New York University, Center for Urban Science and Progress

Commissioning of this major gut renovation for a science facility led to ongoing energy performance optimization by GBA.

Exterior of the Center for Urban Science and Progress, New York University

The Objective

In a $500 million project, NYU transformed an existing facility at 370 Jay Street, built in 1951, to create a new home for the applied science arm of the university’s academic initiative on cities. GBA commissioned building MEP/FP systems for this 560,000-square-foot project, which targeted LEED Gold.


The Response

GBA’s involvement began in the design review phase and continued through post-construction (occupancy phase).

Notable equipment/systems commissioned included thermal storage (including an ice-making chiller), cogeneration (including a microturbine), chilled water, electrical distribution, and domestic water.

GBA completed design-phase commissioning as specified by LEED guidelines. The team used BIM360 to track and resolve issues. GBA then witnessed required project tests for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Deficiencies identified and corrected through construction-phase commissioning included:

  • Improper installation of vibration isolators on fan-powered units serving offices and general spaces, which would have resulted in significant noise.
  • Insufficient length of straight ductwork into fan-powered units. Without correction, improper flow readings and controllability issues would have occurred during normal operation.
  • Incorrect/reverse piping of heating hot water pumps.
  • Insufficient detail for controls sequence implementation, giving incomplete direction to the controls contractor programming the building management system.
  • Missing section of steel platform that provides access to dedicated outside air-handling units, which would have made maintenance and servicing difficult.
  • Unapproved fire smoke dampers installed in certain areas.

New electrical switchgear was kept under appropriate, climate-controlled conditions due to GBA recommendations. The firm’s electrical scope also included a short circuit coordination study and commissioning verification.

Though LEED Gold was targeted, Platinum certification was achieved.

GBA continued to work to optimize the facility’s energy performance post-completion through an On-site Energy Manager contract supported by NYSERDA, which provided a significant cost-share for this service.

Photos © Albert Vecerka/Esto

Advanced green engineering, including thermal storage and cogeneration

Numerous issues identified and corrected through commissioning

LEED Gold targeted; Platinum achieved

Post-construction On-site Energy Manager contract supported by NYSERDA

Exterior, NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress, 370 Jay Street.
Interior Laboratory, NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (370 Jay Street)