robert Silman Associates), the general contractor (MCN Build), and the modular designer and fabricator (Z Modular)—to design the structure. Highlights of our work include:

  • Designing the steel-framed podium, which supports a vegetative roof, and coordinating the podium framing with the foundation
  • Developing details for supporting the brick facade, curtain wall, rooftop mechanical equipment, and steel-framed screen wall from the modular building structure
  • Coordinating with the modular fabricator and visiting their fabrication plant in Toronto to understand how the steel-framed modules fit together to create a cohesive structure
  • Analyzing the modules’ framing and layout provided by the modular designer and designing the hollow structural sections and connections that form each module
  • Working with the modular fabricator to coordinate the framing with:
    • Size and weight limitations for highway transportation and lifting (picking)
    • Architectural programming, MEP systems, and stair and elevator positioning
  • Providing construction phase services, including reviewing contractor submittals, visiting the site to observe ongoing construction and modular installation, and helping the project team address field conditions

Project Summary



Completion Date


Project Size
New Construction
Specialized Capabilities
Building Design

Key team members

Paul Kassabian
Paul Kassabian
Gillian  Love
Gillian Love
Senior Project Manager