Monday, June 15, 2015

NYC Mayor de Blasio and Former Mayor Bloomberg Attending Ceremony Tomorrow Celebrating Start Of Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Campus Construction - Forest City Ratner Developing Bridge Co Location For Digital Tech Start Ups and Hudson Companies Building First Passive Energy Residential High Rise

Guess who's coming to Roosevelt Island tomorrow? No, not Hillary Clinton returning. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg,  among others, will attend a ceremony celebrating the start of construction for Cornell Tech's Roosevelt Island campus.

Earlier today Forest City Ratner, the developer of Cornell Tech Co-Location building

Image of The Bridge at Cornell Tech Corporate Co-Location Building From Cornell Tech

Forest City Ratner Companies today launched The Bridge at Cornell Tech, a first-of-its-kind building that will be located at the heart of Cornell Tech’s campus on Roosevelt Island. The Bridge at Cornell Tech, developed by Forest City Ratner Companies and designed by WEISS/MANFREDI, will offer an opportunity for a limited number of start-ups and established companies pushing the edge of digital technology to be on campus. The Bridge will house an ecosystem of companies, researchers and entrepreneurs who are focused on catalyzing innovation and the commercialization of new products and technologies, driving economic growth for New York. The Bridge will be the only building in New York City designed and built to leverage the resources of a cutting edge research university, and to remove all barriers to collaboration and innovation with the world’s most cutting-edge companies. Construction commenced in May on the Bridge, which will be part of phase one of Cornell Tech’s campus, due to open in summer 2017. A video trailer introducing the building is available at

“The Bridge at Cornell Tech is a place for companies looking to test and launch products and ideas, a place where research comes to life and technology meets the market,” said MaryAnne Gilmartin, President and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies. “For the right companies committed to innovation and collaboration, The Bridge will provide a massive competitive advantage at the center of the campus and the heart of New York City.”

“Cornell Tech has already made great strides in fusing academia and industry in our academic and research programs, and The Bridge will be the physical manifestation of that mission on our campus on Roosevelt Island,” said Cornell Tech Dean Dan Huttenlocher. “The Bridge will be the epicenter of this fusion on campus, putting practitioners, companies, students, faculty, and researchers in close proximity to one another in a design that encourages collaboration.”

From MetroTech in Brooklyn to the 5M project in San Francisco and University Park at MIT, Forest City has been at the forefront of place-making for the innovation economy, bringing together creative industry leaders and higher education to create truly 21st century places.

The Bridge will house a mix of cutting-edge companies working alongside groundbreaking Cornell academic teams: from recent Cornell Tech graduates spinning out new company ideas, to startups on the verge of explosive growth, and established companies testing their next product.

Designed with flexible spaces and loft-like common areas, the building will encourage random interactions and deep collaborations that solve problems, build partnerships and accelerate new products to market. The result will be one of the greatest concentrations of talent in the country, and an unparalleled community of entrepreneurs eager to collaborate and test new ideas, launch new products, and start new businesses.

“The Bridge is a crystalline incubator with river-to-river views and creates a three dimensional crossroads, an ecosystem of innovation that catalyzes collaboration between academics and entrepreneurs," said Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, design partners at WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism.

From demo days, hackathons, lectures and conferences, to opportunities to collaborate with faculty and students and to participate in special events for the tech and creative community, companies at The Bridge will be part of and will thrive on the entrepreneurial energy at Cornell Tech and the larger NYC tech community. It will serve as a model for future tech sector growth and innovation.

The building is being designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, and, situated on the east side of Roosevelt Island, will feature expansive views of the waterfront, Queens and Manhattan. It will be one of the three main buildings as part of phase one of Cornell Tech’s campus, which also includes the First Academic Building, a residential building that will be the first Passive House high-rise in the world, and substantial open space. The campus will be one of the most environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient campuses in the world.
On June 12, Cornell Tech issued this press release:

Cornell Tech announced today that the first residential building on its Roosevelt Island campus, developed in partnership with the Hudson Companies, will become the first high-rise residential building in the world built to Passive House standards. Passive House (PH) is the strict international building standard that drastically reduces energy consumption while creating a healthier and more comfortable living environment for a fraction of residents’ usual energy costs. The building will become the beacon of the Cornell Tech campus and a symbol of the school’s unwavering commitment to innovative sustainability. Construction is set to begin this month on the 270-foot tall building that will house approximately 350 residential units and is slated to open as part of the campus’ first phase in 2017.

To achieve Passive House standards, Cornell Tech Residential will incorporate a number of sustainability-focused design elements. The façade, constructed of a prefabricated metal panel system, acts as a thermally insulated blanket wrapping the building structure. At the southwest façade, facing Manhattan, the exterior façade opens to reveal a louver system that extends the entire height of the building. This reveal is designed to be the “gills” of the building, literally providing an enclosed exterior space where the heating and cooling equipment live, allowing the building system to breathe. Low VOC-paint, which limits off-gassing and improves indoor air quality, will be used throughout the building, among many other elements. Compared to conventional construction, the building is projected to save 882 tons of CO2 per year, equal to planting 5,300 new trees.

