Cityscapes: Green Architecture

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The April series, done in collaboration with the WNYC Culture department's new project on the changing NYC architectural environment, continues. The New Yorker's architecture critic Paul Goldberger is joined by Stephen Cassell, of Architecture Research Office LLC, who also advises the city's green task force on sustainable architecture.


Stephen Cassell and Paul Goldberger

Comments [9]

Peter from Shenzhen, China

Having worked as an Architect in New York I always found the notion of Green renovation projects hypocritical when they involved the demolition of existing construction and containerful after containerful of construction debris.

Of course, what designer is going to turn around and tell a client that their newly leased space is functionally suitable as-is? An unemployed designer, I think.


Apr. 25 2009 06:05 AM
Sherry from brooklyn

for passover,a fifth question:
Why are we here now? Where are we going?

Apr. 08 2009 11:33 AM
Phil Henshaw from NYC

p.s. the idea that New Yorkers produce less greenhouse cases is actually just a misunderstanding. We produce more than anyone. It's the money you spend that commands the resources all over the world that is responsible for your functional footprint. Ignoring the impacts you have done for you elsewhere is really just a ruse.

Apr. 08 2009 10:59 AM
Kim-Nora Ann Moses from East Village

Hi there....
One important environmental factor that seems to be missing from the "green building" code is bird-safe glass. Installing glass that appears as a barrier to birds rather than something they can fly through would make a BIG difference that people on the street could see. Many of us have picked up dead or injured birds. Millions of birds every year collide with city buildings because glass reflects the surrounding environment or is not visible at all to birds. Also, night time lighting is also a huge problem for migrating birds as they become dazzled by the lights.

And I think this topic deserves more press.

Thanks for listening.

Apr. 08 2009 10:55 AM
Phil Henshaw from NYC

The strange thing about "green design" is that no one is talking about lowering our total impacts, but just decreasing the rate of increasing impacts slightly. In other words, it's not actually green design, but experiments with what some hope will eventually lead to green design, that actually lowers impacts. That seems to be the main reason our impacts aren't declining at all but continuing to increase much as before, that the method doesn't actually reduce them. There are good ways to actually measure the totals, if anyone is interested, a total account method.

The fundamental issue is that continual additions invariably make things larger, and changing scale alters relationships in kind, not just degree.

Apr. 08 2009 10:55 AM
John L. Haggerty from Manhattan 96th St between Columbus & Amsterdam

Speaking of glass, have you seen the retrofit of the old GM building at 8th & 57th street which at (no doubt) great expense to become an all glass with the old wall behind the glass.

Apr. 08 2009 10:53 AM
Daniel from manhattan

I'd love to see NYC adopting a greenroof regulation like Tokyo...roof gardens (not necessarily publicly accessible). Any chance of that happening here?

As for particulates, I'd love to see cars banned from the city...

Apr. 08 2009 10:53 AM
Matthieu from Brooklyn

One of the great things about those motion-detector light switches is that it provides a game for temps or other workers bored out of their minds. I invented this game while working for Pacific Bell in San Francisco ten years ago:

1) Sit still until lights automatically go off.
2) Try to get up and exit the room so slowly that lights do not go back on.

Apr. 08 2009 10:50 AM
downtown from downtown

RE: LED walk/no walk lights...
Have you walked up Sixth Ave lately? Many of these signs show BOTH the walk AND the don't walk pictures at the same time.
Going green is great...but only if it works.

Apr. 08 2009 10:50 AM

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