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New Tribeca development features clever design work.

Maximizing the luxury of new high-rise residential buildings and their dwellings is a priority for developers, architects and buyers alike. The Hubert, designed by BKSK Architects, is an example of such a high-end residential building in the trendy downtown Manhattan neighborhood of Tribeca. With exposures facing three streets, the building includes commercial space, five townhouses (two with their own garages), a full-service concierge, spacious three- and four-bedroom condominiums with terraces and a huge duplex penthouse apartment with a 360-degree roof deck. To heighten the luxury experience for each unit in this building, the developers wanted each of the 35 tenants to have individual control over their interior environment. As this is not found in a typical New York condominium, great design flexibility was required.

In most residential buildings, builders place centrally located equipment to provide for the HVAC and plumbing systems.

These services are then distributed to the tenants and the costs are divided by the amount of usage. This is dramatically different in the Hubert. To comply with the owner's design requirements, Ambrosino, DePinto & Schmieder designed each apartment to have its own gas fired boiler, water heater and packaged water-cooled air-conditioning units. The domestic water supply also comes from a private riser takeoff. This allows each tenant to tailor the interior environment to his or her individual needs.

Service and maintenance is simplified as boilers and water heaters are located in central mechanical rooms on each floor. Any renovations to the systems can occur without affecting the other building occupants. To save space and energy costs, high efficiency boilers from Weil McLain are used. This eliminates the requirement for a flue running the height of the building, since each sealed combustion boiler vents directly to the outside through a rear courtyard wall.

The sprinkler system also contributes to the aesthetic appeal of The Hubert. To maintain !oft-like exposed ceilings in the condos, the design used extended coverage horizontal sidewall sprinklers, with a throw over 18 feet. This allowed windows to extend to the ceiling and added to the expansive vistas and views of the building.

In further keeping with the theme of luxury, most of the condominiums have terraces and the townhouses have private patios or roof decks. This required that the storm piping be cast within the slab to minimize the impact on the architectural design. Offsetting the piping and running it within exterior columns was required to maintain this sleek look.

To create the ultimate high-rise experience, the architects designed a wraparound terrace running the full perimeter of the building for the upper level apartments and the duplex penthouse. To maximize the height of the building, no mechanical equipment was permitted on the roof. Therefore, the cooling tower for the air conditioning equipment was designed to be submerged below the ground floor level. To minimize noise levels, special sound attenuation fittings were added to the cooling tower, which is also surrounded by an acoustically designed enclosure. This allowed the tower to be placed near the ground floor garden, where tenants can relax and enjoy a respite from city living.

Comforts installed in the apartments are also top notch: floor warming in the bathrooms, heated towel bars, fixtures by Duravit and Dornbracht and commercial quality kitchens with Bosch dishwashers, Viking ranges and Gaggenau hoods.



Ambrosino, DePinto & Schmieder

Consulting Engineers, PC
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Article Details
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Author:Tagliaferro, Joseph
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2004
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