Wausau Provides Solar-Powered SuperWall System for New York's Long-Awaited Whitehall Ferry Terminal

Contributing to the revitalization of downtown Manhattan, Wausau, Wis.-based Wausau Window and Wall Systems® provided its SuperWall system with building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panels for the 200,000-square-foot construction of the Whitehall Ferry Terminal. According to Wausau, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) named the building was named one of New York City's "High Performance Buildings."

The $201 million, highly anticipated project was a joint venture of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York City Department of Transportation, the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Parks and Recreation. Commissioned to replace an interim facility that was constructed after the Staten Island terminal suffered extensive damage from a fire in the early 1990's, the Whitehall Ferry Terminal is a modern gateway to ferry services to the St. George Ferry Terminal via the Staten Island Ferry, carrying 65,000 commuters and tourists per day.

A 75-foot high entry hall and crystalline glass façades provide panoramic views of the downtown Manhattan skyline and waterfront, while the PV panels convert sunlight to electricity to meet the buildings' solar power performance needs.
"This was an exceptionally complicated system culminating years of research and planning to ensure a safe, code-compliant, façade-integrated, photovoltaic system while also ensuring weather resistance, structural integrity and performance standards recognized in all Wausau curtainwalls," said Steve Fronek, Wausau's vice president.

For the Staten Island Ferry Service, Wausau's SuperWall system was factory-fabricated and shipped knocked-down, which helps simplify the wire routing process prior to frame assembly. A collaborative glazing and electrical team installed the BIPV system in compliance with the National Energy Code and local building codes.

"Façade-integrated PV applications such as these are most successful when the curtainwall manufacturer has a detailed knowledge of PV design practices and NEC and local codes to ensure that PV laminates are adequately supported and compatible with all glazing compounds," explained Wausau's research and product development manager, Tom Mifflin. "We confirm that they are properly oriented and un-shaded to maintain power output and check that the curtainwall framing provides adequate protection and physical space for connectors, conduits, strain relief and other facets of electrical good practices."

NYSERDA identified the Whitehall Ferry Terminal as a "High Performance Building" under its New Construction Green Building Performance. The features contributing to this recognition are its PV panels, daylight dimming, controlled, demand-based ventilation, and high-performance glazing.

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