Volume 46, Issue 11 - December 2011

ContractGlazing

1 WTC Base to Be Glass-Clad After All; Permasteelisa Wins Contract
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) board has approved a new cost-effective architectural design for the exterior cladding system of 1 World Trade Center (WTC), and has awarded the contract to Permasteelisa of Windsor, Conn.

The base of 1 WTC was originally slated to include prismatic glass, but in May that plan was abandoned due to cost and fabrication challenges (see October 2011 USGlass, page 42, for related article).

The exterior cladding system will cover the 185-foot tall secure base of the tower, and will consist of stainless steel slat panels around the building’s concrete base covered with glass fins. The glass fins will reflect light during the day and cover the secure podium structures.

“Approving this design is a cost-effective solution to a complex problem,” says David Samson, PANYNJ chairman. “It provides a practical way to cover the tower’s secure base, and give it an innovative, inviting look for the thousands of workers who will be employed there and the millions of tourists who will visit it.”

This new design is significantly less expensive than the original design, and the PANYNJ board authorized $37.2 million towards project and contract costs.

Installation of the redesigned façade system will begin in 2013 and is expected to be completed by the end of that year. Work currently is under way to install more than 12,000 traditional ultra-clear glass panels to the building’s steel frame.

“One World Trade Center will be the strongest office building ever built, and the cladding system that has been selected for the base is one of the elements that ensures we will meet that goal,” says Bill Baroni, executive director of PANYNJ. “Not only will this system be cost-effective, but it will also provide a unique façade benefiting an iconic building.”

Permasteelisa and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in New York, the architectural firm that created the new design for the exterior cladding system, had not returned phone calls at press time.

Glaziers Welcome Contractor Repeal Bill
Glass industry professionals are welcoming the repeal of the contractor withholdings rule. On November 21, Obama signed into law a bill that overturned an earlier measure that required federal, state and local governments to withhold 3 percent of payments to contractors until they paid their federal taxes. Former President George W. Bush signed the original measure into law back in 2006, but it has yet to be implemented.

“Anything that eases the economic challenges facing the construction industry benefit not only our industry, but the entire economy,” says Mic Patterson, director of strategic development at the Enclos Advanced Technology Studio in Eagan, Minn. “This is especially true for contract glaziers and the other specialty subcontractors that feel the pinch of waiting for money on the upstream side, while having to honor net industry terms on the downstream vendor, fabricator and material supply side, thereby already playing an integral role in financing construction projects. We are encouraged by this development and look forward to its speedy implementation.”

Although Attila Arian, president of Seele in New York City, notes that government jobs usually are not a source of business for European-based companies such as his, due to the Buy America clause, he says, “We know that in the economic environment a lot of small- and medium-size glazing contractors depend on government jobs to make ends meet. Cutting into the already low margins by imposing tax withholdings would have been a move in the wrong direction. We are very glad to see that the House has repealed the 3 percent tax withholding [measure]. The economy will rebound when small- and medium-size companies start hiring, and not when they file bankruptcy because they cannot meet their financial obligation.”





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