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New Recording Studio project

March 4, 2019 6:34 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Design is underway for a new recording studio project in Manhattan's Lower East Side. The owner has asked me to help bring her vision to life of a healthy, safe gathering place for her musical community, with great light and air - in a cellar! I am pleased that she has accepted my proposal to reflect a beam of sunlight from a rooftop heliostat through a series of mirrors to the floor of the live room: simultaneously making a natural gathering point and providing great natural light in a typically dark location.

0.75 ACH50!

March 4, 2019 6:28 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Today we passed a tremendous hurdle: air-infiltration at the Red Hook Passive House tested 0.75ach50! This means we have met a critical requirement for achieving PHI certification. There are few buildings in the world that can claim that level of performance, and we achieved it within the additional constraints of a NYC renovation. Controlling air infiltration is fundamental for energy performance in buildings. As a frame of reference, a typical old Brooklyn townhouse often tests as high as 20 ACH50. That’s two orders of magnitude larger, with accompanying heating bills in proportion.

Passive House Window Installation

March 4, 2019 6:23 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Its an exciting moment: the windows, typically a defining feature of a Passivehouse, have been installed in Red Hook. Ours are no exception: without exaggeration, these are among the nicest and best-performing windows on the planet. The frame of that window is rated at U-0.19, and the glass at U-0.105... that's R-10 for the glass! Also typical is the economic trade-off that makes the cost of these windows reasonable: they are paid for with the savings from a much-reduced heating system, part of the underlying economic formula that makes Passivehouse so compelling.

Renovation Published

March 4, 2019 6:04 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The house I remodeled for Seth and Rabia in Kensington has been published in "Eco-house Renovations: 45 Green Home Conversions" (Schiffer Books). I find I am in some good company, including Pugh + Scarpa, Bercy Chen, my esteemed colleague Andrew Tesoro, not to mention the inimitable Jersey Devil.

NYC’s largest residential array, again

March 4, 2019 6:01 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Construction documents have been filed at Bronx DOB for my largest rooftop solar array project to date: A 107Kw system elevated on new structural steel above the roof of an existing block-and-plank elder-care facility in Mott Haven. When built, it will surpass a previous project, Dumont Green, as the largest solar array in NYC installed on a residential building.

Welcome, Athan

March 4, 2019 5:52 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

I am pleased to announce the addition of Athan Geolas to my staff. Athan comes to me from RISD via Brown's Petra Archaeological Project, and he really knows how to use a pencil! Nice to have you, Athan.

Three Letters of Completion in One Day

March 4, 2019 5:29 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Three Letters of Completion in One Day: Letters of Completion arrived today for three solar array tax abatement projects! Each one of these pieces of paper represents a year or two of tedious bureaucratic hurdle-jumping: often two plan exams, a DOB plan audit, NYSERDA, DOB, ConEdison, Underwriter's Laboratories (really!) and NYC electrical inspections, post-approval amendments with revised drawings, stacks and stacks of paperwork, and truly endless follow-up... often for a dozen panels clipped to a frame on a roof. Each one of these letters represents escape from purgatory... three in one day is remarkable indeed!