PRISM - American Society for Engineering Education - Logo SUMMER 2005 - VOLUME 14, NUMBER 9
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RISING AGAIN - As the last of the World Trade Center buildings to fall, Seven WTC held its ground until just after 5 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2001. And almost four years later, it's the first making its way back up. Photographs by Sylvia Plachy

By Lynne Shallcross

A worker on the ground floor removing a concrete blockSeven WTC looms 750 feet in the air, offering a dramatic contrast to the 16-acre hole in the ground next door. The bluish-tinted building, a 52-story, 1.7 million- square-foot office tower, stands for more than just the WTC rebuilding. It will also serve as a role model for future tall buildings in terms of innovative engineering. Some are already billing it America's safest and "greenest" skyscraper.

Iron workers on the fourth-floor perimeter

A worker on the ground floor removing a concrete blockAt a cost of $700 million to construct, Seven's ex-terior walls will conserve energy, and collected rainwater will help with cooling and irrigation. The building boasts a 2-foot-thick solid concrete core, which will provide much higher impact resistance and will house the exit stairs, utilities infrastructure, and elevators. The stairwells will be 20 percent wider than currently required, and they will be pressurized, which will prevent smoke from entering and remaining in the stairwells—a requirement by city codes all over the world but not in New York. A recent federal safety report found the staircases—their number, weak walls, and location—in the Twin Towers to be critical factors in the deaths of many killed on Sept. 11. Looking up at the building's ground-to-sky glass exterior, which was just being finished as Prism went to press, you get a sense of just how magnificent engineering can be. —Lynne Shallcross

Stairwells in the new Seven WTC will be 20 percent wider than code, pressurized, and painted with photo-luminescent paint.

Stairwells in the new Seven WTC will be 20 percent wider than code, pressurized, and painted with photo-luminescent paint.

The north view of the New York skyline from a top floor of the building

Iron workers dismantle the crane on top of Seven WTC.

 

 

FEATURES
THE REAL WORLD - By Anna Mulrine
CUTTING THE GORDIAN KNOT - By Jeffrey Selingo
MAKING IT BIG - By Corinna Wu
RISING AGAIN - Photographs by Sylvia Plachy
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COMMENTS
BRIEFINGS
DATABYTES
REFRACTIONS: Teaching for Posterity - By Henry Petroski
ASEE TODAY
ANNUAL CONFERENCE AT A GLANCE
CLASSIFIEDS
LAST WORD: Time for a Change - By Ernest T. Smerdon
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