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Ashburton Ave. Project Receives LEED Gold Status!

H2M designs 49-unit prop. for The Richmond Group; Langan Eng., Monadnock, S. Winter assist

 
110 Ashburton Avenue - Yonkers, NY
 
 

 

110 Ashburton Avenue - Yonkers, NY

 

 

 

 

 

Yonkers, NY H2M architects + engineers designed a multi-story, multifamily property for The Richmond Group Development Corp. at 110 Ashburton Ave. The undeveloped site has now become a building with 49 residential units.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) completed its final review of the building confirming the building has LEED Gold status for its design, development and construction. The building actually has two new labels: LEED Gold Certified and Energy Star.

A traditional design would include insulation on the interior structure of the building only and not both the inside and outside. What makes this design green and sustainable is the design of various levels of insulation in the building envelope-both the wrap and the building cavity where insulated to control air infiltration and heat loss and to continue the air barrier across both the inside to the outside. The windows are equipped with high-efficiency glazing that controls heat loss and gain. The design called for a white roofing system with high solar reflectance properties and high-efficiency mechanical systems and finishes with high levels of recycled content.

H2M was the architect and mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer and the structural engineer on the project and partnered with Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Forum, and Capsys Corp. Monadnock Construction was the general contractor on the project and Stephen Winter Associates was the green building consultant.

http://nyrej.com/57252

NYREJ, Westchester County, August 28 – September 10, 2012

 

See Also:

http://www.capsyscorp.com/nextlevelbuilding/?p=182

http://www.capsyscorp.com/nextlevelbuilding/?p=701

http://www.capsyscorp.com/nextlevelbuilding/?p=639

Cautious Planning in Sustainable Design

Sustainable and environmentally friendly materials and methods are permeating the industry rapidly.  Capsys has fully embraced these concepts from our beginning; but with any new technology and ideas endurance is determined by performance.  At Capsys we strive to embrace the methods that will stand the test of time, always cautious of what is a fad and what is tried-and-true.  Some examples of our dedication:

Right-size the equipment – The Capsys engineering team always verifies that we are installing the appropriate mechanical equipment.  Oversizing equipment leads to not only additional costs upfront but also short-cycling and reduced efficiency.  Getting the correct size equipment means higher efficiency and lower overall costs and consumption, its proven and we embrace it!

Seal the gaps – Such a tremendous source of heating and cooling costs come from air infiltration, if a building is properly sealed and the design accounts for occupant health then we have a healthy building, person and energy budget.  We make sure to account for not only the cost of conditioning but also the health and comfort of the people living inside the building.

Indoor air quality – The environment inside the building is paramount to the health and productivity of the occupants, we don’t take all the buzzwords and just follow them, we actually make sure the job is done right.

Education – Talking about sustainable design doesn’t do anything, acting on it does!  Capsys ensures that each of our team, from project management to installing professionals understands WHY we are doing something, when people understand the reason for a measure they take extra care in providing and ensuring its effectiveness.  Always keep everyone from the designers to the end-users informed, it does make a difference!

Is Offsite or Modular Construction by its very nature a Sustainable Methodology for Construction?

The answer is yes according to Alistair Gibb, Professor of Construction Engineering Management at  Loughborough University.   Loughborough University is located in Leicestershire, England.   It is a leading research school consistently ranked among the top 15 in the UK.

 Professor Gibb supplied the following article to the website Buildoffsite, which is one of our favorite web spots.  Buildoffsite is the trade organization representing the Offsite Construction Industry throughout the UK.

 We at Capsys are often asked about the Sustainable Construction aspects of our fabrication system.  I think the following article by Professor Gibb very clearly and succinctly points out the most important and relevant  aspects of the discussion and comes down clearly on the site that volumetric modular construction will have numerous positive impacts on any typical construction program.

 Please read what professor Gibb has to say in the following:

 

Is offsite sustainable?

 Offsite manufacture, sometimes called prefabrication, modular or industrialised building, is an approach to constructing the built environment that has been at the leading edge of innovation for a number of years. Put simply, offsite is manufacturing and assembling whole buildings or substantial parts of buildings prior to installation into their final location. The work almost always takes place in a factory environment. The offsite spectrum includes non-volumetric units such as panels and building services modules; volumetric units such as toilet or kitchen ‘pods’; and whole building solutions, often known as ‘modular buildings’. Offsite is a strategy that affects the whole project rather than just the application of ad-hoc products or technologies. Government-prompted reports have extolled its virtues, manufacturers have publicised its benefits, developers have worried about its cost and architects have debated its worth. Notwithstanding, offsite is here to stay as a valuable part of the built environment.

