View Full Version : Safety of new 7 WTC

January 29th, 2003, 02:38 AM
NY Times...

Post-Sept. 11 Laboratory in High-Rise Safety

Eleven inches could be a matter of life and death.

So the designers of the new 7 World Trade Center, planned by Silverstein Properties, have called for fire stairs 66 inches wide, rather than the 55 inches specified by the New York code for such a building. They say that will allow room for two-way traffic: occupants going down and firefighters coming up.

As one of the first office towers designed from scratch since the attack on New York, 7 World Trade Center is a 52-story laboratory of ideas about how extra safety measures can be incorporated into the fiber of a building.

Because it is to be constructed on the property of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the 750-foot structure is technically exempt from municipal review. But Patricia J. Lancaster, the city buildings commissioner, said Silverstein's architects and engineers had been "very proactive in meeting with us to ascertain the nature of our concerns" arising from the World Trade Center building code task force and "are, indeed, addressing those concerns."

The task force is to release its recommendations any day now, followed in a couple of months by the report of a city commission that is studying the adoption of the International Building Code by New York City.

"The current building code regards occupants as being safe once they reach fire-rated stairs," said Carl Galioto, a member of the code commission and a partner in Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, architects of 7 World Trade Center. The design of the tower, he said, represented a philosophical shift. "In my opinion," he said, "people are not safe until they reach the ground floor."

Larry A. Silverstein, president of Silverstein Properties, which developed and owned the original 7 World Trade Center, said, "It is incumbent on us to make this the safest building." He intends to move his company's headquarters, with about 100 employees, into the new tower.

For now, Silverstein Properties is the only prospective tenant for the $700 million, 1.7-million-square-foot structure, which is to rise atop a Con Edison substation, as the old one did. A new substation is under construction. The tower, if it proceeds according to plan, would be finished by the end of 2005.

The original 7 World Trade Center burned out of control on Sept. 11 and collapsed. To attract tenants, Mr. Silverstein must overcome a psychological hurdle posed by the memory of that awful day and is therefore emphasizing safety. He invited a reporter to meet with his architects and engineers, including Mr. Galioto and David M. Childs of Skidmore; Silvian Marcus of Cantor Seinuk; and Augustine A. DiGiacomo of Jaros Baum & Bolles.

They described a building that would exceed current code requirements and is intended to meet or exceed possible future standards. Mr. Silverstein declined to say how much all the extra measures would cost.

Most fundamentally, the building will have a concrete core rather than a steel-frame core with dry-wall partitions ringed on the perimeter by steel columns. Concrete contributes rigidity and protection from flying debris. Steel contributes flexibility. But such composite buildings are unusual in New York. Connections between floor slabs and beams will be reinforced to withstand lateral pull.

Current code would allow the two stairwells to be closer, but the designers have chosen to put them at opposite ends of the core, about 110 feet apart, thereby minimizing the chance that both would be damaged simultaneously.

Stairwell landings will be 8 by 11 feet, enabling someone in a wheelchair to wait for rescue. Doors into the stairwell will be situated so that people entering will not face oncoming traffic, but rather merge into it.

The stairwells will be pressurized; air will be forced in to prevent smoke from entering when the fire doors are opened. Pressurization is not required in a sprinklered building. Neither are smoke-stopping doors around elevator lobbies on each floor, but 7 World Trade Center will have them.

As added escape routes, the designers have proposed a fire-resistant corridor on a lower floor through which the stairwells would branch off to any one of four street-level exits on two sides of the building. Fire-proofing will be denser and more adhesive than the minimum required by code.

There will be two sprinkler pipes (code requires only one), feeding alternating floors. If the riser serving odd-numbered floors was damaged, for example, the other riser would still send water to floors above and below. The tanks will have a one-hour capacity, double that required by code.

Fuel tanks were implicated in the destruction of the first 7 World Trade Center. Though the new tower will have an emergency generator on the rooftop, fuel will be pumped there from underground tanks nearby.

A rendering of the stairway exiting system for the new 7 World Trade Center shows how two stairwells would join low in the building to provide four exits to the street in case one side was blocked.


January 29th, 2003, 03:48 AM
Sounds like a fine plan, and well needed, hopefully this will start to set the standard for future high-rise construction.

Suzana Spasic
January 29th, 2003, 09:26 AM
This is interesting.

January 29th, 2003, 10:19 AM
You know, it's not ground-breaking design, but if they keep the same type of skin, this will be a pretty nice building.

January 29th, 2003, 10:23 AM
"Larry A. Silverstein, president of Silverstein Properties, which developed and owned the original 7 World Trade Center, said, "It is incumbent on us to make this the safest building." He intends to move his company's headquarters, with about 100 employees, into the new tower."

I thought the PA was going to have their offices in 7 WTC. *Otherwise, 7 WTC might be an empty building until the plans at the WTC are formalized, and that could take a while.

January 29th, 2003, 10:29 AM
Quote: from Evan on 10:23 am on Jan. 29, 2003
"Larry A. Silverstein, president of Silverstein Properties, which developed and owned the original 7 World Trade Center, said, "It is incumbent on us to make this the safest building." He intends to move his company's headquarters, with about 100 employees, into the new tower."

