GBA commissioned this new, energy efficient office building on New York City’s High Line.

Office building exterior, 512W22, New York City

The Objective

Developers Vornado Realty Trust, The Albanese Organization, and Olayan America hired GBA to commission this new, energy efficient office building, which incorporates concrete poured floors and slabs, dramatic ceiling heights, and oversized operable windows. The irregular stacking plan of this 172,000-square-foot facility responds to the site on the High Line, with floorplates ranging from 12,900 to 22,900 square feet and multiple outdoor terraces. All these features added complexity to the commissioning process.

The Response

At the time of commissioning, the scope focused on base building systems and back-of-house areas, as tenant fit-out had not yet commenced. GBA commissioned all the MEP/FP systems according to LEED-NC fundamental and enhanced guidelines.

Aspects of the engineering design meant to boost sustainability include a condenser water system with water-side economizer; three high-efficiency condensing boilers; and a make-up air unit with an enthalpy recovery wheel.

  • Systems commissioned in addition to the above included a cooling tower serving four packaged DX air conditioning units; overhead fan-powered VAV boxes; a rooftop emergency generator; and the building management system.
  • Numerous issues were uncovered through design- and construction-phase commissioning. These included lack of automated dampers in some ductwork entering and leaving the building, posing a freeze risk; problems getting the lobby air conditioning unit to maintain positive pressure at the front door; and necessary adjustments to the enthalpy wheel to ensure appropriate operations when outdoor temperatures are low.
  • A detailed Facility Guide prepared for the building’s staff provides instructions for operating the sophisticated systems necessary to achieve the facility’s sustainability goals. In particular, GBA authored the guide to help facility staff understand interactions of systems and system components, as well as special aspects of the engineering design that might be unfamiliar to operators.

Photos courtesy of The Albanese Organization


Identified issues involving lack of automated dampers in some ductwork

Helped resolve pressurization problems affecting the building entrance

Prepared a detailed Facility Guide to help staff operate the building's sophisticated systems

LEED Gold was achieved

Terrace of an office building
office building exterior