Due for completion this year, the Cornell Tech campus going up on Roosevelt Island in New York is edging closer to seeing the world's tallest Passive House building erected. The building in question is a 270-foot-tall (26-story) residential tower that will house roughly 350 units for students and save 882 tons of CO2 per year relative to standard construction—the same as planting 5,300 new trees. I got the chance to speak with Blake Middleton, FAIA, of Handel Architects, the New York–based architecture firm behind the project and discuss how the firm approached the project. Jason Sayer: I understand the project will use a prefabricated metal panel facade system. Could you expand on this? How was this devised? Blake Middleton: While the RFP from Cornell stated LEED Silver was the minimum bar for energy efficiency, we knew from early on that for this building we wanted to achieve a robust rating, at least Gold. We also knew we had to deliver the building at a cost to make the rents affordable for students. This meant using as much “off the shelf technology” as possible. We also knew that to achieve a really super-tight exterior wall: the fewer joints and penetrations in the exterior envelope, the better. This could not be an all-glass building—we would never have met our energy reduction goals with a glass curtain wall—and the average ratio of window to solid wall was going to be much lower than most typical residential towers in New York (about 30% vs 45-65% typically). This led us quickly to select a prefabricated wall system where the windows could be installed in the factory, quality control was more robust, installation time significantly shortened, and fewer joints needed to be sealed. We likened the super insulated, super-air-tight wall to a big, thick wrapping “coat” around the building. It quickly became known as The Wrap, and became a central feature of our design expression. Likewise, could you tell me about the louvers the building uses? If The Wrap is the big coat around the building, the louvers are like a “zipper” for the coat. Behind the louvers are condenser units on each floor that power the variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system which is the actual heat and cooling source for each of the spaces in the building. Did you set out to achieve the Passive House standard from the start? While formulating our response to the Cornell RFP, we became aware that Passive House principles had been applied to a large building in Germany. Our client was intrigued and came away from a visit to that building excited about the possibilities of applying this protocol to the Cornell project. Because of the immense uncertainty at the early stages—could our construction team meet the challenge? Could we afford it?—the development team remained cautious about committing to actual Passive House design requirements. Once deeper into the research and design process, and more familiar with what was required, all involved became more confident we could make this work. Everyone stepped up to commit to the effort. The development team of Hudson/Related, along with Cornell, wanted to make this a showcase of “applied science": a beta test that, if successful, could have a dramatic impact on how super energy-efficient design can be applied to buildings of scale. And in turn, how to make a meaningful impact on greenhouse-gas reduction with each building we erect in the future. Blake Middleton will be speaking at the next Facades+ conference in New York on April 6 and 7. Without going into too much detail, what will you be speaking about at the Facades+ conference? My goal for the presentation at Facades+ is to have the audience understand how the fundamentals of Passive House design can be applied to a very large building. Heretofore most Passive House projects in Europe and the Americas have been relatively small in scale. The House at Cornell Tech takes a proven set of principles and applies them to a very large building—over 270,000 and 26 stories—and is being built within a relatively tight construction budget. My hope is that people will come away from the presentation excited and encouraged that Passive House is scalable, is affordable, and can be a powerful arrow in the quiver of robust energy efficiency strategies to combat global warming. Middleton and Lois Arena of Steven Winter Associates will discuss the Passive House building in further detail. Seating is limited. To register, go to facadesplus.com.
