Back to the Future Works for Columbia Science Building

Back to the Future Works for Columbia Science Building

Sometimes looking to the past helps provide insight into the right solution. This especially applies when old buildings are in the way. Columbia University recognized they had a need for additional space for scientific instruction and research facilities on its Morningside Campus at 120th and Broadway. The answer for the University meant building a new, modern building that would house 21 cutting-edge laboratories for researchers in biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering. The labs were planned to maximize flexibility and have the ability to house vibration-sensitive equipment for the revolutionary work being performed there. Due to the construction that was taking place at the Manhattanville Campus to the north, the new building would also provide a link to the old campus for pedestrian traffic.

 

Columbia Science Building

 

Photo Credit: profesionpeligrosa.blogspot.com

 

World-renowned Spanish architect Jose Rafael Moneo determined very early on that the new building should respect the original campus design intent. The final design for the new science building has its origins in the historic campus plan designed by McKim, Mead and White for Columbia University in 1897. The new facility houses communal research facilities for both biological sciences and nanotechnology including cold rooms, sterilizing rooms, and clean rooms. It also has a library, lecture hall, and café.

 

On the surface, this would not seem like a complicated project. It is a 14-story structure holding seven research laboratory floors, an integrated science library, and a medium-sized 164 seat lecture hall. But this project has a couple of significant twists. The principal design challenge was to develop fluid connections between street traffic and the campus. However, the campus is  located 30 feet higher up from the street on a building site dominated by the presence of an existing structure, the Francis S. Levien Gymnasium. The majority of the new building actually needed to cantilever over topof the gym, leaving only about 65-square feet of space available to fit elevators, mechanical systems, complex steel connections at the base. Moneo decided the entire east face should be entirely glass, with the exception of its connection with Pupin Hall, where louvered aluminum panels are used. This arrangement displays the indoor activity to the rest of the campus, an effect that the architect compared to a beehive. The lab side of the building on the west (on the street facing side) features diagonally louvered opaque panels, dispersed with intermittent horizontal glass curtain wall banding shaded by aluminum louvers from late day sun. This area is more private for laboratory activities and equipment. There is also a pocket of curtain wall wrapping the upper corner as it turns to the north to help accent the metal-heavy facade. The podium area features a stone base for contrast. The double-story curtain wall at the cafe on the north elevation brings plenty of light in without the need for shading devices due to its orientation.

 

Columbia Science Building

 

Photo Credit: http://www.turnerconstruction.com/experience/project/8CD/columbia-university-northwest-corner-building

 

Moneo’s cladding concept for the facade is integrally linked to the building’s structural steel system. The structure is designed as one giant truss with both internal and external diagonal bracing elements. Many members were spaced out to allow less interruptions within the lab spaces. This required large amount of steel towards the exterior of the building. There would be a delicate balance of metal and glass required to expose or conceal these members. The outer appearance needed to be inviting to the general public, but enclosed enough to foster innovation between researchers and students. This composition speaks both to the artist and the engineer. The architect of record Davis Brody Bond and Turner Construction needed to work with an expert to make sure the elements could be seamlessly incorporated into high-performance, weather-tight assemblies so they turned to W&W Glass.

 

The glaziers and engineers at W&W Glass determined that that a Sotawall® HYBRID-WALL® unitized curtain wall system with integrated Zahner custom louvered metal panels would be the best solution. Sotawall® was chosen for their experience in the pre-glazed, unitized curtain wall fabrication business. Zahner was the natural choice for their technology and design flexibility in precision metal cladding system fabrication.

