Featured Project: 121st Precinct Stationhouse
As part of a Joint Venture with HAKS, LiRo provided construction management services for the first new stationhouse to be constructed in Staten Island in the past 50 years. The design goal for the 50,000 sf facility, which can accommodate up to 389 police officers, was to satisfy the police department's functional requirements while evoking civic pride and confidence among local residents. One of the main objectives of the project was to keep the building low and respectful of the residential neighborhood. The site is long and narrow, with a 25' change in elevation. To meet the need for both public and non-public spaces, the design consists of two distinct masses that respond to the irregular site: a two-story linear bar gently arcing in plan and gradually increasing in height, and a separate one-story volume placed toward the rear of the site. The second floor extends in a 95 ft cantilever over the Richmond Avenue vehicular approach. Extensive screening separates the site from the adjoining residential neighborhood. The building program includes reception areas, offices, locker rooms, intake areas with holding cells, cafeteria, and training areas.
The project is the first police facility in New York City to comply with PlaNYC requirements for sustainable design, and is a candidate for LEED Silver certification. The building is designed to achieve an energy cost reduction of 28.2% using the LEED NC 2.2 protocol and 26% using the EED NC 2.1 required for the NYC Local Law compliance. The orientation of the building allows daylight into the spaces while avoiding heat gain associated with low sun angles. Low-E glazing was utilized in all exterior windows and skylights. The narrow footprint provides natural light to 80% of the spaces, and views to the outside for 95% of the spaces. Site-related interventions such as brownfield reclamation, stormwater management, bio-retention areas, and drought-resistant landscaping were integrated into the design.
The project incorporated several complex issues, all of which required extensive coordination between all members of the project team to ensure successful completion. A main feature of the building is the 95' cantilever that extends towards Richmond Avenue. The design required the installation of massive transfer trusses featuring 120' "back spans" to counter the deflection forces of the extreme cantilever. In total four 18' high steel trusses needed to be fabricated off site, then shipped to Staten Island and fabricated on their sides. After fabrication a delicate lift was orchestrated allowing the crane operator to first bring the truss upright, then rotate it 180 degrees to land it onto the previously installed steel braced frames and temporary steel shoring. Due to their composite structure, the trusses were not complete until all infill beams, metal decking, shear studs and concrete slabs had been fully installed. Maintaining temporary shoring for months while building the ground floor of the building around the temporary shoring was a challenge. In addition, the gentle arc configuration of the building, with a 3,800' radius of the building plan and a 40' curved increase in roof height, necessitated careful fabrication and installation of intricate steel frame connections to accomplish the design intent.
All of the mechanical equipment is located in a one-story enclosure adjacent to the residential neighbors. Housed within this area are the cooling towers, boilers, emergency generator, air handlers, chillers and all electrical switchgear. Although this location provides an aesthetically pleasing solution for the neighbors, and serves to reduce equipment noise emissions and extend equipment life cycles, all systems had to be run through the entire 580' length of the curved main building structure. The length and configuration required intense coordination between the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical contractors to avoid conflicts and streamline installation.
The main challenge, however, was the discovery of an extensive diabase of granite that ran through the site. Although some of the foundation design was modified to minimize interferences, over 6,000 cy of granite needed to be drilled out and removed. Rock blasting, with its associated noise, was not an option, due to the surrounding residential properties and the proximity of a nearby school. In order to create the required rock sockets, caissons of 32" and 18" were drilled into the granite. Additional granite removals were required for the installation of grade beams, pile caps, underground utilities and a storm detention vault. Work was carefully coordinated to minimize the schedule impact.
The entire project team worked effectively to complete a structure which is unique to the New York market. As summarized by Fred Wilmers, AIA, Project Director at Rafael Vinoly Architects PC, "While the construction team and the design team had clear and separate responsibilities, we had a common goal of achieving excellence within a predetermined schedule and budget, creating a relationship of reliance and respect."
LiRo services included the procurement of all subcontracts for the building construction as well as the management and supervision of all work from preconstruction through final completion, including final acceptance and project closeout. Preconstruction services included document review/value engineering; construction estimates; and providing CPM schedules for the project. Construction services included executing contracts with prime contractors; maintaining all logs (RFI, shop drawings, change orders); providing daily construction supervision and inspection reports; providing monthly reports; chairing bi-weekly meetings and distributing minutes; and reviewing, negotiation and execution of change orders.
Accepting the ENR Best 2013 Projects Award of Merit for 121 Precinct
NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and NYPD Chaplain Rabbi Dr. Alvin Kass cut the ribbon on November 18, 2013
Metal Architecture, July 2014
The building's custom fabricated metal panels are discussed in 'A Distinctive Station'