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Deep roots in design. (Profile of the Week).

Marvin Mass Chairman

Doug Mass, President

Fifty years ago, three young, creative engineers founded Cosentini Associates to provide consulting services in the mechanical and electrical disciplines. In the ensuing years, Cosentini grew into one of the largest and most respected engineering firms in the country. It's services expanded to include heating and air conditioning design, fire protection, electrical power, plumbing, lighting design, telecommunications, audiovisual, security, energy conservation, commissioning and construction services.

However, Cosentini's foundation will always be mechanical and electrical design systems. An innovator on so many levels, it was the first to develop and use the water source economizer, as opposed to air source, and helped to create double deck elevators, such as the ones used in the John Hancock Building in Boston. Cosentini was instrumental in the earliest development of solar energy systems at the University of Delaware. In addition, the firm is a pioneer in the development of displacement air systems, also known as under-floor air systems.

Today's Cosentini Associates is considered a preeminent engineering specialist in sustainable systems designs. It's "Green Building" division has been responsible for such cutting edge, environmentally-sound properties as Four Times Square, 20 River Terrace in Battery Park City and a 560,000-SF laboratory facility in New York City. But in addition to saving the environment, Cosentini's work may be saving us in other ways: It is the firm responsible for security systems, Threat and Vulnerability Assessments (TVA) and Command & Control networks for the federal government.

From Homeland Security to the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, Cosentini Associates has unparalleled breadth and range in engineering services and projects. The founding partner, Marvin Mass, remains chairman of the firm five decades later and his son, Douglas C. Mass, PE, is now at the helm as president of the company. Mass is supported by an outstanding executive team of senior engineers and more than 400 employees worldwide. In the U.S., Cosentini has active practices and offices in Boston/Cambridge, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Orlando, Newark and Freehold. NJ., with headquarters in New York City. Internationally, it has affiliates in Mexico, throughout and the Far East.

"Our firm has been at the forefront of innovative engineering practices and designs since inception," points out Doug Mass. "Not only do we bring service and commitment to the table, we offer sound solutions and originality. Thirty years ago, Cosentini designed an air distribution system for a garage below the Boston Commons, in which we forced air through hollowed out structural columns to ventilate the area. The design is still a benchmark today.

"That same creativity applies to our work in sustainable design and information technologies. We are constantly coming up with ways to implement innovative design solutions for environmental and technological issues, while still making it economically feasible for developers."

Cosentini's Information Technologies division is among the most active in the region. Working for Related Companies at AOL Time Warner Center, they have created a new business model using a robust integrated IT infrastructure to produce multiple revenue streams. They are also developing a 45-mile fiber optic cable network that will connect 56 municipal buildings in Woodbridge Township, saving the township approximately $700,000 annually. And Cosentini is designing the IT systems at Harvard's Center for Government and International Studies, as well as the MEP systems for the facility.

In addition, Cosentini is known for its design of pioneering audio-visual systems. For Lenox Hill Hospital, the engineering firm has developed an A/V system in which operations may be broadcast to doctors and hospitals around the world in real time for consultation and observation. Thanks to Cosentini's innovation, doctors can be assembled to participate in operations from anywhere in the world, at any time.

Another field of expertise for Cosentini is atrium design, in which issues of grand scale are paramount. Such key elements as smoke control systems, stratification of air, the utilization of energy efficient glass and lighting are integral to successful design in large, open spaces. A recent example of the amalgamation of all these components in a large, open space is The Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. At 2 million SF, it is one of the largest enclosed air-conditioned atriums in the world. The Cosentini-designed atrium at the Ford Foundation building on East 42nd Street, which included radiant heat and energy-efficient spilled air, was the most groundbreaking design of its time when built in 1967.

A division of Tetratech since 1999, the full-service consulting engineering firm has a diverse project roster that includes commercial real estate, multi-family housings, hotels, retail, healthcare and institutional, schools and museums.

The types of projects are seemingly endless because of Cosentini Associates' enormous range. Clearly, it is a firm with deep traditional roots and a credo for creativity in designing practical solutions for the future.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 12, 2003
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