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New York’s One World Trade Center Wins National Building Design Award

September 12, 2014 from American Institute of Steel Construction

(Chicago, IL) – The One World Trade Center (1WTC) skyscraper in New York’s Lower Manhattan has earned national recognition in the 2014 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) during a ceremony to take place at the tower on Wednesday, September 17 at 2 p.m.

Conducted annually by AISC, the IDEAS2 awards recognize outstanding achievement in engineering and architecture on structural steel projects across the country. The IDEAS2 award is the highest, most prestigious honor bestowed on building projects by the structural steel industry in the U.S. and recognizes the importance of teamwork, coordination and collaboration in fostering successful construction projects.

In recognition of its particular accomplishments in structural engineering, 1WTC has been selected to receive the IDEAS2 award’s Presidential Award of Excellence in Engineering, the only project in the competition to be so honored.

“This is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and an engineering feat that both warms the heart and pleases the eye,” commented Erin Criste, staff engineer in AISC’s education department, and a judge in the competition.

1WTC is the tallest of the four buildings planned as part of the Ground Zero reconstruction master plan for Lower Manhattan. And it is indeed the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere with an overall height, from ground level to the top of the spire, of 1,776 ft. At 1,368 feet above ground, the main roof is designed to be the same height as the original towers.

The tower structure is comprised of a hybrid system combining a robust concrete core with a perimeter ductile steel moment frame. The reinforced concrete core wall system at the center of the tower acts as the main spine of the tower, providing support for gravitational loads as well as resistance to wind and seismic forces; it houses mechanical rooms and all means of egress.

A ductile perimeter moment frame system is introduced for redundancy and to further enhance the overall building performance under lateral load wind and seismic loads. The perimeter moment frame wraps around all vertical and sloped perimeters, forming a tube system.

The skyscraper’s project team members include:

  • Owner: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Owner’s Representative: STV, New York
  • Architect: Skidmore Owings and Merrill, New York
  • Structural Engineer: WSP, New York (entered project in the competition)
  • General Contractor: AECOM (formerly Tishman), New York
  • Steel Fabricators: MRP, LLC, South Plainfield, N.J. (AISC Member/AISC Certified Fabricator); Banker Steel Company, LLC, Lynchburg, Va. (AISC Member/AISC Certified Fabricator)
  • Steel Detailers: Dowco Consultants, Ltd., Mississauga, Ontario, and Surrey, British Columbia (AISC Member); Automated Steel Detailing Associates, Ltd. Toronto (AISC Member)

Although 1WTC was singled out for its engineering achievements, projects entered in the IDEAS2 competition are judged on their use of structural steel from both an architectural and structural engineering perspective, with an emphasis on: creative solutions to project’s program requirements; applications of innovative design approaches in areas such as connections, gravity systems, lateral load resisting systems, fire protection and blast; aesthetic and visual impact of the project; innovative use of architecturally exposed structural steel (AESS); technical or architectural advances in the use of the steel; and the use of innovative design and construction methods.

The 12 IDEAS2 winners for 2014 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 70 years to the earliest years of AISC’s existence. And about this year’s Presidential Award of Excellence winner, Roger E. Ferch, P.E., president of AISC, said, “The entire One World Trade Center project team has shown how structural steel can be used to create structures that combine beauty and structural integrity. The result is a structure that will serve its owners and users extremely well, while providing an example of what can be achieved when designing and constructing projects with steel.”

High-resolution images of the 1WTC project are available upon request by contacting AISC’s Tasha Weiss at 312.670.5439, [email protected]. For more information about the IDEAS2 awards and to view all of this year’s winners, visit www.aisc.org/ideas2.

Photo Credit: Yoram Eilon (courtesy of WSP)


For more information contact:

Tasha Weiss
Communications Department
(312) 670-5439
[email protected]


American Institute of Steel Construction
The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC’s mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including: specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

130 East Randolph St. Suite 2000
Chicago IL 60601
Phone: 312.670.2400
Fax: 312.626.2402