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.
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 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.
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”
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
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”
Located at the busy corner of 5th Avenue and 14th Street in Manhattan, The New School University Center is a vertically-stacked academic and student housing structure that will be the focal point for campus life at The New School.
The 18-story complex contains two below-grade levels and provides space for all aspects of campus life. Housing 10,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, 230,000 square feet of academic space on the first seven floors, and 135,000 square feet of 600-bed student apartments on the remaining nine floors, the structure totals approximately 375,000 gross square feet.
Structural Challenges & Solutions
Several unique architectural features called for creative and integrated structural solutions in this LEED Gold facility. Due to the inherent dissimilarities between the mixed-use dormitory and academic space planning, multiple building zoning set-backs, and a multi-story 700 seat auditorium, a complex series of structural transfers were necessary to accommodate the interface between various programs. Continue reading “The New School University Center: Structural Challenges and Solutions”