Sharing a Vision of Excellence — Partner Q & A
Toll Brothers City Living®
Union County Plate Glass
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE)
Window Design Consultation
Michael DeRosa, Chief Operating Officer
Nick Irwin, Sales Representative
Graham Architectural Products
GT5500 Awning Windows (125)
GT7700 Fixed & Casement Windows (436)
GT7700 Outswing Doors (6)
W2700 Window Wall
• 4.5” depth WW Units (850)
• 6” depth WW Units (1,441)
10 Provost at Provost Square is a 28-story condominium that epitomizes the best of urban living. Refined finishes, thoughtful design and extraordinary amenities, coupled with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and New York Harbor (thanks to exceptional Graham window wall, window and door products), make this an address of distinction.
“When we first went out to bid for 10 Provost, most manufacturers threw their hands in the air and said, ‘We can’t provide you sliders of that size. We won’t bid the job!’ Graham came to us with the attitude that they could provide us a better product at a competitive price while still maintaining the design intent.”
―Martin Stroble, PE
Project Manager, Toll Brothers City Living
Q & A with Martin Strable of Toll Brothers City Living
Martin Stroble, PE, is a project manager at Toll Brothers City Living, a company that for five years in a row has been named Fortune magazine’s #1 Home Builder Worldwide. He recently took time to reflect on the partnership between his company and Graham Architectural Products, and the many ways in which Graham helped to bring Toll Brothers’ vision to life.
Q What does Toll Brothers look for in its project partners?
A We look to partner with companies who share our goals and values: to provide the best product possible, to be honest and truthful in their dealings, and to look to the future for solutions to present problems.
Q Why was Graham selected?
A Fenestration systems can be complicated. There are a lot of competing design criteria that builders must meet to provide a high-performing, code-compliant, and aesthetically pleasing product. The manufacturer needs to manage long lead times and swings in the
price/availability of raw materials. Contractors typically rush to get windows installed so that the building is enclosed and interior work can commence. And finally, sometimes windows or their adjacent construction leak; there is nothing worse than trying to chase a leak in an occupied building. Bottom line, windows can be a sore subject for most owner-builders.
In the Spring of 2016, City Living started to take a deeper look at who we bought our windows from. We wanted someone who was big enough to supply a job with 2,000 windows, but wasn’t so big that they didn’t care about the final product or their partners. At that time, we had a job with Graham in D.C. and had used them previously on a job or two in the NY/NJ area. We visited their plant in York, PA, sat down with their team, and discussed the relationships we were looking to build. We liked what we saw and planted that seed with some of our contractors in NJ for an upcoming project – 10 Provost
Street in Jersey City, NJ.
Q Window and window wall played a pretty important role in this project. How did Graham help to make your vision come to life?
A There are certain things in a high-rise condo that buyers get excited about; windows are one of them. Whether it’s the warmth of a southern exposure, the sweeping view of a cityscape, or the peacefulness of experiencing sunsets daily – homeowners like to connect to what they can see through that glass. Graham worked with us to preserve this connectivity without breaking the bank. We were able to offer our homeowners a relatively large, high performing sash at a competitive value.
Q Could you discuss ways in which GAP was responsive to your needs and the needs of the project? For instance, I understand as originally conceived this building was to have horizontal sliding windows and that Graham recommended a different approach.
A When we first went out to bid for 10 Provost, most manufacturers threw their hands in the air and said, ‘We can’t provide you sliders of that size. We won’t bid the job!’ Graham came to us with the attitude that they could provide us a better product at a competitive price while still maintaining the design intent. Toll, Graham, and WJE (exterior consultant) started to have both technical and non-technical discussions over 2 or 3 months about what the windows could be. Once we started digging deeper, we arrived at outswing awnings. We ended up purchasing these windows in a design/assist setting with
UCPG (installer) and Graham.
Q What do you like about working with Graham?
A I like the fact that I can call up Brian Hurley (President) or Michael DeRosa (COO) and they will listen to my needs and concerns. As I said, windows can be a sore subject in my line of work – it’s nice to have a partner that will dive in the mud with you and help you out.
Q I understand there were some conflicting codes that made the hardware selection challenging. Graham – and Michael DeRosa – came up with a solution that helped you satisfy the needs of both. Can you elaborate?
A Yes, providing a large operable window to our buyers that is also code-compliant can be difficult. We need to make sure that anyone can easily open and shut a 150-lb. piece of glass and aluminum. We also need to ensure that the lever handles feel robust to the buyer, that they feel like a quality piece of hardware. After all, it is what the buyer interacts with the most within the fenestration.
Q Is there any truth to the rumor that someone there refers to Michael as “The Window Whisperer”? If so, can you explain why?
A I think we actually coined him “The Hardware Whisperer”. As we were doing mock-ups and figuring out what hardware to use, he displayed an intense excitement for everything he brought to the table. He was also handy at opening the hardware and dissecting all the parts in order to fix an issue.
Q Michael says Toll Brothers and Graham are similar in that both share an attention to detail and a devotion to quality. How do you feel about that assessment?
A I would agree. I think this was apparent with the relationship between our project engineers and their drafting personnel. Being this was a design assist, we were constantly calling each other to point out new issues we found and working together to find a solution. I was very impressed by this.
Q How would you describe the project and the outcome?
A I think you evaluate every project by how it finishes. At the beginning, we had an issue with glass supply that was out of the control of Graham – it led to a slow start. So even though we lost a few weeks, UCPG and Graham worked together to finish install of windows a week ahead of schedule. I think that is a testament to both companies’ work ethic and resourcefulness.