 

The distinguishing feature of Sotawall® HYBRID-WALL® is its ability to install between floor slabs like that of a standard window wall, while maintaining the superior performance of a pre-glazed, unitized curtain wall. This allowed the system to be installed with greater adjustment tolerances using field drilled anchors in lieu of embeds in concrete. It also kept the stand-off distance from the building slabs to a minimum with notched out mullions in the spandrel areas. The shop-fabricated system was instrumental to make sure all of the anchor points for the louvered panels were shop applied before coming out to the job site. Turner had to carefully coordinate trucking deliveries to a tight job site and installation in intricate three-day work cycles with two rigs suspended from the roof chasing each other around the building for W&W’s ironworkers to anchor the system into place. This process took six months to complete the facade.

 

Columbia Science Building

 

Photo Credit: aiacommitteeondesign.wordpress.com

 

Not only is this sophisticated structure appealing, it’s also very efficient. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded Columbia University’s Northwest Corner Building the LEED® Gold certification.  LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification provides third-party verification that a building or community has been designed and built to meet key areas of environmental and human health, including energy efficiency, materials selection, and water savings.

 

This LEED® Gold certification is particularly noteworthy due to the large number of laboratories in the 14-story building. Typically, laboratories consume a great deal of energy so the design team created thoughtful solutions for conserving resources, including centralized heat recovery of laboratory air systems, a fast-response variable air volume system, and controls coordination withhigh-performance fume hoods. Furthermore, the design elements meet Labs21® criteria, a voluntary partnership program dedicated to improving the environmental performance of U.S. laboratories.

 

W&W Glass, LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

Gates Hall: Creativity Fit for Any Mind… or Computer!

It isn’t a steel and glass homage to Fenway Park’s famous “Green Monster” in left field, even though it overlooks Cornell University’s Hoy Field baseball diamond.  That being said, every Cornell University “Big Red” fan on the four-level building’s south side gets a season-ticket view from their 160-square-foot offices.  Between games, first-year CIS Ph.D. students get the best view of all – northwestward across campus to a sunset-lit Cayuga Lake.

 

Welcome to Cornell University’s Gates Hall Computing and Information Science (CIS) Building, the home of cutting-edge computer technology.  It’s not a coincidence that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who donated $25 Million for this latest campus addition, has their name on this building.  Since information sciences is a highly creative and innovative field, the University wanted a nontraditional design to inspire faculty and students alike.  Curved lines intersecting with linear angles and lots of glass and light were paramount – not just in the common, collaborative spaces but also in every office, lab, and teaching space.  It was critical that everyone who works in computer computation and graphics have bright, open spaces where ideas can flow.

 

Gates Hall

 

Photo Credit: www.ykkap.com

 

Morphosis’ design director and Pritzker Architecture Prize-winner, Thom Mayne, paid close attention to address the University’s needs.  Early in the design process, began in 2012, he promised CIS faculty and students a space “to capture and express the dynamic and transformative power of the discipline it houses.”  $42 million worth of construction later, general contractor Welliver (formerly Welliver McGuire Inc.) and a skilled cast of subcontractors, including one of the nation’s leading glazing contractors W&W Glass, completed the project in late 2014.

 

W&W Glass was part of the design-assist team to help optimize materials and details with the project team to make sure the University and architect got what they wanted within budget. W&W used Erie Architectural Products’ custom structurally-glazed, high-performance unitized curtain wall with outriggers connected directly into steel within the vertical aluminum mullions to support custom perforated metal panel systems supplied by Zahner. Upon closer inspection from inside, the panels function as more than just an exterior decorative screen.  While remaining very transparent, they still provide shading for occupants from the sun and also some foul ball protection due to the close proximity to the field.  This is just one of dozens of green design features that are expected to help the building earn a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) “Gold” rating.

