The dawning of a new light

An industry responds and looks ahead to the challenges of rebuilding after September 11
August 11, 2010

Only one year after September 11, 2001, the building sites that were the targets of the terrorist attacks on that horrific day are being reclaimed, rebuilt and reborn. The A/E/C community mobilized like at no other time in recent history to reconstruct and harden wedges 1 and 2 of the Pentagon and cleanup and stabilize Ground Zero in preparation for new life.

Buildings bordering Ground Zero that were heavily damaged by the collapse of the Twin Towers also are being reconstructed. For instance, this month the World Financial Center's Winter Garden, whose trademark glass skylight and east facade were smashed by falling debris, will reopen.

The past year has been a time of recovery, review and reconstruction. In this 12-page special section, BD&C seeks out A/E/C experts intimately involved in these processes and provides them an opportunity to comment about what the A/E/C industry has learned from September 11 and where it may be headed in the future.

Leading the section is commentary from author Judith Dupré, who sheds light on the subject of light and glass in future high-rise construction. The section continues with insight provided by Michael Burton, who until recently headed the New York City Department of Design and Construction, which was charged with the rescue, recovery and cleanup efforts at Ground Zero; W. Gene Corley, leader of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) World Trade Center (WTC) performance study; Walker Lee Evey, program manager of the Pentagon Renovation Program, who managed the reconstruction of wedges 1 and 2; and Jon Magnusson, chairman and CEO of Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire structural engineers and member of the FEMA/ASCE team that studied the WTC's performance. Further commentary is provided from New York City-based contractor AMEC, which participated in both the cleanup of Ground Zero and led the reconstruction of Pentagon wedges 1 and 2.

 
Memorial lights shine from where the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001. “Tribute in Light” lit up the New York sky for 32 days beginning March 11, the six-month anniversary of the tragedy. 


Lastly, an examination of fire and life safety focuses on the need for modernization of egress standards stemming from evaluation of the WTC. The section also includes reports on the launch of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's new study on the collapse of the Twin Towers, and the decision by officials to solicit development of additional design proposals for the redevelopment of the site.