416 and 420 Kent – High-Rise Mixed-Use Development

Standout Features

McLaren Engineering Group provided full engineering design services for three 23-story high-rise towers located at 416 and 420 Kent Avenue in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY. The modern towers are comprised of 857 apartment units, commercial space, underground parking and amenity spaces. Swimming pools and basketball courts can be found on top of the roof. The total constructed floor area is 800,000 square feet.

The McLaren Difference: Applied Ingenuity

McLaren’s team proved its versatility by servicing the structural, geotechnical, marine and civil portions of the high-rise Kent Avenue project. Tax abatement deadlines created a need for a fast-track design schedule requiring a permit set of structural drawings to be submitted within a one-month timeline. Borings were expedited to facilitate a preliminary pile design required to submit a structural permit set. Various McLaren divisions worked together seamlessly to meet project deadlines.

McLaren engineered the design of the bulkhead and 40-foot-wide waterfront walkway along the East River. The Marine Division assisted the Structural Division with the flood loadings on the buildings, and flood resistant design requirements. The shoreline improvements integrated mitigation design to prevent further pollution of contamination found on-site.

At the forefront of the water, this unique development was designed with views in mind, with 80% of the apartments having a corner window. McLaren engineered cantilevered bays with diagonal struts and hanging columns to support this unique design feature. The diagonal struts were to transfer cantilever loads back into the building.

One of the biggest challenges is that the floor plans changed at every level, requiring column spacing maximization while minimizing the slab structure depth. McLaren utilized the central concrete core as shear wall to provide lateral restraints. Transfer girders and walking columns were used to create these larger open spaces, and the use of specialty stud rails increased the punching shear capacity at the supports.

A building on the waterfront comes with it’s own challenges. A concrete pressure slab, supported on 14 inch diameter steel pipe piles and concrete pile caps, is being utilized in the below grade parking basement to resist hydrostatic forces from the East River during a storm surge. The pipe piles, driven to a depth of 95 feet, serve as friction piles with a 200 ton compression capacity and 80 ton tension capacity.

This project was given the Award of Merit by the Concrete Industry Board in 2018.