 

Gates Hall

 

Photo Credit: www.azahner.com

 

The professionals at W&W Glass had to be just as creative and inventive as the future students and faculty.  The high-performance, structurally-glazed thermally-broken curtain wall system consisted of roughly 600 unitized frames and 35,000-square-feet of glass. The prefabricated unitized curtain wall system was erected first, with anchor plates and panel assemblies being installed onto the facade in the field afterwards. The main challenge with the system was in the design and coordination of connections and panel assemblies. Zahner and W&W worked very close with the architect to make sure the panels did not overlap and run into each other. Zahner did an excellent job of helping to rationalize the panel assemblies to reduce variations to a limited number of panel sizes with most modifications kept to stand-off lengths and angle of tilt on the panels.  Some other scope areas that posed challenges were the serpentine curved insulating glass eye-shaped entrance and the offset cylindrical interior digitally-printed structural glass wall. The curved entrance had to be laid out very carefully to accommodate the proper splay with patterned-shaped insulating glass units. The orange fritted laminated glass cylinder was four-sided silicone butt-glazed like other walls inside, but presented an engineering challenge for layout.  W&W used Rhino modeling software to help better understand the complex shapes that need to be fabricated. Since this was a Design-Assist project, W&W worked together very closely with the project team and vendors to try and resolve many conflicts up front before there were issues in the field. This was imperative to the success of the project.

 

“It’s our job to inspire students. Bill and Melinda Gates Hall is a real game-changer for Cornell’s Information Science Department,” said Haym Hirsh, Dean of the Faculty of Computing and Information Science.  “Being in one location will facilitate research collaboration – and expand and strengthen the educational experience that we provide our students.”  When people think about innovative, but functional architecture utilizing high-performance glazing systems, W&W Glass, LLC seems to shine through with custom design solutions.  W&W and Morphosis are teaming up again on their next Cornell University project at the new Cornell NYC Tech campus’ First Academic Building on Roosevelt Island. Stay tuned for more details in the future.

 

Gates Hall

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

The Glass Makes it Clear to See The Continental is Stunning

To some New Yorkers, The Continental tower will always be known as “Tower 111.” It was originally named Tower 111 while on the books for many years, aptly named after the developer Tower 111, LLC, before changing officially to The Continental during the 2008 financial collapse. The tower occupies the southeast corner of Avenue of the Americas and 32nd Street, located at 855 Sixth Avenue, overlooking Greeley and Herald Squares.  The building serves as a mixed-use building consisting of a 5-story podium stepping back to 48-stories of luxury rental apartments.  The 53-story tower has 31,000-square feet of retail space, one floor of offices, and 338 rental units. This 554-foot tall, modernist building was completed in 2011.  In order to make The Continental stand out from the pack, design architect Costas Kondylis + Partners decided to go with a distinct all glass exterior facade, infrequently seen in this area for residential buildings.

 

The Glass Makes

 

The architects and contractor Bovis Lend Lease LMB, Inc. knew it would take special expertise to install massive high quality unitized curtain wall on this large project.  That is why they chose one of the most well-known architectural glass facade experts in the business – W&W Glass.

 

W&W Glass put their years of expertise in NYC design and construction to use by constructing a Sotawall™ Hybrid-Wall™ curtain wall system. This project utilized 182,000-square-feet of unitized curtainwall panelized into 4,330 prefabricated frames.  The exterior skin features 10′ tall floor-to-ceiling windows and thin vertical mullions.  Panels were set from each floor onto anchors bolted to the top of the concrete slabs allowing for better tolerance, thereby eliminating the need for embed coordination and installation.  Structurally-glazed zero-sightline windows and spandrel glass were integrated into the panels to create a weather-tight, comprehensive system.

 

The Glass Makes

 

There is no shortage of expansive views of the city skyline and bountiful amenities to fulfill the desires of all tenants at this prime address.  The Continental stands out in a neighborhood of brick and precast concrete.

 

W&W Glass, LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

Architecture at Large Baccarat Project Feature

What does a facade say about a business within? How can glass translate to a brand identity? Founder of Architecture at Large, Rafael de Cárdenas answers all of these questions and more in a beautifully written piece by The Architect’s Newspaper covering the Baccarat project W&W Glass completed.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Architecture at Large

 

Located on Madison Avenue in New York City, this 2,800 sq. ft. flagship opened ahead of Baccarat’s 250th year anniversary. This iconic brand required a little something outside the box for the occasion. “One of the most difficult techniques in the cutting of crystal is the diamond cut,” said Rafael de Cárdenas,  “and one of the key attributes that sets Baccarat apart from their competition is the level of intricacy to their cuts.” These cuts created a shifting image for visitors to the flagship store.

