Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

CTBUH NYC Organizes One Vanderbilt Site Tour
June 6, 2017

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NEW YORK CITY – On June 6, CTBUH New York hosted a series of presentations and a tour at the construction site of One Vanderbilt, which will rise to 427 meters when completed in 2021. The visit was hosted by Seth Martin, PE, Project Engineer at Langan, and Daniel Surrett, PE, from Severud Associates Consulting Engineers, with support from Tishman Speyer and Civetta.

One Vanderbilt is currently under construction just steps away from Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, with the excavation and foundations phase of the project nearing completion. The excavation currently extends about 50 feet (15 meters) below the street into the famous Manhattan schist bedrock. The site exemplifies the challenges facing deep excavations in a dense urban environment. In the heart of Midtown, the excavation is flanked by the Times Square Shuttle subway line to the south, Metro North tunnels to the north, and Grand Central retail to the east, all of which are active.

The foundation system includes a central core mat that holds the record for the largest continuous concrete pour ever in Manhattan. Langan is the designer for the support of excavation and rock stabilization below the adjacent structures; Severud is the structural engineer for the project; Tishman Construction is the construction manager; and John Civetta & Sons, Inc. is the foundation contractor making the plans a reality.

The group happily posed for a photo before the commencement of the tour of One Vanderbilt.
A view of the foundation work currently progressing at the site of the eventual 427-meter tower. Attendees explored the site, craning their necks to look at the ongoing fondation work below.

Presenting beforehand were Seth Martin and Daniel Surrett, who discussed complications under the site with Metro Transit Authority (MTA) tracks running adjacent to construction. They also discussed the process for geological bore drilling and testing, where they found out that Manhattan’s bedrock is approximately just as strong as their structural concrete, ranging from 6,000 to 12,000 PSI (41,369 to 82,737 million kilo-pascals).

As a result, they have had to get creative supporting the excavation, stitching together two systems based on different conditions and digging around existing footings while taking out the previous building’s footings. They have also had to collaborate directly with the MTA – which operates the tunnels around the site – about various issues coordinating.

Following the presentations, the group then headed to the site. Referencing the points of the discussion beforehand, attendees were able to see exactly how on-site locations corresponded to the calculations and coordination referenced in the presentations. It was doubly rewarding to attendees see the experiences and decision-making of the contractors, as previously laid out, directly on the site and understand the building process in a detailed way.

Attendees were given the opportunity to tour the foundation pit up close.
The group concluded the site visit with cocktails at a nearby rooftop bar and joined some other members for networking and socializing. The experience was thoroughly enjoyable, educational, and appreciated.

CTBUH NYC would like to thank Seth Martin and Daniel Surrett for their presentations on One Vanderbilt, sharing their knowledge and experiences. The Chapter would also like to thank Langan, Severud, Tishman, and Civetta for allowing the group to learn more about their efforts and to visit the concluding period of setting the foundation for this large project.

This event was organized by Committee Co-Chairs Hardik Doshi, Engineer, McNamara Salvia and Ilkay Can-Standard, IC Design Technologies, with Steering Committee member Devon Telberg, Architectural Professional, Adamson Associate Architects.
Name Company
Ilkay Can-Standard
Marta Karamuz AAI
Cynthia Fels AAI
Devon Telberg Adamson Assoc Architects
Matthew Schaeffler Cerami & Associates
Jim Bushong FXFOWLE
Sarah Cole GB Geotechnics USA, Inc.
Sarah Cole GB Geotechnics USA, Inc.
Christopher Colasanti Jaros, Baum & Bolles
Matt Breitel Jaros, Baum & Bolles
Cristin Lucena JB&B
Samuel Ng LERA
Benjamin M. Cornelius Cornelius Leslie E. Robertson Associates
Benjamin M. Cornelius Cornelius Leslie E. Robertson Associates
Magen Mintz Leslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA)
zuhal ozgul Metal Yapi Inc
rachelle vagy R Vagy Design
Brent Chancellor Schöck USA Inc
Phillip Bellis Severud Associates
andrew wynnyk Skystone Group LLC
Ray Farkas Skystone Group LLC