New NYU Langone Science Building Highlights Landmark Expansion for One of The World’s Finest Research Centers

New NYU Langone Science Building Highlights Landmark Expansion for One of The World’s Finest Research Centers

Located in New York City, NYU Langone Medical Center has set out to fulfill an ambitious vision: to be a world-class patient-centered integrated academic and research medical center.  The first step towards meeting this goal was to revamp, revise, and reinvigorate the entire campus.  This world-renowned institution, located along the East River and FDR Drive, devised a strategy to accommodate future growth on the main campus and beyond.  The crown jewel of the expansion is the new NYU Langone Science Building featuring a high-tech science and learning research facility.

 

Building Highlights

 

Photo Credit: nyulangone.org

 

Standing tall at 435 East 30th Street, just south of the NYU Joan and Joel Smilow Research Center, the new addition will include over 365,000 square feet of space spread over 15 floors.  Just like the current trend in residential architecture, Ennead Architects utilized an open concept design that will house laboratory space for advancing new research and collaboration.  Some of the other features include: wet laboratory space, core facilities, a new vivarium, conference spaces, and public amenities in a large, but fully-integrated environment.  Due for completion in 2017, the project is moving along swiftly with the facade enclosure skinning the building.  Turner Construction was given the task to manage the construction for this campus facility with R.A. Heintges as the facade consultant.

 

A long-standing trend in the construction industry is to design buildings with lots of natural light.  The campus leadership officials directed the architects and the construction team to make a thought-provoking statement with the facade to inspire students to change the world of medicine.  A striking glass façade was needed to set the tone.  Ennead Architects came up with an innovative design to represent the look of molecular DNA with the curtain wall skin while still providing a high degree of functionality.  That’s where the professionals at W&W Glass came in to make the design a reality.

 

Building Highlights

Photo Credit: http://fieldcondition.com/

 

Due to their years of experience and successful track record, the W&W Glass engineers selected prefabricated unitized curtain wall panels of custom Sotawall® Thermo-3 with integrated spandrel shadow boxes and aluminum carrier frames to hold custom designed laminated glass louver blades.  The louver blades utilize a stainless steel rod substructure, and low-iron laminated glass with a dual print ceramic dot frit pattern on them.  Color provides a dramatic effect on the appearance of the blades as they have white dots when viewed from the exterior and grey dots on the interior/underside.

 

The glass louvers are fastened to the substructure below with countersunk bolts. The blade locations and orientations are designed to help shade occupants in specific areas of the South and East facades receiving the most sun.  They are arranged in a specific pattern to form a picture of a DNA sequence chain from a distance.  The curtain wall system features Bright Silver PPG Duranar® metallic paint on the exterior aluminum framing. The 10-foot 6-inch wide panel modules are very wide to so students and staff can have an uninterrupted view of the East River and lower Manhattan. These units were between 15-feet 4-inches and 18-feet tall and over 26-inches thick.  Many of the panels required special trucking and permits to get them into the city, as they were shipped with the louvers attached.  Once they arrived at site, logistics were a challenge without a true loading dock available. The flatbed trucks had to pull into a closed lane, just off of an access road to FDR South.  Then the tower crane would be used to pick the panels and set them onto the building with W&W installers on the floors above and below.

 

The glazing highlights Viracon high-performance low-iron insulating glass units comprised of VE-13-2M low-e coatings, Argon gas infill, stainless steel spacers, and custom white line frit patterns to provide a unique rhythm to the façade and additional glare control to laboratory occupants. The glass shadow box spandrel areas enhance the open and positive environment with Bright Silver PPG Duracron® metallic painted aluminum metal panels with an inward bend inside to provide additional drama to the façade. Also, the bend in the spandrel panels varies in height depending on the size of the spandrel area giving further articulating and depth.

 

 

Building Highlights

Photo Credit: http://fieldcondition.com/

 

The glass and aluminum rich facade isn’t all for show.  It has been designed to incorporate green design approaches and sustainable technologies targeting to achieve a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

 

This project reinforces NYU Langone’s longstanding reputation and core strength of being a leader in advanced biomedical research.  This modern building will be one more arrow in the quill of NYU School of Medicine in attracting and retaining the best scientific and medical recruits for years to come.  Since there is a significant increase projected in new biological research over the next five years, it will be critical for them to get this project completed to continue their mission.  According to the leadership team at NYU, this is the most ambitious revitalization in NYU Langone’s history. For renderings and more information, click here.

 

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.

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.

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