While providing construction management services for One Vanderbilt Avenue – the 1,401-foot, 1.6-million-square-foot commercial tower that is Midtown’s tallest office building – AECOM Tishman also completed its dramatic 65,000-square-foot observation deck, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, designed by Snøhetta. Located on the building’s top three floors, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt features a two-level mirrored “infinity room” with 40-foot ceilings, all-glass skyboxes cantilevered over Madison Avenue, a retail and food/beverage space, and an outdoor terrace wrapped by a glass wall that angles up from 15 to 30 feet.

To meet the aggressive schedule, we used our proprietary process, OneDesign, to drive the project’s success. We hired and managed independent MEP detailers during design development to participate in shop-drawing-level coordination of complex elements of the build-out, which were then incorporated into the bid documents for the trade contracts, massively reducing field conflicts. Additionally, our weekly OneDesign meetings – attended by Ownership and the design teams as well as the operations/facilities team – provided a level of communication that gave us buy-in from all parties.

Given the unique nature of the design and the tightness of the space, OneDesign’s benefits were invaluable. First, OneDesign uncovered conflicts with the fan-coil units and duct/routing work that would otherwise not be realized until in the field, driving a close collaboration with the MEP team to rework the MEP design significantly – relocating units, routing, and ductwork while keeping architectural features intact. Second, it allowed the teams to modify MEP elements on every floor to best accommodate maintenance of the building systems. We accomplished both remedies without having any impact at all on what the visitor sees – the architectural design – realizing Snøhetta’s vision with utter fidelity. Third, OneDesign expedited the duct fabrication process: since locations could be finalized very early in the process, fabrication could begin much earlier as well. All told, the upfront work we completed using OneDesign allowed us to shave an estimated four months of coordination off the schedule as compared to the results of a traditional approach, saving our client SL Green both time and money.