May 31, 2022
Coming in at #7 in our Centennial Year Countdown of our Top 100 Projects is the renovation of the I.M. Pei designed Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. As a member of the FXCollaborative Epstein design team, Epstein provided convention center design expertise and project management, structural engineering and MEP Engineering services for this two-phased project. The first phase was the renovation of the existing building enclosure with the inclusion of new 110,000 square foot exhibition hall to the north (which opened on August 1, 2010) for which the Javits Center remained fully operational during the renovation. The project’s second phase included a 70,000 square foot expansion of the current 760,000 square feet of exhibition space, the inclusion of 70,000 square feet of new meeting rooms (now totaling 168,000 square feet) and truck trailer storage for 120 trailers between 38th and 40th Street. This phase was completed in November of 2013.
Highlights of the main building renovation also included a new green roof and glass curtain wall, providing a new tree-lined access along 11th Avenue from 34th Street to 40th and establishing the new image of the Javits Center.
With the original 1982 I.M. Pei facade showing signs of aging, a reclad program began in July 2010 to replace the entire curtainwall system. This retrofit program included the removal of the existing facade and the engineering, fabrication and installation of new curtainwall and skylight systems.
The original cladding system was based upon a 10’ x 10’ module split by a vertical mullion, ultimately creating four 5’ x 5’ glass panels per module. The renovation’s new glazing system retains the original 10’ x 10’ grid, but with two 10’ wide by 5’ high glass panels per module.
After three decades of advancement by the glass industry, the new glazing system increases energy performance dramatically in comparison to the original structure while simultaneously increasing building transparency — ultimately having a dramatic effect on both visitors and building performance. New, insulated glass panels include an assortment of high performance coatings and frit patterns.
The Javits retrofit program was designed around a series of energy performance standards ultimately aimed at LEED Silver certification. Key to the building’s program was the decision to replace the entire cladding system rather than swapping out glass panels, which ultimately allowed for a thermal break to improve the glazing system’s insulation values. While previously operating at 10% below the performance requirements of current energy codes, the post-retrofit convention space is expected to exceed it by 25%.
The Javits renovation also featured an upgrade to the 534,000 square foot roof system which included 370,000 square feet of green roof. Several Roof Systems were thoroughly analyzed for the new roof including the IRMA system and conventional insulated roof system. Of those two, the project constraints and opportunities led the Epstein design team to select the conventional roof system. The chosen system met loading requirements, slope to drain criteria, and will help to achieve optimal construction speed.
Lastly, the renovation project achieved LEED-NC Silver certification under the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) program.