Category: Structural Solutions

Material Selection and Structural Sustainability

Material Selection and Structural Sustainability

While the green building movement continues to rapidly gain steam, building owners, architects, engineers and contractors have adapted their best practices to the ever-evolving sustainable design standards. A large part of this movement has been the LEED Green Building Rating System, introduced by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The program recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices, and certifies buildings that save money and resources, have a positive impact on the health of occupants, and promotes renewable, clean energy. The approach of the sustainable structural engineer starts with the materials selected for construction, namely concrete, masonry, steel and wood.

Continue reading “Material Selection and Structural Sustainability”

Engineering Challenges of the Luxury Condo Boom

Engineering Challenges of the Luxury Condo Boom

2015 is shaping up to be the biggest year for new condominium developments since 2007. At least 6,500 new condo units are expected to open below 96th street, the New York Times reported. New York is not alone, as cities like Miami experiencing their own luxury condo surge. DeSimone Consulting Engineers has risen to meet this boom embarking on a series of notable residential projects including: Vornado Realty Trust’s 950-foot building at 220 Central Park South, designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects and SLCE Architects, with interiors by the Office of Thierry W. Despont; 50 West by Helmut Jahn and SLCE Architects; 100 East 53rd Street designed with Foster+Partners and SLCE Architects; and 1000 Museum in Miami designed by Zaha Hadid.

In the changing market, competition is fiercer than ever. The starchitects of these revolutionary projects require innovative engineers to bring their unique designs to fruition. With impressive details in design, each building offers a distinct style, and with it, special engineering challenges. Continue reading “Engineering Challenges of the Luxury Condo Boom”

DeSimone’s Top Sustainable Building Projects

DeSimone’s Top Sustainable Building Projects

DeSimone fully promotes sustainability within our built environment. We strive to minimize our impact on the environment by endorsing sustainable and conservation ideals throughout all of our operations. We are proud to be a U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) National Member organization and to have worked on numerous projects which have gained LEED Certification.

Here some of our best sustainable projects, which have gone above and beyond in delivering environmentally-conscious features in residential towers, offices, government buildings, and more.

The Visionaire

Project: The Visionaire

Location: New York, NY

Certification: LEED Platinum

The Visionaire is Battery Park City’s most environmentally responsive residential building. The 35-​story tower is a mixed-use development including 250 condominiums, a local organic market, and headquarters for the Parks Conservancy.

This building won top honors in the 2008 Green Building Competition for New York City. Continue reading “DeSimone’s Top Sustainable Building Projects”

Building on the High Line: The Rise of HL 23

Building on the High Line: The Rise of HL 23

Located on 23rd Street in Manhattan’s West Chelsea District, HL 23 sits next to and under the High Line historic railway district, which bisects the site. Completed in 2010, this project contains 14 floors and 42,000 square feet of ultra-luxury residential space with generous ceiling heights and expansive column-free zones, as well as 3,585 square feet of street level gallery space and an elevated terrace/garden area.

The HL 23 project is a testament to the versatility and beauty of steel and showcases the ability of the Owner, Architect, Structural Engineer, and Contractors to work together for inventive solutions in a unique site.

Innovative Aspects of the Project

Rendering: Neil M. Denari Architects

The site is 40-by-49 feet at the ground floor. The floor plate of the building, which is smaller at the base than at the top, owes its uniqueness to the existing elevated exposed Highline Railway, which was retrofitted into a city park facility. The primary steel structure is clad with a mega-panel glass and stainless steel curtain wall system. The glass mega panel system is located on the North, South and part of the East facades, with the remainder of the East façade clad with an all stainless steel system. Continue reading “Building on the High Line: The Rise of HL 23”

United States’ First Truly Twisting Towers

United States’ First Truly Twisting Towers

Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Grove at Grand Bay, the first truly twisting buildings in the United States, will be an iconic residential project located at the former site of the Grand Bay Hotel in Miami. Grove at Grand Bay features two towers rising 20 stories above a lush landscaped two-story podium. The two towers are low density with 98 spacious custom homes featuring 12-foot high ceilings and 14-foot deep balconies. In order to capture the full panoramic views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline, the architect rotated the towers incrementally along the height for a total rotation of 38 degrees.

Site constraints required a square footprint for the base of the south tower. The floor plate increases in length as the building twists maximizing the sellable area. The north tower footprint remains a constant rectangle throughout its height. When completed, these towers will be the first LEED Gold-certified residential buildings in Miami-Dade County.

Building Movement

Building movement was another challenge to address, especially before Continue reading “United States’ First Truly Twisting Towers”