 But, is offsite sustainable? The vision of many of the early exponents fits the sustainable culture very well: Buckminster Fuller’s goal in the middle of the last century was to ‘touch the earth lightly’ and his Dymaxion Dwelling Machine – or Wichita House1 was his realization of this ambition. However, like many such experiments, the Wichita house was ultimately destined to become a museum exhibit. Kieran Timberlake’s Loblolly House2 sees the minimum impact of the construction process through offsite as part of its sustainable credentials, along with the widespread use of recycled and local materials, such as locally quarried stones and sustainably harvested wood windows.

 1 www.designmuseum.org/design/r-buckminster-fuller

2 www.treehugger.com

3 WAS 003.003 – Offsite Construction Case Studies

Are LEED Construction projects inherently more dangerous for construction workers?

A report recently published by researchers from the University of Colorado has generated considerable buzz within the high performance construction industry.  According to Matthew Hallowell, assistant professor of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, he and his fellow researchers found that LEED construction locations had a 50 percent higher injury rate than non-LEED sites. Hallowell and his team visited and made observations at various LEED and non-LEED construction sites, pored over injury reports, and conducted interviews in their process of completing their study.

The report is interesting and provocative.  I would like to highlight a key finding from the report, the summary of key findings from which follows.  Prefabrication of buildings such as the modular construction techniques we use here at Capsys may greatly or mitigate many of these increased risks.

We thank the author for his work and suggest that you readers seek out the entire report and form your own conclusions

 

Key Findings from Research:

Design for Safety Techniques for Green Building Components

Reports and Authors:

Collective results of this study have been organized into three manuscripts, which have been

accepted or are in review by the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management:

Safety Risk Identification for High Performance Sustainable Building Construction

Bernard R. Fortunato III, Matthew R. Hallowell, Michael Behm, Katherine Dewlaney

Safety Risk Quantification for High Performance Sustainable Building Construction

Katherine S. Dewlaney, Matthew R. Hallowell, and Bernard R. Fortunato III

Safety Risk Mitigation for High Performance Sustainable Building Construction

Katherine S. Dewlaney and Matthew R. Hallowell

Overview:

The US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

(LEED) program represents the largest program in the United States for the measurement,

verification, and certification of green buildings. A recent study found that LEED certified

buildings have a recordable injury rate that is 9% higher than traditional, non-LEED

buildings. This finding served as the impetus for the present study, which aimed to (1)

identify and evaluate the safety and health risks associated with the design elements and

construction management practices implemented to achieve LEED certification by

conducting eight detailed case studies; (2) quantify the percent increase in base-level

safety risk through 37 interviews with designers and contractors who had completed an

average of four LEED projects and 100 traditional projects in their average of 18 years of

experience in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry; and (3) identify and

describe strategies that reduce the safety risk associated with the design and construction

of high performance sustainable projects by conducting 26 additional interviews with

experienced designers and constructors. The study revealed 12 LEED credits that

increase safety risks on construction projects when compared with traditional, non-LEED

alternatives. The study also revealed that there are feasible prevention through design

techniques, technologies and controls, and management strategies that can be

implemented to mitigate these risks. The results of the study were packaged into a first-generation decision support tool that provides designers and construction managers with

safety suggestions for their LEED projects.

 Workers on LEED construction projects are exposed to work at height, with

electrical current, near unstable soils, and near heavy equipment for a greater

period of time than on traditional projects.

 Workers are exposed to new high risk tasks such as constructing atria, installing

vegetated roofs, and installing photovoltaic (PV) panels that are not present on

traditional projects.

 The most significant impacts are a 36% increase in lacerations, strains and

sprains from recycling construction materials; a 24% increase in falls to lower

level during roof work because of the installation of on-site renewable energy

(e.g., PV panels); a 19% increase in eye strain when installing reflective roof

membranes; and a 14% increase in exposure to harmful substances when

installing innovative wastewater technologies.

 Designers and contractors identified prefabrication, effective site layout, and alternative products as methods to prevent injuries that specifically relate the hazards of each sustainable element.

 Specifying low VOC materials reduces health-related risks for construction workers

who perform work in enclosed environments.

Conclusions:

 This research has revealed the substantial need for a detailed lifecycle analysis of

the safety impacts of high risk and common sustainable building technologies.

Although these technologies may have substantial environmental benefits, many

have been shown to result in greater exposures to known occupational hazards

during the construction process. Further research is needed to evaluate the safety

risks during manufacturing of sustainable materials, shipping, installation, and

maintenance.

