The latest news on New York architecture.

  • Benefits Of Adaptive Reuse

    Benefits Of Adaptive Reuse

    In a way, adaptive reuse means changing a building’s function while keeping its form. Adaptive reuse has become popular in the ever-changing social and business climate of New York City. For example The Knickerbocker Telephone Company Building was built in 1894, and for many years was the home of a number of manufactures. After an extensive exterior and interior restoration completed in 2016, the 105,000 sf manufacturing building was converted into high end office space for JC Penny and a storefront showroom for Pirch.


    Save Money

    Demolition and new construction can certainly be costly. By simply making use of an existing structure precious funds and resources can be saved. There are even some incentives such as eligible tax credits covering up to 20% of the cost of restoration.

    Save History
    Locals are proud of their neighborhood’s architectural landscape. By updating historical buildings, or buildings that have meaning to the existing community, developers can preserve the neighborhood’s identity and charm.

    Save the Environment
    New buildings have higher embodied energies than adaptive reuse buildings. In 2001 new construction accounted for about 40% of annual energy and raw materials consumption, 25% of wood harvest, 16% of fresh water supplies, 44% of landfill, 45% of carbon dioxide production and up to half of the total greenhouse emissions from industrialized countries. Adaptive reuse retains a building’s original embodied energy by bypassing wasteful demolition and construction, adaptive reuse saves precious time, energy and materials.

    To learn more about our services and how adaptive reuse could benefit your company, contact us.

  • Avoid NYC Building Violations: An Overview of Local Law 11

    Avoid NYC Building Violations: An Overview of Local Law 11

    In May, 1979, a piece of lintel became detached from the eighth floor of a Columbia University-owned apartment constructed in 1912 and fell, fatally striking a passing college student. To ensure that history would not repeat itself, New York City passed Local Law 10 the following year . The law stated that the street-facing facades and side walls of every building more than six stories would be required to be inspected every five years. If the inspection revealed any defects or deficiencies, reconstruction and an additional inspection would be required.

    Local Law 11

    Eight years later Local Law 11 was introduced to address emerging problems and potential issues, expanding the requirements of Local Law 10 to include the following:

    • Expanded the façade inspection to ALL façades and appurtenances; except walls 12” or fewer inches from an adjacent building
    • Required scaffolding at each inspection
    • Required a written report on any deterioration and its causes
    • Required a timetable for any repairs, and staggered these dates throughout the year
    • Established a building classification system—“safe”, “unsafe”, or “safe with a repair and maintenance program (SWARMP)”—and eliminated “precautionary”

    Local Law 11 also requires that any SWARMP-designated buildings which are not fixed in a timely manner receive an adjusted designation of “unsafe.” Any required repairs must be completed within 30 days of the initial report, to then be followed by another inspection and report filing. The Department of Buildings (DOB) charges $265 for the initial report and an additional $100 for amended and subsequent reports.

    The Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP)

    The Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP) oversees adherence to Local Law 11. Among the FISP requirements are:

    • Technical Report (form TR6)
    • Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) and owner contact information
    • Current and clear photographs and/or sketches of unsafe conditions
    • Repair timeframe
    • Scaffold drop and location
    • Any report findings that are inconsistent with photographs

    Failure to file results in a $1,000 fine per year plus $250 per month for every month the report is overdue.

    Today, over 12,500 New York City buildings are subject to Local Law 11.

    For more information about Local Law 11 and/or obtaining a qualified exterior wall inspector, please contact us.