“Constructing the first Passive House residential high rise in the world is the latest and most exciting example of our effort to set new benchmarks in sustainability and innovation,” said Cornell Tech Dean Daniel Huttenlocher. “We hope this will serve as a model for how Passive House standards can be brought to scale in the United States and create a new template for green design here in New York City.”

“We have spent the past 2 years working with an incredible team of engineers and designers to establish this new standard for a 26 story building,” said David Kramer, Principal of the Hudson Companies. “We hope that this boundary-pushing development will serve as a living lab and enduring inspiration to the community of next-generation problem solvers who will live within its (well insulated) walls.”

The plans to achieve Passive House standards at Cornell Tech Residential were developed by a team of experts, including Handel Architects, Steven Winter Associates, Buro Happold, Monadnock Construction and co-owner Related Companies.

Luke Falk, Assistant Vice President of Sustainability for Related Companies said, “We are quite literally breaking new ground with the development of the world’s first high-rise residential passive house and it signifies the deep commitment by the entire project team to create a paradigm-shifting campus in New York City. This milestone is also the culmination of unprecedented collaboration between the public and private sector and demonstrates the energy-saving potential of high rise residential architecture that can be achieved with forward thinking partnerships.”

Considered the most rigorous energy efficiency standard in the world, PH buildings consume 60 – 70 percent less energy than typical building stock, surpassing modern standards like LEED and NYSERDA. The design also has a tremendous economic benefit for residents: Cornell Tech Residential tenants can expect to see this savings reflected in their electricity bills.

Passive buildings incorporate a super insulated building façade, an airtight building envelope and an energy recovery ventilation (ERV) system to create a comfortable interior climate without drafts and cold spots. The ERV system constantly pulls in fresh air and removes stale air, while recovering the energy in the climate-controlled air leaving the building. The PH requirement for the airtight facade (measured as air changes per hour or ACH) is 0.6 ACH, ten times tighter than typical new construction; new construction buildings average 6-8 ACH, while typical brownstones average 25 ACH.

The new structure, which is being designed by New York City-based Handel Architects LLP, will be the tallest building on Cornell Tech’s campus and an iconic marker. The building’s exterior will shimmer, using a state-of-the-art, color-changing paint that, when reflecting light, naturally shifts color from silver to warm champagne. The interior is designed to provide a comfortable living experience that reinforces the social and intellectual connectivity that is at the heart of the school’s mission. It is geared to further a dynamic environment in which students and faculty can benefit from the synergy of their peers. The building features a number of collaborative spaces, both inside and outside, to facilitate collective academic creativity.

“High-rise multifamily housing is a vital part of the solution to the challenges we are facing with increasing world populations and a changing climate,” said Blake Middleton FAIA, Handel Architects LLP. “The Cornell Tech commitment to innovation was the impetus to rethink how these buildings are designed and built, and we expect this project to be a game-changer, creating a new paradigm for affordable, high-performance buildings to meet this challenge.”
Last April 27, Cornell Tech's new Chief Administrative Officer Julliet Weissman met with members of the Roosevelt Island Cornell Construction & Community Task Force. Ms.Weissman was welcomed by the Task Force

and asked by Task Force Member Christina Delfico to help provide financial resources for Roosevelt Island organizations.

UPDATE 9:35 PM - The Observer reports:
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg will announce tomorrow that he has donated $100 million to the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island.

The donation, made through Bloomberg Philanthropies, will fund construction on the $2 billion campus and come with a nice perk–the first academic building will be named The Bloomberg Center, in honor of the billionaire’s daughters, Emma and Georgina....
Click here for full Observer article.


Nick said...

Did the rides vendor change? No spinning apple!

CheshireKitty said...

Charlie and Charlene in matching shirts: Coincidence? I think not.. ;-)

CheshireKitty said...

For once, I agree with Hudson - on passive-house construction! Way to go - glad to see Hudson leading the way with progressive thinking on energy-efficient design!

APS said...

Fun to treat the kids to this great day, but wonder how many of our 14,000 residents the event actually serves, and if the funds can be used in another way that expands the reach to more than just a few, which is what it looked like to me.

Frank Farance said...

APS, Roosevelt Island Day is for much of the Island: blood drive; clean-up, planting, and beautification; Go Bag prep; hands on CPR; concert and performances; religious organizations; outreach by politicians (City, State, Federal); ID tagging; painting and art exhibition; breakfast and lunch; and so on. Organizations, like the Roosevelt Island Seniors Association were participating in the event.

If elected politicians see this as a Must-Do event, then they see this as connecting with adults (because kids don't vote).

Given its broad coverage, I can't think of anyone it does not serve in the community.

Frank Alo said...

Trump has my vote, but sadly he will not win because he tells the truth

CheshireKitty said...

I think I know what you are talking about - but I don't see how else the event could be organized. If you have concerns about the services/information reaching all 14,000 residents, and can think of a different way of offering the services, then you could suggest it to RIOC.