I thought the PA was going to have their offices in 7 WTC. *Otherwise, 7 WTC might be an empty building until the plans at the WTC are formalized, and that could take a while.Silverstein's 100 employees will fill maybe two stories. *There will be plenty of room for PA headquarters.

TLOZ Link5
January 29th, 2003, 04:45 PM
Very good PR for the Port Authority, I must say. *Even though they're exempt from city safety codes, with this project they're implying that they will nonetheless emulate and improve upon those codes in the design of the other new WTC buildings.

January 30th, 2003, 12:03 AM
More good news for Silverstein...

March 7th, 2003, 04:59 PM
I have a question, was WTC 7 included in Libeskind's plans? Or since it has already been started is it just in addition to his plans for the WTC site? I noticed it doesn't have a sloped roof, but all LLibeskind's buildings do.

TLOZ Link5
March 7th, 2003, 05:12 PM
It's not part of Libeskind's plan, NYCForever. *Silverstein built the original 7WTC independent of the immediate site of the Trade Center, long before he acquired the leases for Towers One and Two, as well as Plaza buildings Five and Six. *The new Seven was designed by Silverstein's in-house architect David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; construction had commenced some time before the start of the design competition in December.

March 7th, 2003, 05:16 PM
NYC Forever, you are asking the same question on every thread. There were already replies to your first post before you asked it again on this one. And you wonder why you get banned every day? You're exhausting.

March 9th, 2003, 06:56 AM
Quote: from NYguy on 12:03 am on Jan. 30, 2003
More good news for Silverstein...

That's what I got :

The requested URL /front/breaking_news/story/55570p-52063c.html was not found on this server.

That's probably because I'm late.
What was the good news for Silverstein ?

March 9th, 2003, 10:19 AM
I don't remember exactly, but it had something to do with the financing for the tower...

March 9th, 2003, 11:01 AM
This may be the good news, althought not directly connected with 7WTC.

By Patricia Hurtado

January 30, 2003

A federal judge in New York yesterday rejected an insurance company's attempt to classify the Sept. 11 terrorist attack
upon the World Trade Center as an act of "vandalism and malicious mischief" so that it can be considered one assault and not two separate incidents.

In a pretrial ruling regarding a motion by Allianz Insurance Co., an insurance carrier for the Twin Towers, U.S. District Judge John Martin noted that it could be argued that the attacks on the trade center could fit within a dictionary's definition of "malicious mischief" and "vandalism."

But yesterday Martin described the incident as "a wanton act of terrorism."

Allianz is one of more than 20 companies that insured the Twin Towers leaseholder, Silverstein Properties. Larry Silverstein contends that he is entitled to be compensated for at least $8.2 billion in losses because the trade center suffered two attacks when two hijacked planes slammed into the towers. He is seeking to be reimbursed for the two skyscrapers, retail stores and adjacent buildings that were destroyed.

But the insurance companies have argued that the attacks were one single insurable event and therefore Silverstein was only entitled to $3.5 billion.

Allianz argued that under the language of its insurance policy, losses would apply to one insurable event "resulting from vandalism and malicious mischief."

But Martin said that using this reasoning, one could also argue that Pearl Harbor fit that same definition of "malicious mischief."

"Since the attack on the World Trade Center resulted in an even greater loss of life and property damage than the raid on Pearl Harbor, it is equally inappropriate to describe that attack as an act of malicious mischief or vandalism," he wrote.

Martin said it was ultimately up to a jury to determine whether what occurred on Sept. 11 was one or two incidents.

Howard Rubenstein, a Silverstein spokesman, said he was pleased with the judge's ruling and remained confident the attack was two events.

In a statement issued by Allianz late yesterday, the firm said it was pleased that Martin had deemed its policy as valid and remained confident that a jury "would conclude that the terrorist attack of 9/11 was a single occurrence."

March 9th, 2003, 11:40 AM
The whole insurance issue is a double-edged sword if Silverstein gets the bigger amount.

On the one hand there will be a lot more money for speculative developement on the site. On the other hand Silverstein (the primary force for keeping heights down) will have an even bigger voice in the developement.

March 9th, 2003, 12:02 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the insurance proceeds must go toward site reconstruction. I remember Silverstein making that argument, that he was obligated to rebuild the lost office space.

So his motive would still be profitability. Since he said he would build the "garden tower", I'm thinking with the extra money he could be induced to bulk it up.

March 9th, 2003, 12:19 PM
I do believe that legally he will need to spend all the insurance proceeds on rebuilding and that he must also start construction in a reasonable time frame.

I think his support for building the Garden Tower is a combination public relations ploy and ego thing. I can just see it renamed to Silverstein Spire. ;)

I can't quite see him being extravagant with it though. Hopefully with Libeskind around he won't be able to get away with doing it on the cheap. Libeskind can be quite persuasive it seems. It seems that the Jewish Museum in Berlin was actually cancelled by the government but somehow Libeskind managed to pursuade them otherwise.