SM&F wins prestigious design award in competitive New York market

Project Team:

Dario Designs, Inc.

Daniel W. Speight, P.E., Structural
William F. Hoelter, P.E., Mechanical
Daniel P. Grant, P.E., Electrical

General Contractor:
Turner Construction

Project Overview:
“Times they are a changin’.” Businesses are going leaner and meaner and The New York Times newspaper company is no exception. According to CBS News, The Times said research has found that readers, particularly younger people and communities, prefer a newspaper that is 1 ˝” smaller in width than their current print size. The New York Times Company purchased a new press and packaging equipment to accommodate this change. The addition of this new production equipment required our team to design significant additions and renovations to the existing Queens, New York facility that started production during the second quarter of 2008. The Times decided to consolidate their New York-area production and improve their College Point facility avoiding approximately $50 million in capital improvements at the New Jersey facility. When all was said and done, it cost approximately $150 million to consolidate operations and reduce the newspaper’s width. Our team designed a 50,000 sf packaging addition; a 10,000 sf laydown addition/renovation which included relocating the existing entrance lobby and credit union; renovation of the plate making area; miscellaneous renovations to the lockers and production support area; and modifications to the site to accommodate 50 new parking spaces, 50 new fleet driver parking spaces, new fleet parking, and the parking areas displaced by the packaging addition.

Structural Systems:
The addition is a two-story steel structure. The lateral load resisting system is steel moment frames containing beams as large as W40x167 and columns as large as W14x257. The structure is founded on concrete pile caps and grade beams which are supported by 14 inch diameter by 110 foot long concrete-filled steel pipe piles. The ground floor is a two-way concrete slab and the second floor consists of steel composite beams.

Structural Challenges and Solutions Developed:

The structural team encountered numerous challenges during the design phase. New piles had to be setback from the existing structure to allow adequate rig clearance. As a result, cantilevered grade beams were utilized to accomplish this task. The presence of highly compressible soils significantly impacted foundation and underslab utility design. The Geotechnical Engineer estimated up to five feet of settlement due to the three and a half feet of fill that had to be added to the site. As a result, various utility vaults and pits were designed to prevent damage to the underslab utilities. This was accomplished by hanging concrete pits and trenches from the structural ground floor slab. An exterior utility vault also was designed and located immediately adjacent to the pile-supported structure. This concrete utility vault will house the fire line, which was jointed in two locations to prevent damage during the anticipated five feet of settlement. The vault end walls will be infilled with wood studs and Styrofoam immediately above and below the fire line to allow for vertical movement (due to the settlement).