Project Highlight: NYU's Highly Anticipated John A. Paulson Center Opens at 181 Mercer

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The John A. Paulson Center at 181 Mercer on New York University’s campus opened Jan. 23, welcoming students and faculty at the multi-use building that includes 58 classrooms, theatres, athletic facilities, dining, communal spaces and much more at the 735,000 sq. ft. complex designed by KieranTimerlake and Davis Brody Bond.

Lerch Bates was contracted to provide Façade Access and Fall Protection consulting services for the building. Any system proposed for building maintenance must meet certain general and specific criteria as set forth by the Lerch Bates Façade Access Consulting Group and the design team.


  • Complete and efficient coverage of the external facade – The proposed system must reach the entire building envelope. Not only must it be able to reach all areas, but it must provide sufficient access so that all required cleaning, inspection, maintenance and repair operations can be performed at the appropriate interval. A successful system design provides access to 100% of the building envelope.


  • Minimal visual impact – A successful equipment design has little to no impact on the architectural integrity of the design. While it is still important to limit this visual interference when the equipment is in operation it is critical to minimize whatever architectural impact remains when the equipment is not in operation and is stored.


  • Safe and consistent – To provide this, all applicable codes are adhered to, and the knowledge and experience of the consultant is used to go beyond these codes in instances where safety is of a concern. Consistency is provided by designing a system from proven components.


  • Required annual cleaning cycles – The type of system is heavily controlled by the required number of yearly cleaning cycles. The number of required cycles is determined by environmental conditions and industry standards.


The designed/supplied façade access system for the NYU Paulson Building includes elongated height davit system, elongated reach davit system, portable davit system, recessed monorail tracks, fall protection tie-back anchors, and aerial work platform locations. A methodical platform transfer method was included to depict how the swingstage could be transported to every service drop. 3D diagrams were produced to provide clarity of the various equipment types for each specific façade location.

To learn more, reach out to Chris Rallo, Senior Consultant at Lerch Bates.

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Photo credit: Connie Zhou, JBSA Images

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