Building Statistics

September 17, 2012

Building Statistics

General Building Data


Building name:

American Art Museum

Location and Site:

Meatpacking District, New York, NY

Size of project:

195,000 sq. ft.

Number of Stories Above Grade/Total Levels:

9 levels (cellar mezzanine and cellar level underground

Primary Project Team:

Owner representative:

Withheld by the owner


Cooper, Robertson & Partners

Renzo Piano Building Workshop

MEP Consultant:

Jaros Baum & Bolles

Structural Consultant:

Robert Silman Associates, P.C.

Construction Manager:

Turner Construction Company

Date of Construction:

Start in February 2012

End in 2015

Actual cost information:


Delivery method:




The need and form of this Museum that the architect, Renzo Piano, studied are to provide a space "for the art collections, exhibitions, and education and performing arts programs". Architect Renze Piano designed with the following components:


Architectural Form:

The architectural form of this museum is asymmetrical, which reflects the surrounding industrial buildings and overhead railway. This architectural form also creates outdoor areas on multiple floors for exhibits and cafes.


Cantilevered entrance:

It provides a public space with a shelter and especially attracts the people from a New York public park, which is located 30 ft. above street level.


Indoor and outdoor galleries:

In this museum, there will be the largest column-free museum gallery in New York City. Also, there will be a large area of indoor and outdoor galleries on the rooftops facing the New York public park.


National model code/s:

International Building Code (IBC) 2007

Uniform Building Code (UBC)



District(s): M1-5 - light manufacturing district (high performance)


Historical Requirements of Building or Historical District where Built:

From Geological Technology Analysis, the main concern is that the construction site of this museum is located on a man-made filled land. The land is an extension of the shoreline of the Hudson River. The analysis states that it may interrupt the foundation construction due to old timber structures or other obstructions.


Building Enclosure

Building façade:

There are 10 different exterior wall types. Most of the exterior walls are pre-cast concrete system with CMU and stud wall with steel plate rain screen cladding system. The curtain wall system is built with 8 different glazing systems.



There are several different roofing types. Most of them, such as terrace roofs, are covered with reinforced concrete wearing surfaces. Over the mechanical space in the north sided, the roof is integrally footed pre-cast concrete pavers. The green roof is topped with 4" extensive growing soil.


Shading Devices:

There are three types of shading devices, which are interior glare/solar control shade, interior diffusing shade and interior blackout shade. Most of the shading devices are motorized. And, the manually controlled shading devices are interior glare/solar control shades in the south of 5th floor and all sides of 4th floor.


Sustainability Features

This project will achieve minimum Gold Certification with the aspects of LEED for New Construction 2009. The main sustainability features are:


Indoor Air Quality:

As the carpet use, the carpets are required to be labeled with the "Green Label Plus". And, the paint of the project will be anti-corrosive and anti-rust paints.


Material Use:

The project is going to use LEED focus materials, low-emitting furniture and furnishings, and rapidly renewable resources, etc. And, the roofing material is also included the minimum Solar Reflectance Index listed in the LEED Requirement Summary, Section 018115.


Energy Use:

All of the fluorescent lighting features will be required with low mercury.


LEED Training Program

The project provides an environmental training for the workers on the project site. The topics in the training program are such as the LEED requirements of the project and the construction waste management.


Download the PDF version with LEED chart.



The construction of AAM will be completed in 2015. The completion date was changed due to Hurricane Sandy. The method of this museum construction is guaranteed maximum price with a liquidated damage agreement. Turner Construction Company contracts directly with subcontractors approved by the AAM.



The location of AAM is surrounding commercial buildings and attached with an elevated park. The accessibility of the construction site is minimized to avoid interrupting the operation of surrounding buildings and the elevated public park. Also, there will be a shelter and notices on the public park for protection.


The following image is the entrances of the site:



Mechanical System

Heating and Cooling:

The heating will be provided by 5 natural gas fire-tubed condensing boilers in cellar level. Improving the efficiency of heating system, the waste heat will be recovered by a bottoming cycle cogenerator. The generation of the cogeneration also will be part of emergency system, which will be attached with a 200-gallon emergency fuel tank. On the other hand,  3 - 300 tons electric chillers will handle the cooling load of AAM with a free cooling heat exchanger, and its heat rejection will be 5 cells of open condenser water cooling towers.



The primary ventilation systems will be mostly VAV systems. The systems of galleries will VAV ventilation system with fog-typed humidifiers and high efficiency filters. The secondary system will be fan coil unit to heat/cool the façade of lobby and finned tubed radiators along the exterior wall.



The incoming electric service will be received by 2 switchboard sets on cellar level. Each set will consist of two 208Y/120V, 2000A distribution and service switchboards.

The emergency system will be located on 2th floor, which will consist of automatic transfer switch and a 75 kW gas-fire reciprocating cogenerator. This cogenerator also can be used with the waste heat produced by 5 boilers. There will be at least one emergency panel board on each floor serving major equipment and emergency lightings.  



UV Protection

According to the UV protection of the art collection in AAM, there will be motorized shading devices connecting with photo-sensors. Secondly, all windows will be installed with low-e glass. Then all lamps in art storage areas and galleries will be provided with UV protect sleeves.

Lighting Control

There will be lighting control system, and it will be programmed with schedules and the control of different fixture groups. Since there will be skylight in the gallery on 6th floor, a photocell control will be installed to avoid the sunlight degradation on the art collections.    


Structural System


The framing of AAM will be steel framing. The longest span beam of this framing will be 70’ with 10’ deck framing. The typical decking will be 3-1/4” light weight concrete topping on 3” x 18 gage deck. In addition, the lateral system will be steel concentric braced frames.



With the consideration of surrounding buildings and cost effectiveness, the foundation of AAM will be caisson pile-supported with multiple small diameter caissons.  There will also be concrete secant wall surround the building site, which will extend to about 20’ ~ 25’ below the pile support foundation.