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World Trade Centre development 'not significantly slowed' by Sandy

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World Trade Center developer Silverstein Properties has insisted disruption caused by Superstorm Sandy will not significantly slow the rebuilding project

But several UK practices with studios in New York have been affected by the damage to the city’s essential infrastructure.

The World Trade Centre scheme suffered loss of power and flooding earlier this week as the storm ripped through the North-east of the US.

Five office towers and a mix of retail, memorial and arts space are being built to replace the iconic twin towers destroyed in the terror attacks of 11 September 2001.

Silverstein staff and contractors carried out an inspection of the site on Tuesday and Wednesday 30 and 31 October.

A spokesman said: ‘No structural damage was sustained at any of Silverstein’s World Trade Center towers, including 4WTC, which topped out in June of this year and remains on schedule to be completed in 2013.

‘The only major issues at present are water and restoration of electrical service. Neither problem is expected to significantly impact the overall construction schedule.’

He said the process had begun of pumping water out of the lowest basement level of towers 2, 3 and 4.

’No harm was detected to Silverstein’s major mechanical systems, including a major electrical room beneath the 2WTC construction site, which supplies power to each of Silverstein’s towers,’ the spokesman added.

’There was no significant damage to 7WTC. Once Con Edison is able to restore power, 7WTC will be fully operational.’

Lord Foster is designing tower 2; Richard Rogers and Fumihiko Maki are designing towers 3 and 4; David Childs tower 7.

Meanwhile Grimshaw and Buro Happold are among the UK-headquartered firms whose New York offices have been temporarily closed by the storm.

David Herd, regional director for North America at Buro Happold said: ‘The events in New York this week are a reminder of the fragility of our environment. The resultant lack of power, water, telecommunications and mass transit in Lower Manhattan are creating challenging business continuity conditions.

‘Many architectural businesses in the area are consequently closed and dealing with physical issues such as water damage but also more widely spread problems due to a lack of power.

This is  a testing time for business continuity

‘In the short term power is likely to return by the next business week but the period for a return to normality in mass transit could be some time. This is  a testing time for business continuity.’

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