American Physical Society headquarters expansion wins national design award


The American Physical Society’s (APS) newly renovated headquarters in Ridge, N.Y., has earned national recognition in the 2016 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel awards program (IDEAS2). In honor of this achievement, members of the project team will be presented with awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) at a ceremony at the building on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 5 p.m.

“An honest project that celebrates the existing building and steel expansion structure without overwhelming you,” said Jason Stone, senior associate at Leslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA), and the structural engineer juror in the competition.

Founded in 1899, the non-profit organization’s objective is to “advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics,” and its new facility does just that with its new addition. Because the Long Island Pine Barrens Preservation Act prohibited expanding the building’s footprint, the building had to expand upward. The result is an 18,000-sq.-ft level atop the original one-story 30,000-sq.-ft building.

The project was entered in the competition by its structural engineer, Gilsanz Murray Steficek, New York. The other members of the project team include:

Owner: American Physical Society, Ridge, N.Y.
Owner’s representative: LePatner & Associates, New York
Architect: Marvel Architects, New York
General contractor: T.G. Nickel & Associates, Ronkonkoma, N.Y.
Steel fabricator and detailer: STS Steel, Schenectady, N.Y. (an AISC member and certified fabricator)

The 10 IDEAS2 winners for 2016 were chosen from nearly 100 submissions received from architectural and engineering and other project team member firms throughout the U.S. Each submission is reviewed and award winners are selected by a nationally recognized panel of design and construction industry professionals.

The IDEAS2 award dates back more than 50 years with AISC. And about this year’s winning building expansion, AISC president Roger E. Ferch said: “The entire APS project team has shown how structural steel can be used to create structures that combine beauty and practicality. The result is a structure that serves its purpose extremely well, while providing an example of what can be achieved when designing and constructing projects with steel.”

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Mark Buckshon has published regional construction news publications in Canada and the U.S. since 1989. Earlier, he worked as a journalist and sub-editor, including a stint on the Bulawayo Chronicle in 1979-80, during the transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. He has lived in Ottawa, Canada since 1981.


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