Shearman & Sterling LLP, Corporate Headquarters Restack, 559 Lexington Avenue

Client: Shearman & Sterling LLP

Architect: Perkins&Will

Size: 300,000 SF

Completion Date: 2022

Construction Cost: $150 Million

JFK&M has provided MEP design expertise for a variety of projects for the international law firm, Shearman & Sterling LLP, eventually leading to the restack of its headquarters located at 599 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY. Reaching completion in 2022, the project reinforces the firm’s commitment to achieving environment, social, and governance goals, and to maximize the reduction of its overall carbon footprint. On track for LEED Gold certification the project also places Shearman & Sterling as the first global law firm to participate in the WELL Building Standard (WELL) at an enterprise scale, and to commit to having the 22 global offices pursue the WELL rating.


JFK&M began a due diligence report in 2019 to assess three possible strategies for the home of its headquarters. Shearman was evaluating real estate strategies that include remaining at its current locations, 599 Lexington Avenue and 850 Third Avenue, or relocating to alternative New York City locations. The project considered a move from their two current facilities to two new facilities, relocating to a single new facility, or a restack/renovation within one of their existing buildings.


After completion of the study, Shearman decided to remain at their current location at 599 Lexington Avenue and begin a complete restack demolishing its original 16 floors occupied and focusing on a major renovation for its 12 floors: C2 Level (29,509 sf), 2nd floor (32,956 sf), 3rd floor (27,831 sf), 4th floor (39,391 sf), 5th floor (29,224 sf), 6th floor (24,680 sf), 7th floor (24,012 sf), 8th – 10th floor (25,151 sf each), 11th – 12th floor (22, 212 sf (each).  Upper floors in the building were used as a swing space.

MEP/FP systems were designed to support all of the floors, including a dedicated floor for  dining that includes a coffee bar, order kiosk, salad bar and grab and go beverage area. The kitchen is supported with cooking and staging area, as well as a walk-in cooler with maintainable temperature control. Serving as a social amenity space, the area and kitchen was designed to support both employees and events hosted at the company’s headquarters.


Wellness Design

The project ensures the highest standards of Indoor Environmental Air Quality for all personnel within their facilities.  

Specific systems and equipment, such as HVAC Air Filtration, HVAC Bipolar Ionization systems, hands-free electronic doors, faucets, and flushing devices, were state of the art designs to improve air quality and minimize contaminant exposure for any individuals occupying the facilities.

The following are brief descriptions of the systems utilized to achieve the highest standards of Air Quality and Environment.

The main building air handling units and the unit serving the Shearman Room are equipped with two sets of filters in series, a MERV 8 and MERV 15 filter.  All air (both outside air and return air) is passed through these filters prior to being supplied to the floor. Early each morning, the building runs the main air handling units at 100% outside air for a half hour to flush the floors and then return to normal code designed operation.

All the smaller Shearman supplementary air conditioning units are equipped with filters.  The level of filtration varies depending on what is available for each particular type of unit but is a minimum of MERV 13 for all units serving occupied areas and most have MERV 14 filters.

Bipolar ionization units are installed in the supply duct mains from all the base-building air handling units as well as the unit serving the Shearman room ensuring all supply air is treated by bipolar ionization.  Additional smaller bipolar ionization units are provided in the supply ductwork of smaller air conditioning units serving the Board Room and kitchens.

An advanced electrified (Healthway) filter-fan unit is installed to serve the 3rd floor Nursing area.  The system takes air from the rooms and filters it prior to discharging it back to the return air system, providing an additional level of enhanced filtration for air from the Nursing area and Fitness/Wellness areas.

Air quality monitoring devices are installed in the return ductwork to each base-building air handling unit to allow concentrations of different air pollutants to be monitored.