Interesting Facts

SOLARES DEL SUR 

Proposed 8 story - 65 apartment mixed-use building

(by Delargent Design Architecture, PC)

 

Delargent Design's latest project, a building named "Solares del Sur"  for its location in a mainly Spanish speaking neighborhood, is the answer to affordable housing badly needed throughout New York City. It consists of 65 apartments, and 3 retail stores.

 

Conceived to comply with all of the NYC Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) guidelines, this economical, energy efficient, and yet handsome development, will rejuvenate and bring life to an otherwise dark and dull area in the Bronx, New York. With commercial spaces at the ground floor, and well designed 0 to 3 bedroom apartments above, the building provides  people in need of a 2nd chance in life.

 

The main structure is made out of steel, with a concrete on metal deck floor system. The exterior materials used are 2-tone brick & precast concrete panels. Both are widely used in the surrounding area, therefore making our building consistent with the existing urban fabric.

 

Some of the amenities included in the building are energy efficient mechanical systems, water conserving plumbing fixtures, energy saving lighting fixtures, exercise room,  game room, recycling area, laundry room, and a green terrace full of planting for tenants to take care of. All front facing apartments have sound attenuating triple glazed windows for noise reduction (there's an elevated train running along the street at front).

 

Parking is provided at the rear of the building.

 

The well lit commercial spaces at the ground floor, offer lively and inviting shopping areas, designed to attract customers that would not venture to walk in the otherwise dark and dull block.

 

"Solares del Sur" will certainly benefit the needs of the city, as well as those of a neighborhood that tries to grow and improve its image.

 

HEADACHES CAUSED BY SANDY

Ever since hurricane Sandy made its presence in our area, I've been receiving numerous calls from homeowners, and seen lots of flooded houses that were affected by it. Many of them ask me for my opinion, and after offering it (initially for free) they tell me "well, my contractor said this, or told me to do that..." A contractor is the last person you hire! First, you need an engineer and/or architect.

 

Over & over, I've said that houses in the flood zone that had water inside (please refer to my article on 11/24/12), should have their foundations checked by a structural engineer for structural cracks not caused by natural settlement, for possible displacement, and for soil erosion below it.


Should the structural engineer deem necessary to correct the damaged foundation, it should be done as per his directive only. If any other damage occurred in the house, that implies the removal or replacement of floor joists, girders, etc., and rearrangement of places within the house, an architect should be hired. Before remediation work can commence, the architect will have to prepare architectural drawings, and file them at the local Building Department having jurisdiction in order to obtain a construction permit. Contractors are hired afterwards (please refer to my article on 5/12/12) to perform the work as determined by the architect and/or engineer.

 

Why am I saying all this? Well, in most cases I see that either the engineer's or the architect's opinion is ignored, and many people rely on an "eager to get the job" contractor, who convinces the homeowner that they can do whatever is necessary without the need to hire a licensed professional, and save them a couple of bucks. WRONG! Get the professionals first. Needless to say that by doing so, and if indeed there's structural damage, any corrective work done falls under the title of "ILLEGAL", if not backed up by a set of drawings signed by a licensed professional. If caught, the homeowner will be summoned, will have to pay a violation, and will have to legalize the work anyway. End result? more $$$. Don't forget: contractors are there just to do the work, not to tell you what to do!

 

To conclude, it's imperative that homeowners hire first an engineer to check the foundation and structural stability of the house. If any repair work has to be done, an architect has to be hired to produce all necessary documentation to be filed at the Building Department. If there are no structural problems, and the remedial work is just "cosmetic", there's no need to hire a licensed professional, and any licensed contractor can do the job alone.
Good luck!

PERURI 88

A very exciting –to say the least- mixed use luxury building is on the verge of being constructed in Jakarta, Indonesia.

 

The project, designed by the dutch firm MVRDV along with other consultants, combines an 8 storey commercial podium at the base, with a mix of apartments, hotels and offices, as well as shops, cinemas, a mosque and an amphitheatre accessed by outdoor elevators. A restaurant overlooking the city is placed at the top. Each of the spaces has its own garden roof, playgrounds, swimming pools, etc. which are available to the inhabitants and office employees.

 

This 88 storey mini city's main objective is combining Jakarta´s need for more green spaces with the need for densification.
Although the project is up for approval by the local authorities, it's expected to obtain a green light to be built, hence becoming one of the most interesting buildings ever produced.


If you're interested in learning more about Peruri 88, please select the following link.

http://www.dezeen.com/2012/11/19/peruri-88-by-mvrdvthe-jerde-partnership-and-arup-dublin/

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SICK BUILDING SYNDROME

Are you familiar with SICK BUILDING SYNDROME (SBS)?

It refers to combination of physical problems that a significant amount of occupants (20%) may experience at any building (usually a working place), for a period of 2 weeks, mostly caused by poor indoor air quality (IAQ).


Flaws in HVAC systems, use of improper air filtration, as well as mold, contaminants trapped in some building materials, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's), found in cleaning compounds, etc. can cause SBS.

 

Symptoms are:

 

• headaches
• dizziness
• nausea
• fatigue
• loss of concentration
• shortness of breath
• sensitivity to odours
• eye, nose and throat irritation
• skin irritation

The best way to deal with this problem is to increase the Fresh Air Exchange with the outside air, eliminate mold growth, limit the amount of VOC's, eliminate indoor smoking, etc.
The use of certain indoor plants are also found to be effective to purify the air.

If you happen to feel any of the above symptoms at your working place, don't hesitate and tell your boss about it, I'm sure he/she will be thrilled and eager to correct the situation.

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THE DANCING HOUSE

"The dancing House", one of my favorite buildings, designed by Frank Gehry in Prague, Czech Republic in the 90's. Also called the "Fred & Ginger House", after dancers Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers.

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TAKE A SWIM UP IN THE SKY

That's what they do in this Holiday Inn, in Shanghai. Check it out.

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