AECOM Tishman served as CM for the expansion and renovation of the 760,000-square-foot Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, one of the nation’s largest, designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and originally completed in 1986. All work was performed while the Javits Center remained fully operational, hosting more than two million visitors annually. A major renovation, this project was co-managed by three government agencies: the Empire State Development Corporation, the New York Convention Center Development Corporation, and the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center of New York, with whom AECOM Tishman coordinated diligently.
Initially, as Owner’s Rep, we helped ownership develop the master plan for the project, assisted with the selection of the architectural team, prepared project budgets based on numerous schemes, and provided preconstruction analysis for a new curtainwall system and roof as well as upgraded building systems and amenities. For the renovation and expansion, the priority of accommodating visitors during construction necessitated extensive preplanning to ensure the work was phased correctly and minimize any inconvenience to trade show participants, exhibitors and the general public; we also developed a rigorous safety plan to ensure visitors’ safety.
The massive project had several key components. In the main building, AECOM Tishman managed the removal and replacement of 6,000 panes of glass with new, low-e glass. AECOM Tishman installed a new roof, which includes the largest green roof in New York and new high-efficiency rooftop mechanical units (RTUs); painted the interior structural space frame; and upgraded life safety and MEP systems. Additionally, a new, LEED Silver, 110,000-SF expansion was constructed adjacent to the existing center.
AECOM Tishman used BIM to facilitate logistics and scheduling so that most of the building remained accessible to, and completely safe for, the public at all times. Further, AECOM Tishman provided BIM modeling to ownership as a means to show potential clients what the building would look like while their convention was in progress.
In terms of our approach to completing the work while keeping the center operational, in the main expo hall, a scaffolding system with a 25-foot-high roof deck, designed for 300 pounds per square foot, was created to separate the public from the work above. We divided the ceiling/roof work area into nine construction phases – “slices” of 90 feet each – running east to west, and to further isolate the public from the work above, partitions were set up consisting of self-standing 10-foot-high finished panel walls with acoustic fabric panels extending to the roof deck above. Three passageways through this section, constructed of the same panel system, with movable sections and doors, allowed workers to enter the partitioned space to reach the platform above. As work was completed, partitions were broken down and set up in three-day windows between trade shows.
In another innovation that helped us successfully deliver this project, AECOM Tishman, in collaboration with structural engineer Weidlinger Associates, developed a concept design to enable the replacement of ninety 20,000-pound RTUs without using a crane, which would have necessitated closing the center. Our innovative haul road and gantry system enabled RTUs to be pushed into place by workers standing on the rooftop. Working with the New York City Department of Buildings, AECOM Tishman developed acceptable criteria for transporting these units in an operating facility.