Archives For green building

Office Building Environmental AnalysisIn a previous article I dug into the first half of the Midcentury (un)Modern study conducted by Terrapin Bright Green that raised the question of what we should do with a group of over 100 energy deficient New York office towers built between 1958 and 1973. Once it became clear that a series of unique conditions were making this particular group of poorly performing buildings unadaptable the question became if there was a positive scenario for demolition and reconstruction. There could be a number of ways to stimulate or incentivize the replacement of these buildings to coax building owners into action–essentially paying them to make a change. However, even though it’s possible, is it positive? Is there a process that creates a new building while providing a net gain? Not only a monetary gain for the city, but a net gain in things like energy use, water consumption and air quality. Continue Reading…

Park Avenue Commercial Real EstateTime has a way of treating seemingly similar buildings very differently. More than just the years of abuse from the elements and the course of daily use, the change in priorities and cultural trends of how we live and work ripples through the built environment, re-calibrating the value of buildings at any given time. The empty warehouse spaces of SoHo that seemed valueless in the 40’s and 50’s were viewed differently twenty years later when artists filled the open floor plates with studios  and differently again when they were replaced with high end retailers at the turn of the century. The iconic landscape of commercial office towers in New York is going through a similar transition as demands for office space continue to evolve while a great deal of the building stock is not the gleaming, glass facets of One Bryant Park. Some office space, built in a specific time for a specific purpose, has fallen from grace in comparison to newer brethren. Continue Reading…

Too Much House LightingWhen it comes to homes, lighting has become a luxury of the modern age. Architects have steadily grown to gorge themselves on light fixtures. Without a doubt, nice lighting can certainly look cool, but it is easy to go overboard. Light a circulation path here, throw in some accents there, before we know it we end up with over 62 lights in the average house. For residential buildings, exterior lighting ranks up there in convenience of questionable necessity like automatic blackout shades or heated towel racks. Beyond just the materials and energy used to make and install lighting, its presence carries a lasting toll on energy use. Continue Reading…