The latest news on New York architecture.

  • The Methods Behind Historic Building Preservation

    The Methods Behind Historic Building Preservation

    Many people care deeply about historic building preservation. Individuals who care a lot about history may care about the educational value of historic buildings, as older buildings help to give an area its own unique identity. Oftentimes, people who have a strong emotional connection to a local area often want to maintain the buildings and surrounding neighborhoods that they recognize.

    Historic building preservation architects are trained in understanding the essential character of the building. They must empathize with the concerns of tenants, who are rightfully cautious about the process of historic building preservation.

    The right firm will always place a great deal of emphasis on historic research, thus making it easier for everyone involved to make the building look and feel like something that is representative of its era. General contractors will do what architects specify; they will fix roofs, install new doors and windows, and reconstruct parapets. However, the actual materials and approaches that will be used in the process will be chosen by the architect as true to the time-period in question.

    Firms can adopt modern materials and technologies while still respecting original intent and traditional approach to construction. In that way, their methods can be both modern and timeless, giving them all the tools that are available in the world of today while still allowing them to use the knowledge of the past.

    Contact us to become more familiar with historic building preservation.

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  • Understanding Local Law 84

    Understanding Local Law 84

    If you own a large building, then you should already be aware of Local Law 84, also known as the NYC Benchmarking Law. This law holds you responsible for reporting the water and energy consumption of your property.

    Starting in 2018, Local Law 84 is expanding to include mid-size buildings that are larger than 25,000 square feet, but less than 50,000 square feet. This means that a whole new range of properties will now be required to comply with Local Law 84. Because of this, it is very important owners of mid-size buildings are able to understand and provide the necessary information to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s online portal, because a failure to comply will result in a penalty.  

    The purpose of this law is not only to help the local authorities understand the consumption of water and energy, but allow for an increased amount of transparency. This is of particular importance because many people, when looking for a place to live, take into consideration the energy efficiency of the building. By collecting this data, the city will be able to provide both landlords and renters with the information they need in order to make more sustainable choices. 

    The Process

    If you’re a mid-size building owner and you aren't sure how to comply with the new annual benchmarking process, we’re here to help. Below, please find the necessary steps we’ve provided, which will help you understand the necessary forms to complete and how to get your building information registered:

    1. Check the Covered Buildings List online for your property every year.

    2. Set up an account in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, if you don't already have one.

    3. Enter or review the characteristics and uses of your building.

    4. Collect every bit of energy and water data from your utilities provider for the entire building.

    5. Record your energy and water usage in the Portfolio Manager® account you created in step 2 above.

    6. Confirm and enter your BBL and BIN information.

    7. Check your data for errors and completeness, and make adjustments as needed.

    8. Submit usage data to the City by May 1 of every year through your profile.

    This process will help the New York City better plan energy uses in the future. Environmental protection remains a priority in the entire city, the stakeholders of which realize the importance of being as responsible as possible with energy and water. By knowing your energy consumption, you can then work towards making positive changes and reduce the energy used by your building. 

    If you own a building, you already know that there are a variety of inspections and laws you need to adhere to on a continuous basis. Local Law 84 is just one of them. But you don't need to panic; instead, simply work with experts that are there to help you navigate through the laws. If you have any questions, or need help in getting started, please contact us.

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