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The latest news on New York architecture.

  • LPC Approves Plans for Governors Island

    East, Ticker | Tuesday, February 7, 2012 | . Pentagram's Welcome Wall at Soissons Landing. (Courtesey West 8) In a unanimous decision, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the first phase of plans by the Trust for Governors Island to restore and revamp the island. The vision includes a paisley-like landscape by West 8 on the terrace in front of McKim, Mead and White designed Liggett Hall. Way-finding by Pentagram and lighting by Susan Tillotson also made the cut. For a detailed breakdown of the designs click here.

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  • Retrofits Always "Greener?"

    As a new study from the Preservation Green Lab [part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation] shows, the answer is “a resounding ‘usually.’”
     
    Turns out, the question of building reuse is much more nuanced and interesting than can be answered with an blanket strategy – which is not at all surprising. Whether an existing building should be retrofitted or demolished is a question of use [both previous and planned], climate, construction type/materials, etc – and also a clear understanding of carbon footprinting:  “Since it can take decades for a new building to “pay back” its embodied carbon through improvements in operational efficiency (see “A 2030 Challenge for Building Product Manufacturers,” EBN Feb. 2011), this study’s conclusions about carbon emissions should come as no surprise: based on climate-change considerations alone, almost every useable building in every region of the U.S. should remain standing—even if these buildings are not retrofitted to improve energy performance.
     
    Carbon payback time for the buildings studied ranged from 10 to 80 years.”  In any case, studies like this should have a big impact on how we think of using, and reusing, our existing urban fabric – both as designers, and as people with a vested interest in legitimate, effective responses to climate change.  -Marilyn.

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