 

Find more details about this unique Pilkington Planar™ project by reading the full blog!

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Architecture at Large

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

New York Build 2016 Convention

If You Are In Construction In New York, Then You Need To Attend New York Build 2016.

                  

 
 

Where can you go to find out about where the $35 Billion of annual New York construction money is being spent and on what?  The only place you can find all of this info in one place is at the 2016 New York Build Exposition and Conference, March 7th – 8th. W&W Glass, LLC is proud to support New York Build 2016 because it will bring together the leading contractors, developers, planners, engineers, architects, and dozens more key stakeholders to discuss the latest investment opportunities, development plans, and milestones for construction in New York City and New York State.

 

The event will feature two full days of presentations at the NYC Javits Center with CPE accredited workshops from government/construction industry experts, key stakeholders and business partners, covering the latest developments, opportunities, and strategies in the region’s construction industry.

 

 

 
 

Visiting the New York Build expo is the best way to keep current with the latest developments in New York’s booming construction sector. Attendees will find out about the latest construction projects, plans, products, and solutions. Everyone will benefit from the extensive networking opportunities with industry peers, and a chance to approach senior level executives from a large number of local and international companies to ensure key people will stay at the top of their field.

 

This event truly showcases leading engineers, suppliers, and main contractors in New York’s construction industry like Thornton Tomasetti, Vidaris, Gilbane, Structure Tone and Hunter Roberts Construction Group.  Over 150 exhibitors will conduct demonstrations, answer questions, and provide valuable information to all levels of professionals in the construction industry – with specific emphasis on the opportunities and challenges presented in New York.

 

Across 2 days of conference sessions and training workshops, there will be headline-making talks from Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, U.S Green Building Council, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Hunter Robert Construction Group, Structure Tone and many more key industry thought leaders.

 

The 2016 New York Build Expo offers 22 FREE CPE Accredited training workshops to all visitors. All workshop attendees will be provided with a CPE certificate within 28 working days after the expo, to mark towards their professional development and portfolios. This is no ordinary trade show.

 

As a special feature for attendees looking to get face time with executive decision makers, there are six Meet the Buyer sessions over both days. These impactful sessions will provide all VIP attendees with a unique platform for extensive networking and business exchange. Each session will kick off with a 10 minute keynote presentation from a leading industry body, followed by a panel of construction experts discussing the latest innovations, developments, and opportunities across each sector. Meet the Buyer sessions being conducted are: Meet the Architects, Meet the Engineers, Meet the Contractors, Meet the Government Agencies, and Meet the Developers. Meet the Buyer sessions are an invitation-only event and will be attended by leading companies operating in New York.

 

Just a small sample of attendee titles and specialties are:

 

 

 

Register before January 31st for your complimentary New York Build ticket and to receive a FREE New York Construction Report on DVD (usual price $995)

 

 

 
 

The New York Build 2016 will be recording many of the conference presentations and workshops. These will then be added to DVD’s and USB’s to create the most informative and in-depth guide ever to the New York Build construction industry!

 

 

Copies of the DVD / USB will be on sale for $995 each, however there are 2,000 copies to give away FREE to the next 2,000 people who register before the event (registrations muhttps://www.eiseverywhere.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=118519&st be made before January 31st). It is free to register for New York Build and you must then attend New York Build to be able to claim your prize. All DVD’s and USB’s will be posted the week after New York Build in March 2016. To register, click here!

 

 

 
 

All of us at W&W Glass believe this is a truly unique opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from each other.  We encourage you to attend and come meet the industry experts, some of the state’s most talented professionals in the construction and design industry today.