Posts tagged with "Roosevelt Island":
On Roosevelt Island, Cornell Tech (in collaboration with the Hudson Companies) is going through the motions of realizing a brand new 2.1-million-square-foot technology campus—one that will come complete with the world's tallest building made to Passivhaus standards. The building in question is a 270-foot-tall (26-story) residential tower that will house roughly 350 units for students and save 882 tons of CO2 per year relative to standard construction—the same as planting 5,300 new trees. Construction began in 2015 and the building is due to open this year. New York practices Handel Architects and Steven Winter Associates, along with engineers Buro Happold, worked on the project and made use of numerous "sustainability-focused design elements" to achieve Passivhaus certification. One of these includes a facade that comprises a prefabricated metal panel system. The screen, according to Handel, acts a "thermally insulated blanket." On the southwest side, which looks onto Manhattan, a louver system has been designed to be the structure's "gills." This feature provides an enclosed exterior space where the building's services (such as heating and cooling equipment) lie with sufficient ventilation. In addition to this, low VOC paint caps gassing and improves the air quality inside. “High-rise multifamily housing is a vital part of the solution to the challenges we are facing with increasing world populations and a changing climate,” said Blake Middleton, FAIA, of Handel Architects. “The Cornell Tech commitment to innovation was the impetus to rethink how these buildings are designed and built, and we expect this project to be a game-changer, creating a new paradigm for affordable, high-performance buildings to meet this challenge.” “Constructing the first Passivhaus residential high-rise in the world is the latest and most exciting example of our effort to set new benchmarks in sustainability and innovation,” said Cornell Tech Dean Daniel Huttenlocher. “We hope this will serve as a model for how Passivhaus standards can be brought to scale in the United States and create a new template for green design here in New York City.” The building will open later this year. Blake Middleton will be speaking at the next Facades+ conference in New York April 6 and 7. There he and Lois Arena of Steven Winter Associates will discuss the Passivhaus building in further detail. Seating is limited. To register, go to facadesplus.com.
Renderings have been revealed for Cornell Tech's Verizon Executive Education Center (EEC) and hotel proposal on its Roosevelt Island campus in New York City. While the center and hotel—designed by Norwegian-American firm Snøhetta—are still pending approval from the Public Design Commission, Cornell Tech aims for the two buildings to be built by 2019. The EEC will contain event and teaching spaces. The former will cater to as many as 300 people through numerous conference rooms, a buffet lounge, and four classrooms capable of accommodating up to 75 students. Its facade comprises tightly spaced timber and aluminum mullions with glass fenestration dominating the top and bottom levels. The adjacent hotel—complete with a cafe, restaurant, rooftop lounge, and 195 rooms—will link up with the building through a shared hall. As for the campus itself, parking facilities will not be available. Pedestrian walkways, bicycle lanes, and bicycle storage facilities will comprise its circulation. According to DNAinfo, Cornell Tech's Senior Director of Capital Projects, Andrew Winters, said he views the EEC and hotel as "the front door for the campus." The two buildings are the final part of "Phase One" (of three) for Cornell Tech's Roosevelt Island plans which are penned for completion in 2043.
Roosevelt Island, that sleepy urban outpost between Queens and Manhattan, hides a brilliant swimming pool that looks like it leapt from the set of one of Nicki Minaj's music videos. Barak Pliskin, founding principal of New York–based Pliskin Architecture, took The Architect's Newspaper on a tour of the pool, part of residential Manhattan Park, on a recent summer morning. His firm, in collaboration with K&Co, has taken the pool's standard-issue concrete deck and invited Andrew Farris, a Wyoming-based artist, to create a gigantic 3D mural. This is the second year an artist has reworked the space; last year HOT TEA presided over the deck. Farris's interlocking geometric piece flows along the pool deck's terraces, cutting pastel ribbons across the concrete. Pliskin estimated it took two weeks and two coats of paint to cover the approximately 8,000-square-foot expanse. The pool itself has capacity of around 50 people, plus space for 240 in one of the many reclining deck chairs. Bobby White, the pool's manager, estimates that 60 percent of the patrons are island residents, and the rest come from further afield. If you'd like to take a dip, day passes costs $35 on the weekdays and $50 on weekends. But you're probably stuck at a desk right now, so get your outdoors fix by watching this mesmerizing time-lapse video of the pool-painting process: https://vimeo.com/171114046 The annual artist-designed project is part of a larger initiative to renovate Manhattan Park's interior and exterior spaces. Colorful hammocks dot a pool-adjacent lawn, and the architects plan to redo the complex's great lawn and playgrounds. The rental complex, which dates to the 1980s, is being renovated gradually by Pliskin with K&Co. The firms plan to tackle the spacious (and very 80s) marble-clad lobby, common spaces, and units as they become available.
