NYC’s Tallest Building Nears Completion

High-rise buildings shown above (l-r):

In our previous report on rebuilding at the World Trade Center (WTC) site in New York City (NYC), in addition to reporting on construction progress on One WTC, we also witnessed and recorded the pride felt by those working on this monumental project (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2012). That spirit of pride was clear during our most recent visit with ThyssenKrupp Elevator on August 29, especially when we encountered Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Ty M. Carter, who shook hands with construction workers and signed their hard hats.    

The visit’s purpose is to update EW readers on what will be the tallest building in NYC, topping out at 1,776 ft. and containing 105 floors. The building will be served by 73 elevators, some of which will be the fastest in the Americas at 2,000 fpm, and 11 escalators. During the trip, we saw the 10-T. service-elevator machines, which dwarfed us by a huge margin, in operation. Visitors observed completed zone-I low-rise elevator installation in a finely finished elevator machine room on the 37th floor. All escalators and much of the elevator hoistway and machine-room equipment throughout the building were in place, and work appeared to be progressing at an intense pace. Some of the innovative systems used in this project are:

  • Flat traveling cables with a proprietary anti-sway device
  • Specially designed sliding rail clips to ensure rails maintain proper alignment during building settlement and compression between floors
  • Customized rope-lubricating devices that use mineral-based oil and a special system to ensure ropes are not over lubricated
  • Aerodynamic cab shrouding to maintain vibration-free elevator rides

During our trip from the building’s main ground-floor lobby to the 64th floor, we could barely tell we were moving. This was emphasized by Israeli elevator consultant Ami Lustig, who, as we exited the elevator car, jokingly asked whether we had actually left the lobby.

Another important building feature we saw – a first for a U.S. building – was a specially configured service-elevator core area. Here, a combination service/firefighter elevator will serve as safe-refuge/lobbies for all floors of the building. The lobbies will be pressurized to prevent smoke penetration during a fire. The elevator lobbies are also directly adjacent to a pressurized stairwell for use by building occupants and emergency personnel during an emergency. This area of the building core is equipped with pressurization and emergency communication features through its entire height.

Due to the building’s height and complexity, getting around onsite was quite a task. Traveling from the ground floor to the 103rd floor required multiple elevator changes. However, when the project is complete, travel to the observation deck on the 105th floor will be done in a single trip in what will be a remarkable observation elevator. The cabs of the two observation elevators will boast full-height screens on which elevator passengers may view videos of the history of NYC as they travel to the top.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator and its employees are doing a great job at One WTC, and they have every right to be proud of their accomplishments. EW readers can look forward to our followup report on this project after its completion in 2014.

  • One WTC
    Estimated completion date: early 2014: formerly known as the Freedom Tower, the 105-story, 1,776-ft.-tall icon of glass and steel will feature 3 million sq. ft. of office space on 71 floors and an up-in-the-sky observation deck.
    Seven WTC
    Completion date: 2006: The 52-story, 743-ft.-tall tower is the 28th-tallest building in the city.
    Two WTC
    Estimated completion date: to be determined: the second-tallest sky-scraper on site, the tower will contain five levels of retail, four trading floors and 60 office floors.
    Three WTC
    Estimated completion date: 2016: the 80-story tower will feature 2.8 million sq. ft. of space, including five levels of retail.
    Four WTC
    Estimated completion date: November 2013: rising 977 ft. from street level, the 72-story tower will serve as the new home of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and other as-yet-unnamed tenants.

Additional Buildings

National September 11 Memorial Museum

Estimated completion date: spring 2014: in its 110,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, the museum will feature an array of artifacts, including the 70-ft.-tall columns that rose from the north tower, a battered staircase used by survivors, the T-shaped steel column and crossbeam “WTC cross” and copies of the November and December 2001 issues of EW, which covered the effect the tragic events of 9/11 had on the elevator industry.

WTC Transportation Hub

Estimated completion date: 2015: the 800,000-sq.-ft. terminal will link 13 subway lines and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey trains to New Jersey.

Related Tags

Elevator World | November 2013 Cover