The latest news on New York architecture.

  • Scott Henson Awarded Ortner Award for Rehabilitation of The Tracy Mansion

    Scott Henson Awarded Ortner Award for Rehabilitation of The Tracy Mansion

    Presentations have been made for the Evelyn and Everett Ortner Preservation Awards, given annually to projects in Park Slope by a community organization called the Park Slope Civic Council. Recipients of the awards are selected by an independent jury of experts in architecture, historic preservation and community engagement.

    The awards honor Evelyn and Everett Ortner, who were “early and vigorous promoters of the borough of Park Slope as a historic site worth preserving and nurturing,” as the New York Times put it. They were long-time residents of and advocates for the Park Slope community. Since the 1960s they have played a pivotal role in transforming Park Slope – then a neighborhood in decline – into the vibrant community it is today.

    The awards honor local projects compatible with the neighborhood’s architecture and efforts to preserve the area’s historic character.

    For rehabilitation of a historic structure, an award has been presented to ZR Empire & Associates, Leonard Colchamiro Architects and Scott Henson Architect for the Tracy Mansion, located at 105 8th Avenue. This Neo-Classical townhouse was designed by Frank J. Helme and was most recently a Montessori school. This category is awarded for significant exterior modifications, alterations and/or additions to a building to make it habitable and compatible with its original architectural character.

    The awards were presented at the next Park Slope Civic Council meeting on Thursday, March 1, at 7 p.m. The Park Slope Civic Council, a volunteer organization formed in 1896, advocates for locals and aims to improve the neighborhood. For more information about the awards, click here.

  • New York City's Renewable Roof Design

    New York City's Renewable Roof Design

    As part of the 2015 State Energy Plan, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo mandated that by 2030, 50 percent of the state's power shall come from renewable sources, such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric. Cuomo's mandate echoes a similar policy in Germany, a nation that has implemented renewable policies and has gotten as much as 85% of the nation's energy from renewable sources. 

    New York City is poised to be a leader in such initiatives. The opportunities to source renewable solar energy on the rooftops of New York City's buildings is immense. According to the Encyclopedia of New York City, the borough of Manhattan alone is estimated to have about 60,000 unique buildings. 

    Solar panels and green spaces help a building owner comply with the Mayor's Office of Sustainability Benchmarking Law, which requires owners of large buildings to submit an annual energy usage report through the US EPA online tool. 

    Rooftop design is a cost effective and practical way for a business to achieve the benchmarks, in addition to receiving tax incentives and rebates. A well-designed green roof can improve overall air quality, increase property values, and reduce storm water run-off. A professional architect's expertise ensures a business not only complies with local sustainability measures, but also improves the property value for future owners, while maximizing the tax benefits for today's owner. 

    Rooftop gardens offer several benefits, including temperature regulation, pollution control, and local vegetation. Solar panels provide additional benefits, including tremendous local incentives that encourage use of solar collection. An online calculator helps the business owner research the savings and benefits by location. 

    Utilizing the opportunities provided through sustainable roof design in NYC, companies that adapt have the chance to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. LEED certified buildings qualify for additional benefits and incentives, including cost-effective utilities, less impact on the environment, and international recognition as an environmental leader.   

    To learn more about adding a renewable roof design to your building, contact Scott Henson Architect.