A few weeks ago in the Town of Babylon, the NY Rising Communities of the south shore of Long Island gathered to display and present their work so far in the planning stages. The communities that presented were the villages of Lindenhurst, Copiague, Babylon, West Babylon and Amityville. All of the towns went through a comprehensive "community asset" workshop to identify all of the key assets in each town. The resilient projects that will be determined for each town will be centered around the key assets as to protect them. Some of the key assets included waterfront residences, marinas, parks, housing developments close to water, schools, etc. The event was a success and it was a great way for all of the local residents and committee members to find out what each adjacent town was up to with their conceptual plan for a more resilient south shore.
Breezy Point is a close knit community with a distinct architectural character. In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast of the United States, and the vernacular tradition, including existing construction practices and zoning by‐laws, were placed under question when thousands were left without homes due to flooding, high winds, and fire.
RESILIENT REBUILDING does not propose a single house design, butrather a framework on which
sustainable and energy‐independent homes can be built within FEMA flood zones,to respond to both future storms as well as the preservation of the existing visual character and pedestrian nature of Breezy Point’s architecture.
Existing responses to storm damage – such as elevating homes and building FEMA-standard homes – do not maintain the pedestrian character of the community, and neglect the opportunities for passive and resilient energy systems. RESILIENT REBUILDING proposes:
· a multi-level elevated walkway system, which creates a clear elevated public realm distinguishing itself from the private residential porches. This creates a storm-resilient public ground plane while maintaining the pedestrian character of the community;
· zoning amendments that support the integration of sustainable design strategies into the existing character, stipulating minimum height requirements and creating distinctions between ground and 1st story;
· fire safety is also a major consideration, where the new zoning amendments require egress from the 1st story of a dwelling to an outdoor area with a minimum elevation 13 feet above sea level.
The proposed zoning amendments further attempt to maximize the opportunities for passive strategies by encouraging construction to be made closer to the northern lot line, allowing for homes to better harvest the ample daylight and heat via passive means and approach energy independence – crucial in the event of a major power outage. The loss of yard space is addressed through redefining the allowable overhang of balconies, promoting the open space of a side yard.
In an attempt to redevelop a community of strong pedestrian character, community unity remains at the core of RESILIENT REBUILDING’s zoning amendments and proposal.
About a year ago I entered my thesis year at NYIT. I wanted to focus my year-long research and design project on something meaningful. I chose to study the deteriorating ecology of the Newtown Creek in Brooklyn, NY. Newtown Creek is a tributary of the East River and is part of the New York/New Jersey harbor estuary system. It forms the northern border of Brooklyn and the southern border of Queens. In the mid-1800s, the 3.5-mile creek became one of the busiest hubs of industrial activity in the country. More than fifty industries emerged along the water’s edge, including refineries, petrochemical plants, glue factories and coal plants. Massive industrial pollution resulted from this heavy activity. What’s worse, NYC began dumping raw sewage into the creek in 1856 - something that continues to this day via combined sewer outflows. Currently, factories and facilities still operate along the creek and it was proposed as a national superfund site in September 2009.
If that wasn’t enough, on October 5, 1950 an estimated 17-30 million gallons of oil leaked into the water, settling on the creek bed and seeping into the soil underneath local communities. The spill continues to burn underground to this day and is estimated to course below 55 acres of Greenpoint residential, commercial and industrial property; affecting hundreds of homes and dozens of businesses. This has all contributed to the creeks overall failure as a natural ecosystem.
Half way through my first semester of research, Super-storm Sandy hit the tri-state area. It destroyed everything in its path and left me and my family out of our home for a month. It also left me with a totally new direction for my thesis project. The effect the tremendous storm surge had on the Newtown Creek was devastating. The biggest problem became the endless impermeable surfaces adjacent to the water’s edge. Along with that, deteriorating bulkheads in this fragile zone act to “shut out” the water and its dynamic natural cycles, such as tidal fluctuations and the occasional storm surge impact. This led me to look at a similar issue - the increase in the frequency of strong storms caused by global climate change. It was clear that I examine opportunities in this extremely vulnerable zone for a series of building interventions that work with the land and water in new ways.
One of the goals of my project was to not just simply have a building as a final product, but to also change the way people live and interact with the water. I wanted to create a series of spaces along the water’s edge that would engage local residents and invite them to learn more about it. It became sort of a participatory design project as I began to walk along the water’s edge, connect with local residents and attend social events in Greenpoint. I learned that many of the people that live there don’t know about the negative effects storm surges can have on their communities. In this way, creating a sense of resilience not only as a physical and architectural buffer zone but also as a new type of mindset is extremely important. It almost suggests a paradigm shift in the way we live in coastal communities.
Also here is an article written about what I call, "Extreme Weather Architecture"
ORLI was recently invited to attend two very important post-Sandy Symposiums over the past few weeks. They were both very successful and brought together professionals in and out of the field of architecture to get some new views on city resilience and regional comprehensive planning to mitigate weather-related disasters. The DfRR (Design for Risk and Reconstruction committee - AIA NY) also had a presence at both events. Photos from both are below.
As ORLI begins the next phase with the 3C Competition, a few things to keep in mind:
We have our submission deadline July 25, 2013 and after that the jury process will commence.
Shortly after, a public choice campaign will commence to select a public choice winner.
Our exhibition opening is October 3, 2012 and will end October 17, 2013. Our "Resilient Visions: Hurricane Sandy One Year Later" Symposium and final jury selection of winners event will take place October 10, 2013 (10-10-13). We are very excited to host many winners from around the world and esteemed professionals as part of our global network.
Stay tuned here for more updates soon.
Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter! --> @NYITORLI
Our submission page is now up and running on our website! Please see the link below.
Please know that submission deadline for the 3C Competition is on July 25, 2013.
Please note that for every individual to simply REGISTER for the competition (using only the primary contact email name) will receive a $20 Inventables.com gift card as previously stated in the competition brief. However for all individuals and teams who SUBMIT their proposals for the competition, every member (instead of just the primary contact) of that team will receive a $20 Inventables.com gift card. So, keep those proposals coming!
Also, below is the competition board template for all to use. It is a simple text box indicating where important information for judging should appear on your competition board. It will also be sent to all registrants via email after June 30, 2013.
If anyone has any questions about submission, please email co-chair Dan Horn at -->
A few days ago I took a walk around the southern part of my town (a few blocks away from me) that was hit the hardest from Super-storm Sandy. More homes are being raised off of the ground plane and it really is taking a toll on the rest of the surrounding neighborhoods. It is always fascinating to actually see the home raising process, but it really starts getting you thinking about the future of our communities. When will the next storm test our built environment again? It could be 10 years from now, or it could be next year, we just don't know. We must take the steps today to influence change on our zoning and building codes. That is what the results from the 3C Competition are intended to do.
Alex and myself attended the New York Interagency Engineering Council conference last Thursday. It was a very informative and beneficial event which brought together a number of difference engineering and architecture agencies including some NYC economic agencies. New and innovative engineering strategies were presented. The speakers all stressed that our coastal infrastructure is severely outdated. New blueway plans were proposed and being implemented now.
A good precedent coastal community called Arverne by the Sea was one of the only coastal community developments that weathered the storm unscathed from storm waters. It is located in Rockaway. The entire community is raised approximately 4-5 feet on a plinth. Wide dune planting zones absorbed wave and storm surge action - the major cause of devastation in the Rockaways. Nourished beaches, increased elevations and high capacity drainage systems all contributed to its resilience during the storm.
Photos and flyer from the event are above.
Post Sandy: Reports from the Field 4/25 6:30pm
You are invited to attend our Post Sandy event Raise or Stay: Reports from the Field. We believe it is the appropriate time to report individual efforts post Sandy, share information and begin future collaborations.
We have 8 distinct presentations representing different regions. The event will commence promptly at 6:30 pm and presentations will be timed and limited to 10 minutes to fit in all the presentations. The presentations will wrap up at 8pm when we will have wine and food.
Please RSVP by visiting http://www.3ccompetition.org/steelcase-425.html
The event is FREE and will take place at Steelcase NY, 7th Fl, 4 Columbus Circle NY, NY 10019.
Please remember we offer 1.5 CES credits for attending.
AIA NY: Illya Azaroff AIA
AIA NJ: Verity Frizzell AIA
AIA LI: Martin Hero AIA
Non profit and Government:
NYC Office of Emergency Management: Cynthia Barton - Housing Recovery Program
Rebuilding Together NYC : Jennifer Terry - Program Director
NJIT: Sabrina Raia: NJIT Sandy Alternative Spring Break
Pratt: Lindsay Donnellon Pratt Disaster Resilience Network
NYIT: Alex Alaimo and Daniel Horn: Operation Resilient Long Island
We would love for you to join us at our event Raise or Stay: The Road Forward Post Sandy where we will have student presentation from Pratt, NJIT and NYIT all speaking about their student lead events. Illya from AIA will also speak and we hope the event will be an opportunity to share information and foster a spirit of regional collaboration between schools and organizations.
RSVP here --> http://www.3ccompetition.org/steelcase-425.html
The student group ORLI Operation Resilient Long Island will host the Raise or Stay: The Road Forward Post Sandy, event on April 25 2013, at 6:30pm at Steelcase NY, 4 Columbus Circle. The event will showcase student lead post sandy initiatives from Pratt, New Jersey Institute of Technology and New York Institute of Technology. Speakers from NYC, New Jersey and American Institute of Architects New York will speak on how their local communities and organizations are dealing with Sandy. The event intends to bring together groups in the spirit of regional collaboration. A food and wine reception will follow the event and AIA CES credit will be provided.