Redesigning New York’s Waterfronts

Hurricane Sandy's Damage in Dumbo Brooklyn

Hurricane Sandy’s Damage in Dumbo Brooklyn

Sandy, storm of the century, reeked havoc on 1/3 of  the US over the past few days and devastated many east coast cities, namely New York.

Many sections of the Manhattan waterfront were flooded.  The west side to Hudson Street, parts of the Lower East Side, Dumbo, Red Hook, Queens and Long Island City were submerged in water.  One wonders, could this have been prevented?

Over two years ago, MoMA and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center created The Rising Currents exhibit.  The exhibit showcased five projects that addressed the concern for climate change over the next five years and how it will drastically effect Manhattan’s waterfront.

The harbor was divided into five areas and given to five teams (composed of members of n Architects-in-residence program at P.S.1).  Their goal, according to the Rising Currents project, was to “re-envision the coastlines of New York, and New Jersey around the New York harbor and to imagine new ways to occupy the harbor with adaptive soft infrastructures that are sympathetic to the needs of a sound ecology”.

The Rising Currents exhibition ran from March 24, 2010 to October 11, 2010.  Its unfortunate that a natural disater like Sandy had to happen before New York opened it’s eyes to the inevitable destruction.

The harbor divided into 5 zones

The harbor divided into 5 zones

Potential plan for zone 0 to stop sewage overflow and block higher sea levels

Potential plan for zone 0 to stop sewage overflow and block higher sea levels

nArchitects, Zone 3: An archipelago of man-made islands lines the coast of Staten Island and Brooklyn. These islands not only filter the storm waves, but will be programmed with specific functions to accommodate the expected spike in the population.

Innhouse Kunming, China

Nestled in the forest of Kunming, the eco friendly Innhouse, is a winner of the 2012 WAN Award.  The Innhouse is just one in a series of projects by The Oval Partnership.  Their aim is to create and set the standard for environmentally correct design.

The Innhouse is a “village” of 17 guesthouses arranged in an “L” shape surrounded by nature trails and retained trees.  The building units are composed of two wings and a semi open vertical circulation unit.  The guest suite has a  cantilevered balcony and open living space.  The sustainable design maximizes natural daylight and ventilation.  The site also utilizes solar thermal hot water, rainwater recycling and grey water reuse

Go Green: Gulf Oil Spill Impact

Everyone is aware of the gulf oil spill and the huge effect it will have on the environment.  The media is also well documenting the impact the spill will have on the fisherman and shrimpers who work in the gulf but the impact extends much farther than that.  Much of the gulf coast economy is based on tourism and there are thousands of hotels in the region who will be impacted.  The Knowland Group has already performed three surveys of the impact the oil spill has had on the gulf area hotel industry and the results are tragic.  As occupancy rates decline, thousands of people working in those hotels may lose their jobs.

The latest survey was just conducted on June 2-3 with two earlier surveys done in early May and mid May.  The survey last week revealed that 60% of the hotels questioned had group booking cancellations directly attributed to the oil spill.  Slightly more have indicated that the spill is having a negative impact on their ability to book future events.  Those surveyed are indicating that the impact in future bookings is as far out as 6 months. 

The Memorial Day weekend wasn’t impacted quite as significantly.  Nearly 40% of those surveyed said the oil spill was cited as a reason for cancellations over Memorial Day weekend but many of those hotels were able to replace the bookings.  26% indicated a decrease in bookings compared to last year but the economy may have had an impact in addition to the oil spill.

Hospitality: Marriott Is Going Green

Bill Marriott, Chairman and CEO of Marriott International, took to the internet on Earth Day 2010 to update everyone on many of his company’s “green” initiatives.

The biggest news is that they just renovated their Bethesda, Maryland headquarters and it is now certified as LEED-Gold.  This renovation with save the company $700,000 annually in operating costs and will result in tax credits of up to $1.3 million over the next 3 years.

He also mentions that currently Marriott has 40 hotels across nine of their brands that are already LEED-certified or LEED-registered.  In the next 5 years he expects that Marriott will have close to 300 hotels with LEED-certification.

In an effort to increase the growth of their “green” portfolio, Marriott is developing green prototypes for many of their select service and extended stay brands.  This will make the design and construction process easier for their owners.  The Courtyard brand is the first prototype which has been completed but many of the other brands will soon follow.

Bill Marriott also highlights some green initiatives started by some of individual properties, including the new Ritz-Carlton right here in Charlotte, NC.  That hotel, which is LEED-Gold certified, has been hosting a small electronics recycling drive.  The drive was open to hotel guests but also the local community.  They were encouraged to bring old electronic devices under 50 pounds to be recycled in an environmentally friendly manner. 

Click Here the full post by Bill Marriott

R IV Projects: Carolina Ingredients

Carolina Ingredients has settled into their new facility in Rock Hill, SC. They are the first industrial solar panel system in York County and are the largest, privately owned solar panel system in South Carolina and one of the largest in North Carolina. CI is the first seasoning company in the country to use solar energy for production

R4 was challenged with developing an existing production plant into a LEED Certified facility for Carolina Ingredients.

Their water supply is heated by solar energy and they have 88% less water usage than a conventional wash down process.

 By utilizing energy efficient light fixtures, timers and motion detectors on lights we were able to significantly reduce electrical power usage.

 R4 incorporated 38 solar tubes and large windows throughout the office and warehouse for natural light.

Hampton Inn New Smyrna Beach Florida

R IV Architecture is currently designing a custom Hampton Inn located in New Smyrna Beach Florida.

Our goal was to develop a project which fit architecturally within the established community and respected the environment. The building will also achieve a silver LEED certification.  R  IV Architecture produced the attached animation which give you a visualization of the building in harmony with the neighborhood and environment.

(The animation was featured on “The Obsever”-click to view.)