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

Behind the Glass: 21 West End Avenue (Riverside Center Building Two)

As the skyline of New York City continues to evolve and change, our construction techniques do as well. We’re completing work on 21 West End Avenue (Riverside Center Building Two) located at Riverside South – Riverside Center. Unlike Hudson Yards, which was built above an active railyard, the Riverside Center projects are being built atop a former railyard. The eight-acre parcel on the upper west side will include a variety of housing complexes, retail centers, and restaurant establishments. We recently completed another building at Riverside South called One Riverside Park (Riverside South Building K1).

 

21 West End Avenue will be a mix of market-rate luxury rental apartments, affordable housing units, retail space, and a public school. The client is the Dermot Company, Inc., and SLCE is the architect. The podium curtain wall and punched windows were designed and supplied by Erie Architectural Products, Inc. with 1-⅜-inch glass manufactured by Viracon and installed by W&W Glass. The project broke ground in early 2014 with an expected completion date during the summer of 2016.

 

 
 

Above, you can see the custom Sotawall® HYBRID-WALL® system panels, with 1-⅜-inch Viracon insulating glass units, being installed. This gives the building a classy, sharp aesthetic that defines recent trends in skyscraper design.

 

This project was unique because the top four rows of curtain wall at the crown of the building do not have any floor slabs to work off of (as you can see in the picture, there are only concrete beams creating a skeleton). This required unique staging and installation applications. In order to complete the project, a custom monorail had to be created, designed by Greg Beeche (GBL) and installed by W&W Glass. It follows the profile of the building and was used to complete the installation of upper rows on all all four sides all the way up to its peak.

 

 
   
 
 

Below is a photo of the facade nearing completion, rising above the Upper West Side of New York City. Notice how the facade goes all the way to the top of the building. W&W Glass was chosen for the project because of our ability to find solutions to unique challenges like 21 West End Avenue (Riverside Center Building Two). The world of glass is always updating and changing, and we keep up by using innovative technology to achieve the client’s goals.

 

 

    

 

 

Keep an eye on our website and social media outlets for continued updates on this and other projects we are working on at Riverside Center, as well as all the other monumental projects throughout the New York City area.

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

Flagship Microsoft Store NYC Unveiling

W&W Glass is proud to have worked on the facade for the new flagship Microsoft Store in New York City, which officially saw its grand opening on October 26th, 2015. 

 
 

 

Located at 677 Fifth Avenue, the new flagship location features a cutting edge design that reflects the new era of technology from Microsoft. We worked closely with the architect, Gensler, as well as construction manager JT Magen, structural engineer Gilsanz Murray Steficek, and façade consultant Thornton Thomasetti. Glass was fabricated by Agnora and the stainless steel t-shapes and rods were manufactured by Tripyramid Structures. The sliding doors were provided by Blasi and the sealants from Dow Corning.

 

The facade uses high tension, high strength horizontal cables to support the jumbo sized glass that is structurally silicone-glazed to custom stainless steel flat profile t-shaped mullions. These large glass lites pushed the scale of what we’ve accomplished with other cable tension facades before, with glass sizes of 20-foot wide by 10-foot tall. All of our fabricators required a refinement of their manufacturing processes to get the components exactly per the project specifications. Our experience in working with these systems allowed us to rise to the challenge of designing and installing a system this complex.

 

 


 

 

It was extremely important that we completed the project in time for the grand opening on October 26th. A project of this size usually takes fourteen months, and we successfully compressed that to nine in order to fit within the timeline for opening. This was in part due to our close proximity to the jobsite for quick response, being located just outside New York City, as well as our experienced team that has worked on many cable tension facade systems over the years.

 

This opening coincides with the recent product lineup release of Microsoft’s Surface Book and Surface Pro 4. We were able to provide the tech company a facade that reflects the cutting edge design of their new technology by using clean, elegant lines. It was imperative that the entrance was large and transparent in order to show off the products inside. Even the thin stainless steel plate beam door portal area had to be minimal and have a seamless transition to the glass above. 

