Construction Today - January 2017 - 21
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60 will double by 2050 and triple by 2100, meaning a higher housing
demand among populations perhaps most suited to urban living:
Smaller households without children.
Reusing Housing Stock
According to the city's OneNYC report, which examines resilience,
sustainability and the growth patterns of neighborhoods, existing
buildings in use today will comprise 85 percent of all buildings standing in 2030. At the same time, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio recently
announced that projections show the city's population will surpass 9
million during the 2030s.
Currently, 62 percent of rental units in New York City are in buildings constructed before 1947, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Some one-third of all residential units in New York State are pre-1940
and 50 percent were built between 1940 and 1979. In New York City,
70 percent of all residential units were built before 1960. These data
illustrate a metropolitan landscape teeming with aging housing
stock, much of whose infrastructure has passed its intended lifespan.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
"infill housing" - new homes in existing, previously developed areas
- accounted for 20 percent of all new housing construction between
2005 and 2009, an increase over the previous half-decade.
As a property owner overseeing 15,000 units across New York and
New Jersey, my company has been in the midst of top-to-bottom
rehabilitation projects from the Rockaways peninsula of Queens
County to Washington Heights in Manhattan. At 150 buildings with
10,000 units, we have replaced or substantially repaired all the roofs,
installed or rehabilitated virtually all the elevators, repaired or rebuilt
all the balconies, and repaired a few thousand square feet of facades.
And that is to say nothing of the unit-by-unit rehab required in many
of the buildings we purchased from owners who had previously
under-invested in modernization, allowing neglect and deterioration
to set in.
Building a new 18-story building may require 5,000 yards of concrete and several tons of brick. Renovating and improving five 10-story buildings can mean the same or more, not to mention a similar
amount of labor. Of course it is not enough simply to maintain and
bring buildings up to the latest code, compliance and environmental
efficiency standards. As urban populations swell and new construction lags behind demand, we must rapidly prepare aging housing
stock for the future.
founder is driven by a
love of homebuilding.
Charlew Builders values
the input of the people it
builds homes for.
C3D Architecture PLLC -
232 7th Avenue
Villa Construction Inc.
be tasked with making serious upgrades in
energy efficiency, new heating and cooling
systems, window improvements and other
construction-heavy projects that reduce carbon emissions and keep energy costs down.
How do we accomplish this? We have
replaced thousands of light bulbs, installed
and rebuilt about 140 new heating systems
and replaced over 5,000 windows in the
last 5 years alone. These are labor-intensive
projects and they don't always garner the
headlines that the newest glass-and-steel
monolith may attract, but this is the reality of
what construction looks like in many of the
places that will be most crucial to the future
of our residential communities.
In New York, the city has mandated that greenhouse gas emissions be
reduced by 80 percent by 2050. With the city's own analysis finding that buildings account for over 70 percent of all emissions, the
owners and managers of tens of thousands of existing buildings will
Efstathios Valioti is the principal at Alma Realty, which manages 15,000
residential units in New York and New Jersey. For more information, visit www.
JANUARY 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM