Recent Readings On A Theme

Three closely related articles were stored away in my browser bookmarks and it’s time to spread them around. First, “The Carbon Footprint of Material Obsolescence” by Blaine Brownell. The article looks at the life-cycle carbon cost of various construction materials. We need to consider not just the cost (meaning money, pollution, and carbon liberated) of materials’ creation …

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Making The Rubble Bounce

Two articles came up in recent reading on more or less the same topic. First, “We Can’t Build Our Way To Net Zero” by Patrice Frey and Vincent Martinez. Second, “New Buildings are Terrible for the Environment. This Arena is Proof.” by Nate Berg. The first is an opinion piece with data references to back …

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Book Review: NYC Building Code, 5, Neighboring Walls

In yesterday’s discussion, I skipped over a piece of section 3309, “Protection of adjoining property” in the 2014 code and the 2022 code.  The reason was simply that the missing piece, how to deal with your neighbor’s walls adjacent to your construction site, is big enough to be discussed on its own. The context for this discussion is …

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Not Just Plumbers

It’s a long-standing bit of wisdom among designers that plumbers will cut anything that is in their way when installing pipe. Give a plumber a saw, and structural engineers expect him to cut through the nearest piece of structure. I need to correct one mis-perception: it’s not just plumbers. (And, of course, it’s not all …

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Lost Detail

That’s an ex-laundromat in the Bronx, probably a victim of the Covid recession, although who knows. The storefront manages to be aggressively plain and modern at the same time; the metal framework at the top used to have a cloth or vinyl sign that served as a very shallow canopy. The brick above the storefront, …

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