In 2010, New York University completed the purchase of the Forbes Building located on Fifth Avenue and 12th Street in New York City. Originally built in 1923, the 122,500 square foot building needed some major renovations to prepare the space for academic use. Included in the renovation was a need for a complete overhaul of the building’s mechanical systems. NYU wanted to convert the employee’s gym on the roof into a new mechanical equipment room. However, as they moved through the design, they realized they had structural issues and would need to add steel to the building supports to handle the additional weight of the mechanical equipment. NYU turned to TMI Climate Solutions to create a heating and cooling system that would meet the building’s needs. In turn, TMI looked to Cubic Designs to create a platform that could support their rooftop system.
Up in the Air
There were several challenges with this project. First and foremost, Cubic Designs systems are typically mounted to concrete floors, however in this case the platform was to be mounted onto a rooftop. This meant that in addition to point loads, the engineering team had to design for wind loads. Furthermore, Cubic Designs engineers had to create a system that could easily be lifted onto the roof for installation.
In order to provide proper support for the equipment, Cubic Designs had to match the mezzanine’s columns to the exact locations of the building’s supports. By matching the columns to the building‘s existing supports, the engineers were able to design for all loads. The system accounts for point loads and wind loads as well as less predictable loads like those brought on by winters in the Northeast.
Up and Running
Cubic Designs worked as a silent partner to TMI to seamlessly create an equipment platform as part of the complete mechanical system. Cubic Design’s custom engineering capabilities saved NYU from a traditional expansion which would have required structural reinforcements and an additional temporary heating solution. By working with TMI and Cubic Designs to create a Modular Mechanical Penthouse, NYU saved both time and money on a critical part of their building remodel.