 

 

        
 
 

Aside from ability to meet the condensed schedule, W&W Glass was chosen for this building due to our extensive portfolio of high quality entrance and tension structure projects we have completed. Our work on 650 Madison Ave1290 Avenue of the Americas, and the Microsoft Iconic Entrance in Cambridge, Massachusetts were all great examples of a similar quality of work.

 

The unveiling of the Microsoft Store was held on October 26th, 2015. This coincided with the launch of their new line of tablets and entertainment devices, which drew a large crowd that lined down Fifth Avenue. People filtered into the store throughout the day, drawn in by the 20-by-40-foot electronic screen prominently displaying digital art through the glass facade.

 

 

 
 

With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, be sure to check out the Microsoft Store on Fifth Avenue between 53rd and 54th Street. Don’t forget to take notice of the transparent facade that gives you such a good window to what’s inside!

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

What is a Facade Retrofit?

Building facades don’t always age gracefully. Over the years cracks can appear in concrete, leaks can arise due to damaged silicone joints and glazing gaskets, metals rust, and building maintenance can become much more expensive due to rising operating costs and poor energy efficiency of outdated systems. More often than not, some of this energy inefficiency can be attributed to old non-thermally broken steel or aluminum curtain wall systems. The same can be said for older glazing that may be monolithic or insulating glass without high performance low-e coatings. If these aren’t enough reasons for building owners to consider their options of facade replacement or complete demolition and building new, there is also the pressure to try to attract new tenants or to increase rent by modernization of an antiquated looking exterior (in addition to adding amenities and interior upgrades) to meet current design trends and client needs. If the rest of the project’s structure is sound and intact, it may be a prime candidate for a facade retrofit. In this blog, we will look at the reasons to consider a retrofit for office buildings and the process behind it.

 

 
 
330 Madison Ave. before the façade retrofit.
 
There are a few main reasons why a building might benefit from a facade retrofit. These retrofits can provide new life to a building as shown in the before and after photos of 330 Madison Avenue. In most cases, fixing the current facade is not an option. The systems are obsolete and beyond repair. The building may have air and moisture leakage issues and may not have acceptable thermal or acoustical performance that meets today’s standards. This could cost more money in operating/maintenance costs to the owner and tenants. A reclad will not only fix these problems, but also allow the building to still be fully operational with minimal disruption to tenants. This ensures that the owner can still keep the space occupied, bringing in revenue while the update is taking place, without having to shut down for a long period of time. 
 
 

 
 
Left: 330 Madison Ave. façade retrofit in progress. Right: Completion of the retrofit.
 
 
Full building demolition can be costly and very difficult with larger buildings in major cities. The demolition process can be slow and potentially dangerous when dismantling the entire structure in a tight lot. Also, the timeline to build new can be two to four years from concept design until the new project is complete for occupancy. This means that the owner can’t make income from the property for a long time. Recladding can be a great alternative solution.

 

Sometimes an older building just needs a new look in order to attract new clients or catch up with the times. Retrofitting allows old projects to look brand new to attract higher-paying tenants willing to sign a long-term lease. Our work at 100 Park Avenue in New York City is a great example of a commercial building reclad that used a high performance unitized curtain wall system to do just that.

 

 

 

 

Facade retrofits allow for a wide range of materials and visual design language to be incorporated into the new exterior enclosure. Many times, owners or development teams are required to file for a zoning variance to allow for the new façade to encroach further out over the property line. This variance can be helpful in the creation of a more prominent, deep facade or due to the fact that the old facade may need to remain in place during the installation of the new building skin over top. The unitized curtain walls installed during the reclad can often include infills such as terracotta, stone, custom insulated panels, or metal plate in various finishes to completely change the look of the building. 

