NYC Micro Apartments

Prefab Apartment Complex

It’s an innovation in all categories of engineering, simplicity, affordability, art, and size. The adAPT NYC competition winning design is an entirely prefabricated apartment complex, with unique 250-370 sq feet apartment units. The building will be created in the Kips Bay area in Manhattan. nARCHITECTS, the designers of this award-winning project, call their project “My Micro NY.” The efficient building will have 55 micro units, prefabricated by Capsys in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and will connect together much like lego. The architects say that each unit will have both a “canvas” and a “toolbox” space, to be used for artistic… read more

A Collaborative Effort


We all live, work, play, learn and heal in buildings…and pray and dance and, well, you get the idea. We also govern in buildings, and NY State government has been working very hard since 2001 to green state operations. There are several executive orders from the Governor’s office requiring green purchasing, reduction of energy use, and sustainability planning. Laws are now hitting the books requiring state buildings to report on water use, air quality and energy efficiency measures and improvements. What is the key element of support for all of this work?  Training through GPRO!! The NY Upstate Chapter, as… read more

Community Development

River Garden Apartments, Louisana

There are communities and neighborhoods all across the country attempting to solve energy and environmental dilemmas, and some are managing to be very successful in their efforts. Ranging from “green roofs”, roofs with foliage and gardens on top to diminish energy and heat absorption, or from communal energy pools which people can buy into a reap the benefits, there is an increasing trend in large-scale residential energy projects. As a result of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina, a rundown low-income housing project has been the focus of several government agencies working to revitalize it through sustainable and renewable technologies. Formerly… read more

Making Buildings Greener

Making a building greener

We’ve heard it time and time again in the news – “LEED is fine, but these touted green buildings use more energy than other buildings”. Or “LEED is great, but the buildings use more energy than predicted!”  Hold on – let’s take a look. First, many LEED buildings do use more energy than other buildings.  What is being compared? A science lab from 1940 will have entirely different usage parameters for energy, even if upgraded, than a science lab from 2012. A classroom of today employs better lighting and more controls and hopefully includes exceptional insulation and integration of daylight, but… read more

The Building Scraping the Sky

Dubai Tower landscape

Our population is growing at a rate of 77 million people per year, and shows no signs of slowing down. In countries like China and India,  their populated areas are full of dangerous and unsanitary housing, plumbing, rundown schools and major traffic snarls. It is clear that reformation is well overdue, and the solution may be found by reaching for the stars. The tallest building in the world right now is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE. Formerly known as the Dubai Tower, the Khalifa is home to approximately 30,000 people, or the population of a small city. It cost… read more

Sustainable Buildings

Chengdu city prototype

Green Architecture has become the new fad in modern construction. Simply installing eco-friendly outlet plugs and energy filters isn’t enough anymore. Nowadays, expect to see solar panels, wind turbines, natural/recyclable building materials, and more coming to a neighborhood near you. One of the more well-known proponents for a natural architecture revolution is a company called Earthship Biotecture. They offer a wide range of residences, from single individual and large family size, to commercial structure and disaster management projects. Most of their developments are in rural and desert areas, but they hope to expand their reach to more populated communities soon…. read more

Lighting is Everything

Natural light

Or almost everything. Whether it is used to improve one’s mood or as a necessity to complete a task, a little change in lighting goes a long way. The best source of light remains daylight, which is preferred by humans because of the balanced color spectrum provided by sunlight. In areas where natural light cannot be incorporated, the switch to efficient lighting, like full-spectrum fluorescent light, has still been shown to benefit the mental and physical health of people. In schools, day light contributes to improve the overall health of students and teachers. Managed properly, daylight strengthens the concentration and mental clarity of students. Allowing more natural light in classrooms has  resulted in higher test scores,… read more

Gardens By The Bay

Photo by Darren Chin

In June, one of the first phases of Singapore’s dramatic Gardens by the Bay project opened to the public following the completion of the 133 acre Bay South Garden. Gardens by the Bay is one of the largest garden projects of its kind in the world.  Ultimately, the site will total 250 acres which comprise of three distinct gardens. Those are the Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central. Gardens by the Bay is located in Singapore’s new downtown at Marina Bay. Taking inspiration from the form of an orchid, Grant Associates’ planned an affluent fusion of nature, technology and environmental… read more

Green Building Tips

Green building tips

Whether you are constructing your dream home or renovating an existing one, it is wise to scope out your options. With so many factors to consider, researching can be extensive, so the following is aimed to stimulate your vision with tips to start you off. Size Matters In this case, less is more. Smaller houses are not only more efficient, they often cut a more interesting figure than larger houses. Plus, tall and slender buildings are better at utilizing space, and the additional nooks and crannies give a room its dimension, so you don’t feel like you are living in a shoebox. Perfect Placement When… read more

The Heidelberg Project

The Heidelberg Project

In 1986 in Detroit, Michigan Tyree Guyton decided to put his restlessness over revulsion to work in response to the dilapidated structures present in his hometown, especially in the area he grew up on Heidelberg Street. Sam Mackey, his grandfather, had long promoted Guyton’s love of painting and art. Together they took on the insurmountable mission of cleaning up their street, beginning with the abandoned and torn down areas. They saw more than empty lots but also opportunity. By using what could be found they craftily transformed it into unrestricted and imaginational works of art, and their vision changed their… read more