QLIC, the residential development at Queens Plaza North between 23rd and 24th Streets in Long Island City, is almost finished. The 21-story tower holds 421 rental units, double-height retail at grade and parking below grade. The building’s 28,000 SF of amenity space includes a rooftop pool, cabanas, a roof deck with an open-air theater and barbecue, a landscaped courtyard with a fire pit, media lounge, game room, fitness center, and other amenities on an occupied terrace.

QLIC is owned/developed by World Wide Group and designed by Perkins Eastman Architects. GMS served as structural engineer and building envelope consultant. We also performed the structural and building envelope special inspections.

The structure consists of flat plate, cast-in-place concrete with shear walls and columns, supported by a combination of spread footings and a 3-foot mat foundation over rocky geology. Balconies cantilever at the exterior of the superstructure and setbacks at the 16th floor support a green roof. GMS provided special inspection of concrete. The smaller-footprint upper floors were erected using one pour on a two-day cycle, whereas the wider lower floors required two or three pours. Constructions joints between the pours were assessed and determined in the field by the inspector-engineer. In-house special inspection therefore served to expedite this coordination in the field.

The building envelope system is comprised of prefabricated panels with light-gauge metal stud assemblies. These components were assembled on Long Island along with windows fabricated in Buffalo, and then shipped to the construction site in Queens.

Having both structural and building envelope teams in-house allowed communication of structural requirements internally, without the need for a laborious RFI process through the architect, thus enabling speedy communication of coordination of interacting structural and envelope systems. Another aspect that facilitated coordination was the use of BIM, whereby all trades (structural, mechanical, electrical, etc.) could be coordinated within a single digital 3D model during design development and prior to construction. Few unknowns remained in the design by the time the first shovel hit the ground!