Sustainability

We believe passionately in sustainable building design and construction. Energy efficient buildings help reduce carbon footprint and help the efforts to fight global warming.

In addition, building for energy efficiency actually makes sense economically and can save money. It is a misconception that energy efficient buildings are more expensive. There are always tradeoffs. For example, spending more on effective insulation will enable spending less on heating and cooling equipment and lower the energy bills.


Energy efficient buildings offer more comfort, have better air quality, are more quiet, and can actually improve the health of the people who live and work in them.

With an overall energy efficiency analysis  done specifically for the project at the early phases of the design process, and  with weighing different options for energy efficient solutions, it becomes clear to the owner how savings can be made.


We are familiar and implement the current NYC energy codes and in most cases our design exceeds the basic code requirements.

We explore together with our clients ways to achieve the highest level of building performance within the project budget. Our experience with construction drawings,  coordination with the project engineers, construction detailing and on site construction administration help us achieve these goals


Some ways to achieve better energy efficiency and sustainability in renovations and new construction:

Insulation - Adding more insulation and using more effective insulation at the building envelope  can substantially reduce the buildings heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. This enables downsizing the heating and cooling equipment and can result in substantial savings.

Sealing The Building Enclosure - Sealing the cracks and small opening enables an air-tight building enclosure.  It prevents uncontrolled air exchange between the inside and outside. A blower door test is preformed to detriment the air-tightness of the building.

Rainscreen Wall Systems - Rainscreen wall systems  are designed to allow air circulation behind the outer skin of the building and for better drainage of the rainwater that penetrates the wall.  This helps reduce moister inside the wall and reduce the heating and cooling of the wall.  These wall systems reduce potential for mold and rust and reduce the required heating and cooling of the interiors.

High Performance Windows - A substantial amount of heat and cool-air in a building is lost through the windows. High performance windows can be a combination of insulated and energy efficient frame, multiple glass panes, and gas fills. These window can substantially reduce the needs for heating and cooling.

Mechanical Systems for Heating and Cooling and Air Circulation - A well insulated and air-tight building allows reducing the capacity of the mechanical systems for heating and cooling. An Energy-Recovery Ventilator (ERV) system circulates the stale indoor air with fresh outside air while minimizing the heating and cooling energy loss. It can also control the indoor humidity levels. The result is  better indoor air quality and less heating and cooling costs.

Lighting - LED lighting technology has advanced substantially in the last decade.  LED lights, that are becoming more and more affordable, consume much less energy than incandescent lights and they last much longer.  These lights are typically smaller in size, come on a big variety of types, and allow a lot of   flexibility for lighting design.

Energy Star Appliances and Equipment - ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed  labeling  of or energy efficient  and quality products. The use of ENERGY STAR® appliances and equipment can substantially reduce energy consumption and costs .

Recycled and Recovered Materials - The use of these materials in a building reduces the need for manufacturing new materials and the greenhouse gas emissions that are part of the manufacturing and delivery . This reduces carbon footprint of the building. The use of materials also helps reduce the destruction of the natural environment( for example use of certified wood in place of wood that comes from endangered trees). We use recycled and recovered materials in every opportunity we have.


Useful links:

NYSERDA - New York State Energy Research & Development Authority

New York City Energy Conservation Code - The NYC energy code

ENERGY STAR - The government-backed symbol for products, homes and businesses

 
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Brooklyn Townhouse Renovation - The exterior wall is designed as a rainscreen system to enable air circulation behind  the new siding


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Brooklyn Townhouse Renovation  -  Windows and sliding doors system'  frame and flooring are made from reclaimed wood


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Clinton Hill Residential Building Shadow Study - The building orientation, the location and size of the windows, and the windows' shading devices can substantially reduce the cooling and heating loads


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Clinton Hill Residential Building during construction - Rigid roof insulation


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Clinton Hill Residential Building during construction -  The wall interior insulation is sprayed foam and ceiling insulationis laid batt