Behind the Project: 351 Marin Boulevard
351 Marin Boulevard is a new residential building contributing to the rising Jersey City skyline. Recently, we sat down with Vice President, Building Envelope Christopher Johnson to learn more about our building envelope role on this project.
Thanks for sitting down with us today, Chris. Can you please tell us a bit about the project?
351 Marin is a 38-storey high-rise residential building with some amenities. It’s a new development in Jersey City, New Jersey, which has seen a boom of both residential and commercial towers.
We provided building envelope services on the building. It’s a curtain wall building but it’s not your typical all glass curtain wall. It has a brick veneer, GFRC cladding, and punched windows.
Since it’s not your typical curtain wall, did you face any challenges? If so, how did you solve for them?
The client had always wanted to have masonry and GFRC cladding on the façade, but it wasn’t originally the curtain wall system that it ended up being.
Originally, it was meant to be a conventional panelized brick and GFRC rain screen installation but later in the project, the contractors decided it would be more economical to panelize and prefabricate the whole thing, including the framing for the windows in the panels.
As a result, we had to determine how to lighten the load of what those panels would be individually, since masonry is quite heavy. We explored several types of pre-fabricated masonry systems, evaluating them on aesthetics, cost, and weight. It was important to lighten the load to avoid any redesign of the structure and, specifically to avoid redesigning the foundations, since they were already poured.
Since this change came about midway through the project and we were adhering to a fast-track construction schedule, it proved to be quite a challenging exercise, especially given the time constraints.
Once we found our solution, it became a straightforward job that went up quite quickly.
That’s great! Are there any other challenges you can think of?
In terms of any further technical or construction challenges, no there weren’t. However, halfway through construction we received a request from the client to provide controlled inspections to fulfill a request from their bank. Most specifically, the bank was looking to ensure there was sufficient insulation installed in all the locations of the curtain wall.
This would typically be a no brainer, because of course you’d put insulation in. But the bank was looking for air-tight reassurance that the building would meet energy and performance requirements.
We provided a secondary service performing a retroactive inspection to ensure all panels had sufficient insulation. This proved a bit more challenging because it was performed when ¾ of the panels were already on the building, so getting access to find all those insulation cavities was a bit tricky. This required actually doing some probes on a building not even finished!
This type of inspection is similar to the work we’re doing at LaGuardia Airport, however Jersey City doesn’t have the same formal requirements as New York City in terms of special inspections. The exercise is the same, though, it’s a second party confirming that what is expected is indeed there.
What was your favourite part of the project?
The geometry of the building was interesting. Working on the cut-out details at the corners was a unique challenge – it’s interesting where the material turns from GFRC panel to the masonry.
Usually, I’m not partial to brick and masonry veneer systems but I think we found a system that worked and looked great! I’m more open to them now.
Anything else you’d like to share about the project?
On a personal note, for me, this was the first large job that I won after having come to Entuitive. It’s a nice chapter to be closed. It’s great to see construction winding down and the building turning out so well. We also subsequently won more work from the client, so it feels like a success story.
I also think that being able to leverage Entuitive’s One Company culture and our fantastic team and resources out of the gate helped contribute to this success. I felt that great boost in this first large project of mine.
Thanks for sitting down with us today, Chris! It was great to learn more about 351 Marin.
If you’d like to reach out to Chris, you can do so here.