 

For more information, contact the lead author:

Matthew.hallowell@colorado.edu

© Copyright 2011, CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training. All rights reserved This research

and report was funded by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training as part of a cooperative

agreement with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH (OH009762). The research is

solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH. CPWR, the

research and training arm of the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, is uniquely situated to

serve workers, contractors, and the scientific community. For more information, visit www.cpwr.com

Modular Homes have an Important Role to play in helping the Environment

So says the National Recourses Defense Council in a recent article posted by our friends at “Living Green Magazine”.  We’d like to share the article with you.  We agree that Modular Construction is at the forefront and leading the Green Revolution in construction. 

Within the past year, Capsys has achieved a LEED Gold certification for our Park Terrace apartment building project in Yonkers, NY and achieved LEED Platinum for our Building 92 project in Brooklyn, NY. Our steel frame, midrise modular construction system, while aimed at a different market segment of construction than the corporate examples named in the article, will continue to contribute Sustainable Construction solutions to our clients.

http://livinggreenmag.com/2012/02/29/home-garden/how-green-are-todays-modular-homes/

Energy saving wireless lighting and heating controls by Verve Living Systems

We’ve been testing a suite of products from Verve Living systems in our office and, so far we are very impressed.  Verve’s products provide easy, convenient or even passive ways to save energy.  Their products fall into four main categories:

  • Occupancy detection devices that sense motion and, when no motion is detected over a given time span, can wirelessly communicate with lighting and HVAC systems to close circuits or kick back temperature settings thereby saving on energy costs while keeping the space comfortable.  We see a wide range of applications in the Hospitality Industry for these products.
  • Heating and cooling controls produce energy savings by adjusting the thermostat automatically. This technology is useful for all types of residential applications.
  • Battery-free or lumen/solar powered user interfaces – door/ window switches and remote controls – that allow you to wirelessly control the lighting and temperature.  Imagine never having to change batteries in your remote controls!
  • Lighting and load-control products that enable total control over lighting and outlets.  So you can sit in your living room with the wireless controller and turn on or dim lights anywhere in the house.

A link to Verve’s web site is listed below.  Please visit them.  We think their products, when used in conjunction with our Modular Construction technology offer almost any residential or hospitality construction project a sustainable, energy efficient alternative to conventional site/craft construction.

http://vervelivingsystems.com/

Water bottle refilling stations

It is a pretty often scene in garbage cans and recycling containers to see an abundance of empty water bottles.  A new phenomenen has been showing up in student housing, campus facilities and airports.  Refill those bottles at stations dedicated for that purpose.  A lot of us do remember when drinking water came from a faucet, its time to go back!

Brooklyn Navy Yard Building 92, a Capsys project has attained LEED Platinum recognition.

As earlier blog entries have informed you, in 2010 Capsys was contracted to supply 24 modular sections to be used as an exhibit space and administrative office complex for the official museum of the Brooklyn Navy Yard – Building 92.  The Navy Yard is where our manufacturing complex is located, so we leap at the chance to be involved! 

Building 92 has recently been recognized by the US Green Building Congress with certification as a LEED Platinum project.  We are very proud to have played a part in the project and thought you might enjoy seeing some additional images of the Building 92 museum.  The following web-link is to an article in “Inhabitat New York City”   a website devoted to green design, architecture and innovation in New York City.   The web link contains a 14 image slide show of image of building 92.  Enjoy!

http://inhabitat.com/nyc/bldg-92-at-the-brooklyn-navy-yard-opens-its-leed-platinum-seeking-doors-to-the-public/

Drain Water Heat Recovery

Some very interesting facts and great new innovations in the November 2011 issue of ASHRAE Journal.  Drain water heat recovery is an extraordinary opportunity to reclaim energy that is literally washed down the drain.  Water heating accounts for 17% of residential site energy consumed, when heated water is sent down the drain it still contains 80% + of the energy infused into it.  Various units are available to recover much of this energy and use it to temper the water being heated for the same use.  Capsys will be exploring this technology and use on future projects as we strive to continuously improve on the energy efficiency of our buildings and product.

What do the British know about sustainable, energy efficient Modular Construction that the US is just now learning?

The European home construction marketplace has thoroughly embraced off-site construction.  Over 30% of all of the new housing in the UK is built using factory construction methodology.  Why then has the US been slower to adopt modern modular construction techniques such we employ here at Capsys?  Interestingly, the author of the following article suggests that the UK was forced to adopt sustainable construction earlier than the US due to its adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in the late 90’s that required substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. 

While we talk a good Green game here in the US, the British have become leaders in Energy Efficient building and Modular Construction is their secret weapon.

http://www.jetsongreen.com/2011/10/modern-methods-offsite-construction-mccaughey.html

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