The 3 Most Common Types of Mid-Rise Construction

01 July 2019

Mid-rise construction is generally considered to be any construction project from 4-12 stories. These projects have been gaining popularity across the U.S. due to their cost-efficiency and versatility and as a result of growing demand in recent years.

As a mid-rise developer and contractor for over 25 years, Focus is well versed in this form of construction. We’re here to introduce you to the 3 primary forms of mid-rise construction, their benefits, and more:

What is Mid-Rise Construction?

As stated before, mid-rise construction is any construction project ranging from 4-12 stories. Due to their relatively moderate height, these buildings are often home to a versatile selection of occupancies, although they can stand alone for one purpose. From office spaces to residential properties, mid-rise construction is extremely versatile.

On top of this, mid-rise construction generally allows for more flexibility and innovation in terms of building methods. High-rise construction is relatively homogenous in the structural approach taken by builders due to cost efficiencies that emerge with materials like concrete and steel after a certain height. On the other hand, mid-rise construction does not enjoy the economics of scale which high-reside building does and as a result, we have seen a significant rise in the number of new building technologies being applied to this size building.

3 Major Forms of Mid-Rise Construction

Generally, when speaking of mid-rise construction, there are 3 primary forms discussed. Each has key advantages and works well with different types of projects.

Tuck-Under or Walk-Up

The tuck-under or walk-up form of mid-rise construction is the least compact form and is, therefore, most often developed in suburbs where space is not a large concern. This form generally has the lowest density rate amongst types of mid-rise construction.

Tuck-under construction usually consists of 3 stories with a garage “tucked in” below. This “tucked in” garage allows for parking while optimizing space used. This construction form is the least expensive due to minimal excavation and the common use of wood throughout construction.


Wrap-around construction consists of a multi-story structure centralized around a multi-story concrete parking garage. This residential or commercial structure is often built from wood making it a cost-efficient option but still more expensive than tuck-under construction. This form of construction provides a unique enclosed and centralized parking structure offering a visual appeal not seen in other forms of mid-rise construction.

The recently developed Atworth at Mellody Farm is a great example of a wrap-style building completed by Focus. This seven-acre residential project offers compact residential housing with an indoor parking garage with direct access to all floors.


Podium construction is developed with multiple levels of light-frame construction which is then stacked on top of one to two levels of a differing kind of construction style. This mid-rise construction form often utilizes concrete as a building material with the top tier of the multi-tier format, which is constructed from concrete, being utilized as a fire separation.

Podium construction offers extremely high density with common layouts consisting of 4-5 residential stories and retail and commercial use facilities below. 2340 California, a recent podium style building completed by the Focus construction team, features a first-floor (commercial) podium steel frame and concrete deck and five floors above (residential) with structural light-gauge metal and concrete decks poured over metal decking.

Each construction form is suited for different projects depending on requirements and goals. For help deciding which is best for you or mid-rise construction needs, reach out to Focus today!

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