New York Times Building

Newspapers across the country are experiencing trying times at the moment, but one paper company in one famous city is thriving – The New York Times Company. So much so that they recently built a new building to their exact specification with the expertise of the NECA-IBEW team.

Over the last 25 years, Times Square has gone through a rebirth, which included the purchase and renovation of eight skyscrapers. The first seven can be seen at various locations around this busy intersection. The last is about a block away.

So, the end, the last stop, the grand finale, as it were, begins here, at the New York Times’ new headquarters, known as the southwest anchor of the Times Square revitalization project. The NECA-IBEW team played a large role in the construction of their new total light management system. The only way to see it is to go inside.

Dominic Giarratano, Host, Electric TV
“Good morning Glenn, how are you? Glenn Hughes, our client contact here at the New York Times, and our tour guide for the day. Tell me a little bit about the job to start out with.”

Glenn Hughes, Consultant, The New York Times Company
“The building is 1.6 million square feet, so it’s a rather large skyscraper. The New York Times hired Renzo Piano Building Workshop as our principle architect.”

Dominic Giarratano, Host, Electric TV
“And we’re here to see the job that the NECA-IBEW team did with the light management system. Let’s go check it out.”

Bert Rahm, Turner Construction
“The skill set between union and non-union in our minds, when it comes to construction is that there’s not another option. They are by far better-trained, they have responsibility for safety, and they have a concern for a quality product. And that’s one of the greatest reasons why we use union contractors on our jobs.”

Dominic Giarratano, Host, Electric TV
“So, we went from the ground floor to the top floor, and I’ve got to tell you, this is a pretty amazing view up here. I don’t know how you talked me into coming up here, it’s a little scary! But what are we looking at up here?”

Glenn Hughes, Consultant, The New York Times Company
“Well I wanted to bring you up here because one of the most impressive parts of the electrical installation is really related to our mast. On the third nest, up there on the mast, are two different types of sensors. We have radiometers that measure the power of the sun and we have global illuminance sensors that measure the brightness of the sky. We wouldn’t be able to run the system without the knowledge of what the sky conditions are, and that’s what’s so important, because we are trying to maximize natural light admittance in the space.”

Peter Striano, President, Unity Electric
“The devil is in the details, especially on a project of this size, and it’s critical. Because of the relationship between the Times and Turner and us, this job came to a very successful ending for all of us. That we finished on time, and from what I understand, on budget.”

Dominic Giarratano, Host, Electric TV
“We’re back on solid ground now, and that’s a good thing.”

Glenn Hughes, Consultant, The New York Times Company
“I think I’d really like to start by just saying that total light management is the single greatest opportunity for energy savings in new or retrofit buildings. We are actually able to operate in this building at an average of about .35 watts per square foot.”

Dominic Giarratano, Host, Electric TV
“Now, what is the code in New York? Is there a certain benchmark?”

Glenn Hughes, Consultant, The New York Times Company
“It’s 1.1 watts, and we’re at .35. so we’re 7- percent below the standard. Now, you can do that voluntarily today, and that’s what we’ve done in this building.”

Joe Tolento, General Foreman, IBEW Local 3
“This is the head end equipment for the Lutron system, Lutron is the manufacturer of the ballasts inside the lighting fixtures. It’s all digitally controlled. Every ballast in the building is a smart ballast. Each has an individual address like an IP address. And the craftsmanship in all of the terminations here is 100 percent. And that’s what makes me proud to be an IBEW member.”

Glenn Hughes, Consultant, The New York Times Company
“The electrical contractors turned out to be the first contractors in the ceiling, and that’s because we didn’t do the floors first. We did the ceilings first, and that was part of the underfloor air distribution sequence that we really cooked up. And it made great sense for the project, and it really was great for the contractors.”

Nick DeMaio, General Superintendent, Unity Electric
“This was an unusual job because in the ceiling, the only thing there was the electrical and the sprinkler system. So the ceilings were put up right away, and the fixtures went in, and the permanent lighting was done before any of the floor work was done.”

Dominic Giarratano, Host, Electric TV
“Let’s see the system in action. Tell me about the settings, where these are currently at, why they’re there, why the shades are where they are, and how it’s working.”

Glenn Hughes, Consultant, The New York Times Company
“We’re in a daylighting mode right now, and we’re taking advantage of the natural light as much as we can. You can see that two rows of electrical lights are out because we don’t even need electrical light near the eastern perimeter. And we have two rows of light that are dimmed way down, but we need a little bit. Our target set point is 30 foot candles, so we’re taking advantage of the natural light to the maximum amount possible. We are saving about $1 per square foot. If you had a 25,000 square-foot footprint, you’d be saving $25,000 a year for that floor.”

Dominic Giarratano, Host, Electric TV
“So I would think that on the opposite side of the building that’s not on the sun side, we would have a completely different set of settings.”

Glenn Hughes, Consultant, The New York Times Company
“That’s correct. The shades will be up and there still will be as little electric light as necessary. But the shades are going to be up on the west side because there’s no direct solar penetration right now.”

Dominic Giarratano, Host, Electric TV
“Your prediction is correct, Glenn. The shades are up, the lights are different, and we are on the west side of the building.”

Glenn Hughes, Consultant, The New York Times Company
“Yes, and I think part of that is worth taking a look at is that the lights are still dimming down, we still have a lot of lights out. So we take advantage of the natural light no matter where we are in the building, all the time.”

Bob Lipiro, General Superintendent, Fred Gellar Electric
“We’re always there to get the job done, satisfactory for the company, our company, and for Local 3 of course, who we represent as much as our company, and for the client. The client is the end result. The client expects to be done at a certain date and we meet that goal.”

Glenn Hughes, Consultant, The New York Times Company
“I think what makes this space so special is the double-high curtain wall. There’s so much more glass, which allows so much more natural light into the space. It really turns it into a great place to eat.”

Dominic Giarratano, Host, Electric TV
“It’s really open here, you can really feel the sunlight coming in. What has the response been?”

Glenn Hughes, Consultant, The New York Times Company
“The people have had such a positive response here in the New York Times building, and it’s not only here in the cafeteria, it’s also in the office space. And it’s all about the light.”

Kristin Mason, Communications Coordinator, The New York Times Company
“I love coming to work. I sit here very close to the window so I get to see the views of the city. We have the Empire State Building right out the window here. You really feel like you’re right in the middle of things. In the morning, actually, when the sun is coming around the building, you’ll get a lot of natural light into the space and you’ll think it’s starting to get a little uncomfortable, there’s a little bit of a glare, and right at that moment the shades drop down, the lights brighten a little bit. It’s almost like it’s reading your thoughts at times.”

One of the things to remember about this story is that total light management systems are viable solutions for any space, whether it be new or a retrofit. We identified a myriad of ways that The New York Times Company is saving energy, and perhaps more importantly, money with their system. But today’s story was only part one of our two-part story form New York. We’ll be back with the second part very soon, showing you how the system works and just how much they’re saving.

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