Residential towers are rising on the banks of the East River in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. It's easy to forget that, in the middle of the river, development at Cornell University's New York City campus on Roosevelt Island is speeding ahead. The Bridge at Cornell Tech, designed by Weiss/Manfredi, topped off Monday. That building will have a partial green roof and a photovoltaic array to produce energy for campus. Stepped lawns leading up to the entrance encourage the building's program of spontaneous social interaction to spill out onto the street. https://youtu.be/PFRIKri9Y_c Along with Cornell Tech phase one buildings, the Bridge is set to open summer 2017. When complete, the 12-acre campus on Roosevelt Island will be the home of hundreds of Cornell faculty and staff, and around 2,000 students. The master plan, executed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) with James Corner Field Operations, calls for a "river-to-river" campus with 2.5 acres of public space and ten buildings that perform to a high environmental standard. The video above gives a sense of scale and layout of the development. Phase one buildings include the Bloomberg Center, an open-plan academic facility designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects. The Center, which aims to be one of the largest net-zero energy buildings in the U.S., takes its design cues from the collaborative workspaces of Silicon Valley. Handel Architects designed a student, faculty, and staff residence with an ambition to become the world's first residential Passive House high-rise.
As designers and builders around the world have, in recent years, embraced Passive House standards, one question has remained: will it scale? Is the Passive House approach to sustainable design suited only to small-scale ("house") projects, or might it be applied to other, larger, building types? Handel Architects has answered the latter question with a resounding yes in its Cornell University Residences, a 26-story tower for the institution's new Roosevelt Island Campus. When complete, the project will be the tallest and largest residential building in the world built to the strict Passive House code. Handel Architects' Gary Handel will deliver a keynote address on the challenges and opportunities represented by the Cornell University Residences at the Facades+AM DC symposium March 10. The building's prefabricated metal-panel building envelope is a key contributor to its overall energy-saving strategy. "The facade design is the 'passive driver' of the thermal performance of the building," explained Handel. "Higher thermal performance of the enclosure means less energy used to heat and cool the interior. This in turn means smaller, more efficient equipment to deliver the heat or cooling, which means lower energy input overall and thus a lower 'carbon footprint' than a conventionally enclosed building." The high performance facade, in other words, is the metaphorical substructure upon which the project's "active" systems are built. As with any cutting-edge endeavor, the project has not been without hiccups. "Implementation of the details has probably been the biggest challenge, as some of these details have never been implemented in a building of this size," said Handel. As an example, he cited the difficulty of installing sealing tape along portions of the facade interior that are obstructed by the building structure. In addition, explained Handel, "having the entire team—designers, suppliers, contractors—buy into the concept of a world class sustainable building and be committed to the goal has been a constant challenge." The overall experience has nonetheless been rewarding. "Designing solutions to challenges . . . has been part of the learning process we've undergone," concluded Handel. Hear more from Handel and other key players in the world of facade design and fabrication next month at Facades+ AM DC. See a complete symposium schedule and register today on the event website.
Anticipation is growing for AN and Enclos’ eagerly awaited Facades + PERFORMANCE conference, touching down in Chicago from October 24th to 25th. Leading innovators from the architecture, engineering, and construction industries will share their insights on the latest in cutting-edge facade technologies that are redefining what performance means for 21st Century architecture. Don’t miss your chance to join Cory Brugger, Director of Technology for Morphosis Architects, as he is joined by a group of industry specialists to lead an in-depth dialog workshop on expanding the idea of performance in the design, engineering, and fabrication of innovative building systems. "Traditionally, performance has been defined in singular terms," Brugger told AN, "but when it comes to delivering architecture, it can encompass everything from energy usage to fabrication technique. For us, performance is multifaceted and interdisciplinary. We have found that technology provides a platform for incorporating a variety of performance criteria in our design process, allowing us to create innovative architecture, like the Cornell NYC Tech project on Roosevelt Island." Set to open its doors in 2017, Morphosis’ winning design for the highly publicized Cornell Tech campus will be breaking ground on Roosevelt Island in the coming year. As part of this ambitious, 2.1 million square foot development, Brugger and his colleagues at Morphosis hope to earn LEED-Platinum certification by with their 150,000 square foot academic building by utilizing cutting-edge modeling techniques and an array of sustainable technologies. "In general, we are designing for extremely high EUI (energy use intensity) goals, which are being accomplished through the use of comprehensive models that integrate mechanical systems, day-lighting analysis, and architectural assemblies," said Brugger. "This effort is being supported by a 140,000+ square foot PV array that is integral to both the performance and aesthetics of the design. Other technologies include high performance facade systems, smart building technology, and geo-thermal wells." In conjunction with master-planners SOM and landscape architects James Corner Field Operations, Morphosis are working to create a new model for high-tech education in the information age by extending the definition of performance beyond traditional notions to incorporate far-sighted social and technological considerations. Reserve your space at Facades+ PERFORMANCE now to take part in an intimate discussion. Brugger will be joined my Paul Martin (Zahner), Tyler Goss (CASE), Matt Herman (Burro Happold), and Marty Doscher (Dassault Systèmes ) on Friday, October 25th at the Illinois Institute of Technology Main Campus in Chicago. Don’t forget to check out our other exciting key-notes, symposia, and workshops on the complete Facades+ PERFORMANCE schedule.