 

Architectural designs for facade retrofits are developed based on the premise of fitting new high performance curtain wall and window systems within existing building conditions. Sometimes old architectural and structural drawings aren’t always accurate, so some demolition probes are done to find the exact locations of main structural components. Retrofits require close coordination between the design team and the glazing subcontractor to make sure the system can be installed and sufficiently anchored off the current structure.     

 

Unitized curtain wall system panels for the reclad will include fire-rated spandrel or shadow box assemblies. Panels are shop fabricated to control quality and expedite installation time on site. Meanwhile, holes are demoed back to structure through the current façade for new anchors to be attached. The building will then be reclad top to bottom or bottom to top depending on the installation sequence required for the panels.

 
 
 
 
Once the building reclad is weathertight, the interior demolition can begin. In this stage, the contractor either takes out vision area glazing and curtain wall or puts in new operable windows depending on the type of system. Fire safing of areas at each slab level must be put in between the systems, and interior closure metal may be installed to cover the space between the old and new facade head and sill at each floor slab.

Again, all of this demolition and installation can often be completed while the building is still fully or partially occupied. The goal is to be as accommodating as possible to limit disruption during normal working hours of the current tenants. This often means most of the work is done during the early morning or at night.

 

It’s also important to understand the logistics and structural design tolerances of a facade reclad on a project to project basis. For example, a site like 655 Madison Avenue may be more difficult to work on if there are other buildings and roads within close proximity. They can make it difficult for deliveries to be made and material to be staged for installation. Accommodating higher live load slab deflections can also be problematic depending on when the building was designed due to the added weight of another facade on the columns and beams.

 

Facade retrofits are a great choice for projects that need renovation due to energy performance or simply need a new look to draw in new businesses. They are an efficient solution that can keep your building operational and can make your building look great without the expenditures of complete demolition and reconstruction. If you think your next project could be a facade retrofit, feel free to contact us and we’d be glad to help you out! 

 

NEW FAÇADE RETROFIT PROJECT ANNOUNCEMENT!

 

Recently, W&W Glass was awarded the reclad/repositioning of the iconic Time-Life Building at 1271 Avenue of the Americas at Rockefeller Center by Turner Construction Company. The 48-story building, previously designed by Harrison, Abramovitz, & Harris, was built in 1959. World-renowned architect Pei Cobb Freed is the design architect for this complete renovation. World-renowned architect Pei Cobb Freed & Partners is the design architect for this complete renovation.

 

Our installation scope will include 430,000 square foot of Sotawall® unitized curtain wall, Erie Architectural Products Enviro/Facades™ custom-fabricated storefront systems and new all glass entrances. More info is to come, so please stay tuned for future updates.

 

 
 
 
 
W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

Behind the Glass: 605 3rd Avenue

W&W Glass is proud to announce that another unique project is well under way located at 605 3rd Avenue.  This NYC office building is home to many corporate tenants in the heart of midtown Manhattan. W&W Glass was awarded the contract from Plaza Construction to renovate the tall lobby entrance and interior glass of this prestigious building owned by Fisher Brothers.


This new exterior enclosure, designed and engineered by facade consultant William Laufs of LaufsED, is a fully custom point-supported structurally glazed system. Unlike traditional point-supported glass that can utilize more standard components, this system required every element to be manufactured specifically for this project. The hardware to connect the fins to the structure, stainless steel patch fittings to connect the face glass to the fins, and perimeter channel framing had to be made to exact specifications.
One of the most challenging aspects, however, was procurement and installation of the oversized jumbo low-iron insulating glass units and low-iron tempered fins. These products had to be sourced in Europe to meet the design team’s size and quality specifications.

 

 
 
Recently, we set the 5’4” x 23’ tall low-iron insulating glass units onto the low-iron tempered fins. Check out this video of one of the large glass lites being lifted up and rotated into place in the facade opening!
 
