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High Performance Building

From the desk of Brian Astheimer.

Interesting article in NY Times which delves into recently released comprehensive energy use study by NYC.  The study reveals a wide range in the energy use per ft2 by the buildings involved in the study, by up to 5x in some cases.  Most interesting quote from the report, “older buildings of every stripe, even those dating to the early 1900s, performed better than most structures from recent decades”. The next step for the city is to begin required energy audits next year.  These preliminary energy use studies are driven by a 2009 law that intended to support Mayor Bloomberg’s PLANYC 2030 goals and targets. By the way, Philadelphia’s Greenwork’s Plan is essentially a replication of PLANYC’s 2030 plan, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Read the article…

From the desk of Alex Vondeling.

I’ve heard of voided concrete, but not yet used in any project.  This product by Cobiax USA Inc seems like a pretty intriguing green option.  I would assume it would not cost more and perhaps less than conventional structural concrete systems.  I checked with CVM (structural engineers).  While they  are familiar with voided concrete they have not used it in any of their projects – perhaps since steel and wood seem to be far more common structural materials.