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Philly Snags Northeast's Largest Convention Hall

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Best Government/Public Building

Photos Courtesy of Tishman Construction
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The $786-million, 935,000-sq-ft Pennsylvania Convention Center Expansion in Philadelphia is the largest single public works project ever undertaken in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The project doubled the size of the center to 2.3 million sq ft., creating the largest contiguous exhibit space in the Northeast.

The joint venture construction management team of Tishman Construction Co., New York City, and Joseph Jingoli & Son, Lawrenceville, N.J., began the project in September 2008 and completed it three months ahead of schedule in March 2011. At one point, the project installed $20 million of work each month for 14 consecutive months.

Charlie Silverman, Tishman project director, says the project's success is due largely to an atmosphere of support. Even during disputes, work continued and disagreements were addressed “in real time,” he says. By the time the project was substantially completed in January 2011, “all financial disagreements were settled, which is extremely rare in any project, especially one of this magnitude,” Silverman says. “We had no disagreements on change orders or work.”

The center encompasses four city blocks. The 11-story, multi-plane glass curtain wall has a steel-frame canopy above and programmable LED lighting. “It's a huge asset that I believe will be a catalyst for future retail development,” Silverman says.

Although the glass is segmented, the steel is curved, giving the appearance of one smooth panel. The curtain wall's tube steel frame relies on connections to primary columns within the building and exterior assemblies penetrating the curtain wall facade.

Some 50 minority-owned firms and 32 female-owned firms worked on the project, accounting for more than $150 million of the total budget. More than 40% of the work force was from the Philadelphia metropolitan area and 76% was from Pennsylvania.

“The community was very pleased with the effort for outreach and the participation (of minorities and women),” says Mike Siciliano, Tishman project executive.

Pennsylvania Convention Center Expansion

Philadelphia

Developer/Owner: Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, Philadelphia

General Contractor: Joint venture of Daniel J. Keating Co. and Keating Building Corp., Narberth, Pa.

Construction Manager: Joint venture of Tishman Construction Corp., New York, & Joseph Jingoli & Son, Lawrenceville, N.J.

Lead Designer, Structural & MEP Engineer: Vitetta, Philadelphia

Civil Engineer: Pennoni Associates, Philadelphia

Submitted by: Tishman Construction Corp.

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