Helping Fulfill A Promise Made
When One World Trade Center completes its rise in 2013 to claim its place on the skyline of Lower Manhattan, Munich Re employees may be excused for feeling a tinge of extra pride knowing the organization played a role in fulfilling a promise to rebuild at the epicenter of so much horror, sorrow, and anger nearly a decade ago.
The Engineering Team of the Corporate Insurance Partner division of Munich Re is one of the key insurers on the construction risk covering ‘One World Trade Center', also known colloquially as 'Freedom Tower.' Upon completion, Tower One will be the highest building in the United States and among the tallest in the world, standing at 1,776 feet - a height precisely measured to mark the year the United States Declaration of Independence was signed. The coverage also includes the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, and Transportation Hub, all of which are New York/New Jersey Port Authority properties. CIP is also a key insurer Towers Two, Three and Four. “From a technical standpoint, we are involved in insuring the rebuilding because it is such a well-managed project in terms of security, safety and design” explained Rob Beck “The buildings themselves incorporate significant safety measures that are well above code and have set new standards in the construction of high rise buildings.”
For example, the center of each building is an enormous concrete core. Stairwells have backup lighting, ventilation, communications systems and numerous other safety features that have made this building one that will set the standard for others in the future, according to Rob Beck. In addition, the builders hired their own Site Safety Director, require all workers to receive training before receiving credentials to work on the site, developed a comprehensive crane safety program, and hold regular meetings among contractors to discuss site safety issues.
Safely orchestrating the cacophony of equipment, materials, and people getting onto and off the site, while maintaining an underground train line and constructing a new one (including coordinating construction crews – above and below the surface) is another of the intense logistical challenges being managed successfully, according to Franz Vogt.
“We are very supportive of the project and very comfortable helping to supply the coverage with all of the extensive safety precautions that are in place,” said Franz Vogt. “It is rewarding to know that the capacity provided by Munich Re and other insurers and reinsurers has enabled the financing of this important project allowing it to move forward.”
From a personal perspective, Rob Beck explained that being part of the rebuilding process is especially gratifying. “I, like many, lost several business associates and friends in the attack at the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the events on that sorrowful day are forever burned in our collective memories. So to now witness and play a small role in such an historic and significant venture is truly an honor and one I will never forget.”