Developers in New York City are looking for innovative ways to utilize land. One method which has been used is to cover over open rail parcels of land and build over the rails. This has inherent structural and ventilation challenges due to the need to control fires, gas, and, in today’s age, the potential for terrorism. The control of these life safety ventilation systems is vital.
The Manhattan West overbuild was unique from a construction, as well as control standpoint. The exhaust fans were installed inside of the deck above the tracks so trade coordination and upfront engineering was crucial in the process. The control system needed to not only control the eight (8) tunnel ventilation fans, but also control and monitor other systems. The scope included the following:
EES was brought on board due to our experience with other Amtrak overbuild projects. The testing required by the engineer and Amtrak for system acceptance on this type of system dictated attention to every detail of the construction process. EES was brought on board a full year before the first span was installed to make sure the integration and start up would go smoothly. The stakeholders included, Amtrak, Brookfield Development, Turner Construction, New York City Fire Department, and the several million commuters who use the tracks below. This was a high profile project that needed to be done reliably and work consistently.
Characteristics of the new control system:
The system was started up, commissioned, tested and is running in a reliable manner for Amtrak and Brookfield. The start up and testing process was executed efficiently with fully documented results for all stakeholders. Coordination with multiple system vendors went smoothly. EES also assisted in managing the process with the FDNY and Amtrak which lessened the owner’s risk. As a result, EES is now involved with Brookfield in other overbuild and critical ventilation projects in the New York City real estate market.