The stars are aligning for Cornell’s proposed technology campus on Roosevelt Island. The Morphosis-designed proposal has successfully made its way through New York City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedures (ULURP), and recently won the support of Manhattan Community Board 8 and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Two remaining review processes are left, and if all goes well, Cornell will have the green light to start construction by 2014.
Manhattan Community Board 8 has approved the Cornell Tech Campus plans and launched it one step further in NYC’s public land use review process. The plan for the 12-acre site now moves forward exactly one year after Cornell University, in partnership with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, was selected by the City to develop the applied science and engineering campus. Eagerly anticipating the initiation of its “beta” class, Cornell Tech classes will begin in January of 2013 in Chelsea buildings that were provided to the school free of charge by Google while development of the campus continues. Pritzer Prize winning architect and design director at Morphosis Architects—Thomas Mayne—will be designing an academic building for the new campus along with other notable names such as Skidmore, Owings, and Merril and landscape architect James Corner of James Corner Field Operations. The new campus, which revealed updated renderings in October of this year, will encompass 2.1 million square feet of development, house approximately 2,000 full-time graduate students, and will boast a net-zero academic center that produces as much energy as it consumes. Full build-out is expected for 2037 with the first phase—covering 790,000 square feet of development—being completed in 2017. Applications for Cornell Tech’s M. Eng program are currently being accepted.
You can’t make a monument without breaking some eggs. Fabergé cosmetics heir Reed Rubin is protesting a decision by the board of Roosevelt Island’s Four Freedoms Park to not include a donor inscription on the Louis Kahn-designed FDR memorial. For a $2.5 million donation in honor of Rubin’s parents Vera D. and Samuel Rubin, founders of the cosmetics firm and the Reed Foundation, the foundation claims it was promised an inscription in a prominent spot (preferably near the bust of FDR on a slab facing Manhattan). The board of the park, not wanting to compromise the monument’s design, proposed an inscription in another location in the park. Rubin and the foundation are fighting back, and had tried to postpone October's dedication. The New York Daily News quoted a letter written by the park’s board chairman William vanden Heuvel to the foundation: “You may prevail in a courtroom. But it will be a Pyrrhic victory, dear friends, a scar not a medal on the list of your achievements.”
This morning former President Bill Clinton, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined in a dignitary-studded dedication ceremony for the long awaited Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Memorial Park on Roosevelt Island’s southern tip. The four-acre triangular park, designed by architect Louis Kahn, features 120 Linden trees leading to a half-ton bronze bust of Roosevelt at its crest surveying the U.N. Headquarters and the East River. The sculpture by American artist Jo Davidson sits on a alcove of white granite inscribed with excerpts of the president’s renowned Four Freedoms speech. While the forty-years-in-the-making memorial does not officially open to the public until October 24th you can catch an early glimpse on October 19th when the park will be featured as Archtober’s Building of The Day.
This morning Cornell University unveiled more detailed renderings of their NYC Tech campus on Roosevelt Island. The latest plans for the graduate campus include a five story eco-friendly academic center designed by Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne and a campus layout by Skidmore Owings & Merrill. The roomy organization of this campus hub brings to mind the vast, expansive interiors of Silicon Valley, putting a priority on shared communal space over isolated classrooms. The building will be entirely energy self-sufficient, utilizing solar panels, geothermal wells, and water turbines, according to Cornell. Cornell NYC Tech has already started to accept applications for the spring 2013 school year, despite a 2017 expected completion date for its first construction phase. In the mean time Google has offered up the school’s first students some spacious accommodation in their Chelsea NYC headquarters, which will be used as a temporary campus home.