It was a risky job, subject to myriad variables, the least of which was the fickle currents of New York City’s tidal East River. It was a pioneering job that took modular construction to new levels. It was a nerve-racking job executed in the dark, which caused many a sleepless night. It was a successful job that saved time and money. It was the logistical feat of delivering (by river) and lifting (with a derrick barge) 19 heavy modules for a laboratory building at Rockefeller University.
In an era when many owners, designers and contractors shy away from the unprecedented for fear of sinking into a quagmire of litigation, the entire construction team for the 960-ft-long research building banded together, stuck out its collective neck and went full speed ahead. They successfully finished the most tenuous part of the work—lifting, swinging and landing modules that weighed from 500 to 788 tons—on schedule last summer.
Because it can moderate the damaging effects of earthquakes, base-isolation is a technique used primarily in seismically active regions. ENR takes a look at some of the largest applications of base-isolation technologies in the world.