Columbia Receives Engineering Excellence Award for Studebaker - April 23, 2008

April 23, 2008

Columbia University was the recipient of an Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACECNY) for the renovation of 615 West 131st Street, also known as the Studebaker Building.  The award, which recognizes engineering achievements that demonstrate a high degree of ingenuity, was presented during ACECNY's 2008 awards reception on March 29th at the Waldorf=Astoria.  Congratulations to Fran Fitzgerald, Ruth Shragowitz, Jo Donna Lamb, Irwin Lefkowitz and Doug McKean, the Columbia University Facilities project management team members.  The consulting engineering firm for the Studebaker project was Joseph R. Loring & Associates and the architect was The Switzer Group

Each year ACECNY's distinguished panel of judges selects the finest engineering designs, plans and studies by New York State consulting engineering firms, based on criteria such as uniqueness and originality; technical value to the engineering profession; social and economic considerations; complexity, and success in meeting client goals.  

Columbia's award was received in the category of building/technology systems. The building's engineering design features new electric service and distribution, new gas and water services, low-flow restroom fixtures, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, new fire detection and fire prevention systems, new vertical transportation infrastructure and enhanced use of natural light.  In addition, single pane windows were replaced with double pane, high performance units.

The Studebaker Building was originally constructed in 1923 to house a showroom and factory for the famed Studebaker car company. The building consists of primarily concrete construction with roughly 15-foot floor-to-floor heights, as was typical to warehouse buildings of that period. The building required extensive renovations to convert the former warehouse building into a "Class A" office space to accommodate essential Columbia University administrative departments including Information Technology, Human Resources and Finance.

For more information on and images of the Studebaker Building, please visit the Neighbors Web site at: http://neighbors.columbia.edu/construction/current/Studebaker_Building/index.html.

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