211 E 70th Street Rainscreen Installation

211 E 70th Street Rainscreen Installation

211 E 70th Street Rainscreen Installation


New York, NY

Project Team
  • Owner: Rudin Management
  • General Contractor: E&A Restoration
  • Specialty Contractor: PULLMAN
  • Architect of Record:
    Forst Consulting & Architecture, PLLC
    Rob Lai
  • System Designer: Overgaard

Originally opened in 1976, this Upper East Side Manhattan property at 211 East 70th Street was designed by Emery Roth & Sons. The 35-story building in Lenox Hill contains 296 luxury apartments and multi-use space on the lower level. The building’s exterior was dated, and in the late 2010s while the building was undergoing extensive Local Law 11 repairs the decision was made to install a terra cotta rainscreen over the existing facade.

Utilizing this approach would not only improve the building’s thermal performance but also its aesthetic appearance.  The scope involved installing an aluminum and terra cotta rainscreen system with elastomeric waterproofing and Cavityrock, a semi-rigid insulation board designed for exterior cavity wall and rainscreen applications.  PULLMAN supported the project team by recladding the structure to provide a new, more thermally efficient building envelope and modern facade.

The installation of the rainscreen and aluminum framing system was unique as it required the team to install an entire new terra cotta façade over the existing one.  The existing brick masonry and concrete structure had many variations in its surface dimensions.  A laser scan was performed to capture as-built conditions of the original façade, and the rainscreen system was then designed to incorporate these variables into its tolerances.

During the installation of the new system crew members installed 15,000 brackets to attach carrier tracks and 40,000 LF of carrier track to support the finish components of the system.  Additional components included 40,000 LF of window enclosures (surrounds) to bridge the gap between the existing windows and the new terra cotta façade, insulation strapped between carrier tracks, PTAC extensions and 86,000 terra cotta panels.

Installing the new rainscreen system over the existing aged and weathered façade posed several challenges.  Significant variations in facade gap and inconsistencies in window planes had to be addressed during construction to allow for installation of a plumb and level rainscreen system.  To solve these challenges, the team assisted in developing design changes to adapt the system components to the building features.  BIM360 was used for Quality Control Management.  Within BIM360, specialized checklists were created for installation of the frame and track system on each floor and elevation.  Each mast climber lead used an iPad to complete these checklists in real time and to confirm and document accurate installation of each component.

Today, 211 E 70th Street boasts a more modernized appearance elevating and repositioning the building in the New York City real estate market.