The latest news on New York architecture.

  • Environmental Surveying: A Must Have for Sustainable and Socially Responsible Development

    Environmental Surveying: A Must Have for Sustainable and Socially Responsible Development

    We have a strong focus on sustainability. Among the products and services we offer to promote this effort is environmental surveying. Environmental surveyors use general surveying techniques to investigate and identify the potential impact of environmental factors on construction and real estate developments, and vice versa. In other words, environmental surveying seeks to understand the symbiotic relationship that exists between the environment and architectural development.

    A baseline—or control—environmental survey is typically conducted just before or during the initial stages of a project. This multi-disciplinary survey seeks to identify the potential for past and present site contamination from hazardous materials, petroleum products, and other pollution sources and identifies possible environmental or occupational health vulnerabilities and risks. Environmental surveys are commonly undertaken on sites adversely impacted by hazardous substances toward creating a reclamation or mitigation plan.

    Once baseline data is determined the usual next step is a topography survey to collect information on the existing physical features of a particular area. These surveys are common when designing buildings, roads, subdivisions, parking lots, utility corridors, or athletic fields, for example, as they show horizontal and vertical dimensions and elevations of the parcel, utility structures, preexisting buildings and parking areas, and roads.

    Environmental surveys are also used to conduct:

    • Flood risk assessments on new construction
    • Contaminated land assessments to determine the threat level posed to proposed or existing buildings
    • Environmental screening to determine whether the property may be susceptible to some type of environmental hazard such as ground gas, polluted soil, or contaminated water
    • Monitoring well water for potential pollution risks
    • Fire risk assessments
    • Asbestos surveys in older structures

    Environmental surveyors rely on various data sources to generate their reports, including:

    • Historical data from older surveys and maps
    • Water sampling
    • Earth sampling
    • Geometric data
    • Geographic information systems to cross-reference map and statistical data
    • Visual inspections

    For more information please contact us.

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  • Solar Power and Renewable Energy Roof Design Doesn't Need to be Unattractive

    Solar Power and Renewable Energy Roof Design Doesn't Need to be Unattractive

    “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” Thomas Edison, 1931

    New York City is following Edison's lead and putting its money on the sun and solar energy. One City Built to Last is a plan to reduce New York City's emissions by 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) offers innovative financing options for energy efficiency and resiliency measures, including green mortgages and direct lending products that underwrite energy savings into the loan. The City will also explore modifications to the J-51 housing tax credit and the use of Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) to encourage additional investments in efficiency measures.

    We've all seen the pictures of solar panels sticking out on rooftops, today solar power and renewable energy roof designs don't have to be unattractive. A source book from the NREL shows buildings with different styles and colors of solar arrays. Most panels are blue, brown, and black, but some PV manufacturers can fill special orders for colors such as gold, green, and magenta. Imagine a vegetated roof with jewel-tone solar panels among the greenery. Solar shingles are available in New York too. And yes, New York City gets enough sun for solar roof systems. New York City receives more sunlight than Germany, which has the highest solar penetration per-capita in the world, and is on pace for a record-breaking year of installed solar in 2016. There is even a solar map that shows solar installations the city.

    New York City's higher electricity costs and the City's property tax abatement for solar means investments in solar energy pay back more quickly in the City than the rest of the state. Scott Henson Architect believes preservation and adaptive re-use of historic buildings is an effective tool for sustainable stewardship.

    Scott Henson Architect can design a beautiful energy-efficient roof for your building that will not only look great but will save you money.

    Contact us today to learn more.

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