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Case Study: 726 Broadway, New York University


Case Study: 726 Broadway, New York University

The Project

The New York University (NYU) building at 726 Broadway recently underwent a roofing replacement project in order to address ongoing leaks at the top floor. The 10-story building is located in New York City and houses various departments, including the physics department and the student health center. It is part of the NoHo Historic District, built in 1917 for John Wanamaker as a garage, warehouse and factory to support the Wanamaker Department Store located two blocks north. Three stories were added ca. 1980 when the building was converted for office use, and is now owned by NYU.

SUPERSTRUCTURES Engineers + Architects provided design services for the roofing replacement project and oversaw construction. Kingspan’s Optim-R was selected as a solution to meet increased energy code requirements (R-33) for energy efficiency while minimizing disruption to existing rooftop equipment. OPTIM-R is comprised of rigid vacuum insulation panels with a microporous core which is evacuated, encased and sealed in a thin, gas-tight envelope, giving outstanding thermal conductivity, with the thinnest possible solution to insulation problems.

The vacuum insulation panels are accompanied with rigid thermoset polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation infill panels which can be cut to fit around irregular roof penetrations such as equipment curbs and vent stacks. Optim-R achieved the code-required R-value with lesser thickness compared to conventional insulation products. This eliminated the need to elevate the numerous rooftop equipment in order to accommodate a significantly thicker roofing system, which would have been a major cost to NYU.

Project Highlights

  • 20,000 SF roofing replacement project that cost approximately $3.3 million
  • The project duration was approximately 6 months and work was completed in Fall 2020.
According to SUPERSTRUCTURES’ lead engineer and architect on the project, Nimesh Shah and Aisa Osako, OPTIM-R provided a solution to the challenges faced in the project, and they will recommend it to building owners facing similar constraints under current energy code requirements. This project is the first application of OPTIM-R in a conventional roofing system at this scale. The team ensured that all manufacturer’s installation instructions were followed and the panels were installed with the correct adhesive pattern to meet performance requirements.

"Adaptability of highly energy efficient materials, such as OPTIM-R, in the conventional roofing system can provide significant cost savings to building owners.” Aisa Osako, Project Architect.


OPTIM-R's high level of thermal efficiency, combined with minimal thickness, provided an ideal, costeffective solution for 726 Broadway. OPTIM-R made installation fast and easy by eliminating multiple layers of polyisocyanurate insulation. Creating a more energy efficient core, Kingspan’s OPTIM-R was the best solution for a building facing increased energy efficiency requirements and having no room for a thicker roofing assembly.

@KingspanIns_US #KingspanIns_US #Kingspan #Insulation #MoistureManagement

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