1 WTC gets new, cheaper glass covering for base

November 16, 2011 09:45AM

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has approved a new glass covering for the 20-story base of 1 World Trade Center, Crain’s reported. The initial plans to clad the 185-foot-tall concrete base of the forthcoming tower in special prismatic glass fell through because of manufacturing difficulty and a susceptibility to shattering.

The new glass covering will be significantly cheaper for the Port Authority. The agency will pay $37.2 million to Permasteelisa North America Corp to engineer and install stainless steel slat panels around the base and cover it with glass fins, which will reflect light during the day. That compares to the $82 million contracted for the original plans. Crain’s could not determine how much of that was actually paid out.

The installation will begin in 2013 and should keep construction on the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed tower on track. Port Authority Chairman David Samson said the new plan “provides a practical way to cover the tower’s secure base, and give it an innovative, inviting look for the thousands of workers who will be employed there and the millions of tourists who will visit it.”

Safety concerns have loomed over the construction of the tower, as special measures were taken to ensure the stability of the bottom 20 floors. As a result, those floors will not have office space. [Crain’s]