November 23, 2010
by Jessica Sheridan Assoc. AIA LEED AP

Event: Innovation by Necessity, Exhibition Symposium
Location: Center for Architecture, 11.17.10
Speakers: Carl Galioto, FAIA — Senior Principal, HOK; Frank Sciame, Hon. AIANY — CEO, F.J. Sciame Construction; Robert Harvey — Executive Director, Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center
Moderator: Charles Bagli — New York Times
Introduction: Tony Schirripa, FAIA, IIDA — 2010 AIANY President
Organizer: Center for Architecture
Sponsors: Lead Sponsors: ABC Imaging; Competition Architectural Metals; Coreslab Structures; Ductal; Gensler; Digital Fabrication Laboratory, Georgia Institute of Technology; Kammetal; Lutron; Mancini Duffy; MechoShade Sytstems; Oldcastle Building Envelope; PA.RFR; Permasteel USA; Plaza Construction; Sciame; Structuretone; Syska Hennessy; Turner Construction; Zetlin & De Chiara; Sponsors: Aerotech Manufacturing; Francis Cauffman Architects; Polytek; HeliOptix; STUDIOS Architecture; Trespa North America; Supporters: AKF Group; db3; Forest City Ratner Companies; Hugo S. Subotovsky Architects; Levien & Company; National Institute of Building Sciences; Pennoni Engineering and Surveying of New York; Peter Pennoyer Architects; SMART; Steelcase; Stephan Jaklitsch Architects; Thornton Tomasetti; WB Wood; Friends: Benjamin Moore; Brenda Levin; Matthews Coatings; New York Building Congress; Presentation Products; Theo. David Architects TDA/KAL; Weidlinger Associates


Construction projects and street impacts on 11.22.10 in Lower Manhattan.

Courtesy Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center

Charles Bagli of the New York Times began the panel discussion about innovative technology in Lower Manhattan by stating his frustration with how little recognition is given to how much has developed at the World Trade Center site. With 19 public agencies, two private corporations, 101 contractors, and 33 designers, he said, professionals are questioning how to design both for energy efficiency and the new reality of security and safety. And there is no shortage in innovation and progress.

Robert Harvey, executive director of the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC), provided an overview of the LMCCC website, which will soon incorporate interactive BIM-based “4-D analysis” — time is the fourth dimension — of the one square mile south of Canal Street.

Frank Sciame, Hon. AIANY, CEO of F.J. Sciame Construction, demonstrated how both money and time were saved by rethinking the development of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. By making the argument that the land would need to be leveled whether or not a building was to be constructed, for example, the Port Authority of NY & NJ had no choice but to pay for part of the construction, he claimed. Also, an economy of space was created by combining the entry to the cultural center with the entry to the memorial pools.

Carl Galioto, FAIA, posited that the problem with current security design is that it focuses on contraptions invented to help people escape a building. “This reinforces the idea that buildings are inherently unsafe,” he said. Now a senior principal at HOK, but having worked on the design for 7WTC when he was a partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, he presented his take on security in the design of 1WTC. Galioto discussed a different approach to security design, explaining his theory of creating multiple lines of defense, or rings of protection, within a building. Components include: site perimeter protection, such as bollards; a hardened core; enhanced stair design, wide enough to provide comfortable egress; an “emergency access core” dedicated to emergency personnel; and redundancy of structure. While these measures cost money and increase space dedicated to support them, he contended that the design is the result of many hours of conversations with emergency workers. All of the measures may not be necessary for all buildings — he is not suggesting a change in building codes — but 1WTC is a customized design based on an understanding of the future tenants.

Harvey asserted that it is important to learn from mistakes and not be ambivalent to past tragedies. With vigorous research and creative thinking, design can be at the forefront of safety and “innovations can be evolutionary,” said Galioto.