 


 

Each lite of face glass was installed with over twelve men, multiple scissor lifts, vacuum cups, and overhead chain fall hoisting equipment. The glass was brought to the site as needed each day and had to be stored inside the work area, due to an active sidewalk on 3rd Avenue out front, leaving little room for staging. Moving glass can be easy when you have a lot of space for equipment, but more often than not on projects in major cities like NYC, you end up using some muscle… a lot of it in fact. As a result, precision coordination by the W&W installation team was paramount to safely set the fins and face glass.

 

 


 

In addition to the structural glass walls, we are also supplying two revolving doors with a center all glass swing door in between that will be installed below 15’2” tall insulating glass units on both sides of the lobby entrance areas.

 

 
 
Above, you can see the project lobby and corridors that have been finished with black mirrored glass. This same treatment will be applied to the interior of the new enclosed lobby space with the addition of custom tapered bronze paneling. There will also be a unique feature for guests at the end of the hallway.  A viewing porthole in the wall will thrill curious guests as they look through to see a “kaleidoscope” artwork piece.
 

Make sure to keep an eye on our LinkedIn and Google+ pages as we continue to bring updates, photos, and videos from this top notch renovation. How do you think it’s coming along so far?

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

 

10 Hudson Yards: Project Update #2

10 Hudson Yards Cable Wall Progress:

 

A lot can change in a few months! Since our last update, our work at 10 Hudson Yards has made tremendous progress. The Coach Atrium cables have been fully tensioned and the fittings and glass have been installed. Caulking between the glass panels has begun. Check out the photos and descriptions below to see how it’s been done.

 

 

 

Here you can see glaziers on a swing stage platform in front of the Coach Atrium wall. Look at those crisp reflections of the surrounding buildings in the glass! Really sharp! Up to this point, the fittings and glass have been installed onto the tension cables that secure the 207 foot tall facade in place. The workers are preparing to caulk the facade joints with silicone for the final weather seal.

 

 
 
 
This image shows a close up of one of the stainless steel cast patch fittings that the glass is set on connected back to a Galfan link locked tension cable. With loads this big, stainless steel cable was not an option due to limitations in stainless cable diameter/strength available. Also, the designers decided not to use drilled glass; instead, it is clamped in place at the corners to allow a specific amount of flexibility and rotation in the patch thereby allowing glass lites to safely deflect with the cable over the spans between structural members. In the case of the Coach Atrium wall, there were kickers tying back at every vertical cable to the horizontal steel beams at every two floors (roughly every 27 feet). Pilkington Planar™ systems often allow designers the opportunity to customize hardware to meet project-specific aesthetic and performance requirements as shown by the patch fittings on 10 Hudson Yards.
 
 
 
 
This picture shows the tensioned cables on the lobby facade ready to be fitted with glass panels. This facade runs along a section of the High Line, the elevated park located on the West Side of Manhattan.
 
 
 
 
A worker caulks the space in between laminated glass panels on the Coach Atrium wall. This operation requires someone on the inside and outside of every lite of the facade to tape off the glass and make sure both sides are sealed evenly as the silicone bead is installed. After the joint is filled, the workers then tool the joints with spatulas and remove the tape to reveal a clean, smooth joint.
 
 

 
 

This is a shot from below of the entire Coach Atrium wall complete with glass and hardware. Notice the difference from last month when only the tension cables were in place. The glass has been clamped onto the properly tensioned cables that are connected to the surrounding boundary structure that supports hundreds of thousands of pounds of tension needed to sustain the system.

 

Dubbed the largest construction project of its kind, the Hudson Yards project masterplan will include over 16 skyscrapers and 17,4400,000 sqft of office, residential and retail space stretched across twenty-eight acres on the Far West Side. We’re proud to be a part of this project and are excited to bring you more updates as the project moves forward!

Next month, stay tuned for our update on setting the face glass and entrance portals for the lobby walls. Keep an eye on our LinkedIn company page and blogs for more exciting project examples and updates!

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

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