Elemental is proud to announce that it’s award-winning historic reconstruction of Shepard Hall at The City College of New York is included in the current exhibition on view at the Center for Architecture in New York City as part of the month-long celebration Archtober. The exhibition explores how critical choices and consumption patterns of professionals and building occupants can make positive energy changes in our cities. Shepard Hall was selected as an exemplar of sustainability in historic reconstruction. his is particularly evident in considering the use of Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) as the primary reconstruction material, in lieu of other materials. (more…)
Robert Bryce’s June 7, 2011 Op-ed in the New York Times “The Gas is Greener” zeros in on a fundamental fault in the logic of depending on solar, wind and other renewables as primary sources of energy. As Bryce correctly points out, generating large quantities of electricity from renewable sources requires vast amounts of natural resources — most notably, land, not to mention the energy and resources expended to collect and distribute that power that could be generated. (more…)
In a recent posting on BuildingGreen.com, “Does Saving Historic Buildings Really Save Energy?” Tristan Roberts pointed out a number of benefits that may be realized by the adaptive reuse of older buildings; however, he dismissed the notion that there is value in the energy embodied in these structures. While he is correct in his assertions about the cultural and urban value of historic buildings, he misses the point, or at least part of the point of the value of the energy embodied in those buildings. Despite the fact that there is no way to “recover” the embodied energy in old buildings, if their reuse offsets the need to build replacements, the energy that would have been embodied in those new buildings is saved – avoided cost. (more…)
Last Thursday, December 9th, Elemental hosted the launch party for principal founder Carl Stein’s new book “Greening Modernism”. Tom Stoelker of the Architect’s Newspaper writes: bodacious bourbon pours complimented savory vittles at the yet-to-be-opened Hudson Clearwater in Greenwich Village last night. The restaurant’s first event launched Carl Stein’s new book, Greening Modernism: preservation, sustainability and the modern movement (W.W. Norton, $60.00). (more…)
Mr. Zeller writes in his NY Times “Green” Blog post “When Green Building Is Not Green Enough” that “the nation’s building stock plays a bigger role in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions than many Americans might realize.” This is only true (a) because many Americans have chosen to ignore information that has been widely available for at least four decades and (b) powerful business and social interests have conducted a massive campaign of misinformation in order to maintain positions of economic and political power.
Yesterday, May 31st, commemorated Walt Whitman’s 191st birthday. His modest birth-home, a farmhouse, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Our design of the adjacent interpretative center was conceived to shelter the farmhouse and visitor experience from the bustle of twenty-first century Long Island; the natural and built environments are joined with the presentation of cultural history through a curving cedar wall time-line that starts within the exhibit space and leads across the grounds to a point directly in front of the house where Walt Whitman was born.
According to a NYT article, as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlanNYC, a proposal seeks to employ mandatory energy audits of existing structures of 50,000 square feet or more and requires owners to make certain improvements to make the buildings more energy efficient. James F. Gennaro, chairman of the council’s environmental protection committee and a sponsor of the measures, says “Eighty-five percent of the buildings that we have in 2009 are going to be here in 2030.”
Director of long-term planning and sustainability for the Bloomberg Administration Rohit Aggarwala tells an audience at The Urban Green Council (the newly renamed NY Chapter of the USGBC) that the building community now needs to address questions that go beyond a property’s design and construction.
A new report on energy efficiency from McKinsey found that the US alone could save $1.2 trillion through 2020, by investing $520 billion in improvements like sealing leaking building ductwork and replacing inefficient household appliances with new, energy-saving models. The report recommends such items as education about potential energy efficiency savings, more stringent energy codes, efficiency requirements for appliances and stronger financial incentives for making efficiency improvements.
Jones Lang & Lasalle released their white-paper on their spearheaded efforts to make the Empire State Building more energy efficient.
Carl Stein, FAIA co-founder, is invited to speak on “The Role of Design and Planning” on the ‘Global Warming: Global View, Big Solutions’ panel hosted by the Pelham Green Task Force.
Carl Stein, FAIA, co-founder, is a panelist at New York University Stern School of Business annual Emerging Markets Association Conference. The panel, which includes top business leaders, is titled ‘Sustainability and the Competitive Advantage of Countries and Firms.