2023 Project of the Year – Detention Winner: Aspen Heights Off Campus Housing

By: Lane Enterprises, Inc.


Introducing Aspen State College, Penn State’s newest off-campus student housing development, designed as a tight knit community tailored to student experience and the new standard for Penn State student living. While there is a corrugated steel pipe (CSP) story to be told here for sure, we’d be remiss if we failed to gape at the new college lifestyle of excitement:

1-5 Bed Apartments
Campus Shuttle Service
Resort Style Pool & Hot Tub
Gameday-Ready Outdoor TV Lounge
Individual Study Pods & Group Study Rooms
Sand Volleyball
24/7 Fitness Center
S’mores-Ready Fire Pit
Gaming Lounges
24/7 Package Pickup
Upscale Dining and Shopping
Recreation, Entertainment, Pubs

The CSP story here reveals an entirely unwanted type of excitement: driver shortages, capacity issues, inflation, shipping delays, increased freight costs, depleted inventory levels, labor shortages and demand peaks.

The story begins in August of 2020 when news of a large CSP project was shared with Lane, as we were asked to budget an underground storage system very similar to a 2014 project we supplied for the same contractor – this one calling for approximately 800 feet of 144-inch fully perforated 5×1 10 gage CSP and a budget of several hundred thousand dollars.

By January of 2021 metal prices were on the rise and the budget swells 30%. By March 2021 the budget grew another 17%. By May 2021 the budget leaped another 57%, which was enough for the owner to backoff and regroup over the next six months.

In December of 2021 the contractor began to inquire about updated costs and lead times with the original concept in place, and much to their dismay the price increased another 13% with a mid to late 2022 delivery. The contractor was now looking at design and material options, but with a constricted footprint large diameter CSP was the only viable solution.

Lane began to explore a design option using 138-inch 12 gage pipe. The reduced thickness was readily available so the cost and lead time could be lessened. Plus, costs associated with perforating 12 gage coil decreased dramatically, along with a lot of unnecessary shipping costs. Also, with the slightly smaller diameter, a direct shipping route could be used with the elimination of a bridge clearance issue. The budget was reduced 19% and the lead time favored a late-summer installation.

Although the design changes generated a lot of updated submittals for engineering review, the 13 8-inch system was eventually approved and a purchase order plus a 50% down payment was secured by mid-May 2022. The installation was completed by August of 2022, but not before a very interested contingent of PSU civil engineering students could view firsthand the beauty of CSP system – a coveted college presentation to boot!