Page 1

VOLUME 1


Podium Editorial Board: Amanda Abel Alissa Countryman Sarah Gerber Ilana Judah John Loughran Edward M. Mayer II Brien McDaniel Peter Olney Joseph Pikiewicz Jack Robbins Austin Sakong David Wallance, Chair Jen Krichels, Consulting Editor


Podium | FXFOWLE

Introduction The most noteworthy architecture practices possess enormous knowledge about the built environment. Their daily concerns focus on design, building methods and materials, building codes and how these local laws support or subvert their vision. Most importantly, they work for the benefit of the population that inhabit their works, focusing on human health and wellbeing as well as the health of our home planet, the Earth. You are about to enter the intellectual life of one of these firms. They work in far-flung places, from New York City to Istanbul, always keeping in mind the unique conditions that give definition to each place, its culture shaped by the inhabitants’ relationships with the local materials, climate, and environment. It was with this knowledge about FXFOWLE that I looked forward to reading, cover to cover, their first major attempt at pulling together and publishing the firm’s intricate connection with every aspect of the built environment. This is the first issue of Podium. It shares information based on broad experience, painstaking research, and thoughtful analysis. Other volumes will follow. But for now, turn the page and find a series of well-illustrated and smartly written expositions of how, in the digital and connected 21st century, architects negotiate an increasingly complex world. You will discover many useful things. For instance, did you know? • That there will be 500 million new households on earth by 2050? This leads to a deep analysis of modular architecture. • That today’s digital office may be a direct descendant of 17th century English coffee houses? Which leads to finding a new understanding of 21st century work. • That building for resiliency must consider local infrastructure, social networks, information availability, and personal resources? This shows the complex forces faced by architects in a time of climate change. What follows is information we need to know about the built environment—among the most complex and fascinating expressions of our species. — Susan S. Szenasy Publisher/Editor in Chief, Metropolis

1


2

Volume 1


Podium | FXFOWLE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

4

Feasibility of Implementing the Passivhaus Standard for Tall Residential Buildings

24

House of Zoning After 100 Years, Should We Rebuild It?

50

Istanbul: Modern Metropolis—Layered History

72

Moving Parts Modular Architecture in a Flat World

94

From Anywhere to Somewhere Blurring the Lines Between the Workplace and the Urban Sphere

110

The Urban Skyscraper as a Resilient Refuge

3


4

Feasibility of Implementing the Passivhaus Standard for Tall Residential Buildings

Based on a study sponsored by NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) Primary Sponsor: NYSERDA | Additional Sponsors: Roxul, Schรถck Team: FXFOWLE Architects, Dagher Engineering, Passive House Academy, Dharam Consulting, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger


Ilana Judah & Daniel Piselli | FXFOWLE

FEASIBILITY OF IMPLEMENTING THE

PASSIVHAUS STANDARD

FOR TALL RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS

Ilana Judah, Int’l Assoc. AIA, OAQ, LEED AP, CPHD, Principal, FXFOWLE Daniel Piselli, AIA, LEED AP, CPHD, Senior Associate, FXFOWLE As populations grow and cities become larger and denser, problems related to energy inefficiency are magnified, threatening the sustainability of the world’s densest urban areas. Key to accommodating the world’s population boom, highly energy efficient and resilient buildings are also crucial to the success of dense urban environments. These areas are most affected by pollution, urban heat island effects, energy resource uncertainty, and stresses that cause health problems,

discomfort, economic hardship, and related challenges. In addition to these urban issues, global climate change, the ultimate energyrelated problem, poses an existential threat to all of the earth’s inhabitants. Fortunately, it is possible to make buildings that demonstrate the level of energy efficiency needed to address these issues. Contributing to this goal is Passivhaus, a standard originally developed for small buildings in the central European climate,

1 Passive NYC, (New York: Building Energy Exchange), 2015.

but now used internationally for buildings of all types, shapes and sizes, including new construction and retrofits. As a standard for energy efficient buildings, Passivhaus results in energy reductions for heating and cooling of approximately 70 to 90 percent compared to typical buildings1. FXFOWLE recently led research to evaluate the applicability of the Passivhaus standard to tall residential buildings in one of the densest cities in North America, New York

5


6

Feasibility of Implementing the Passivhaus Standard for Tall Residential Buildings

City (NYC). The research team proposed the study in order to investigate cutting-edge energy efficiency practices, to translate the Passivhaus standard from its European origins to local market, and to influence housing policy in New York towards more ambitious energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets. The study is a comparative analysis of a basecase building design that targets a LEED v3 Silver rating to a Passivhaus design for the same building. The base-case building is a large, mixed-use multifamily housing project currently under construction:

85% reduction in heating demand 47% reduction in primary energy 2.4% capital cost increase

Preliminary results indicate that the Passivhaus design can significantly reduce energy use with virtually no aesthetic changes and with common construction methods (Figure 1). Results of the study show a 47 percent reduction in overall primary energy use as compared to the base-case building. Additional construction costs are estimated to be less than 2.5 percent with significant capital cost replacement reductions. These results strongly suggest that Passivhaus is applicable to tall residential buildings in NYC. Since New York has a challenging climate with cold winters and hot, humid summers, these results also suggest that Passivhaus is broadly applicable to cities in many climates. This paper describes the research study in an abbreviated form. A full version of the report can be found at www.fxfowle.com. PASSIVHAUS

No major aesthetic changes Reduced mechanical equipment size Improved resiliency, acoustic performance and thermal comfort Typical New York City high-rise construction methods

The German term Passivhaus is often referred to in English as “Passive House.” This paper uses the German term because the English word “house” can cause misperception that the standard is only for single-family houses. Passivhaus can be translated from German to a more applicable English phrase “Passive Building.” The Passivhaus Standard was developed in Germany by The Passive House Institute and introduced in the early 1990s. It is based on a few simple principles and primarily architectural solutions to create ultra-lowenergy buildings. The five main Passivhaus principles include increased performance in: 1. Thermal insulation; 2. Thermal bridgefree design; 3. Air-tightness; 4. Passivhaus


Ilana Judah & Daniel Piselli | FXFOWLE

Figure 1:

Rendering by FXFOWLE

7


8

Feasibility of Implementing the Passivhaus Standard for Tall Residential Buildings

Figure 2:

The five basic principles of Passivhaus.

windows; and 5. Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (Figure 2). Other important strategies to achieve Passivhaus include optimized building orientation and window shading, passive solar gain, and reduced mechanical system sizes with increased efficiency.

Certification is based on a few crucial performance criteria as calculated by the Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) energy-modeling tool. Main criteria include very low energy consumption limits on heating demand (4.75 kBtu/{ft2yr}, 15kWh/ {m2yr}), cooling demand (5.39 kBtu/{ft2yr}, 17.02 kWh/{m2yr}), and total building primary energy demand (38.0 kBtu/ {ft2yr}, 120kWh/{m2yr}). In addition, a strict


Ilana Judah & Daniel Piselli | FXFOWLE

Figure 3:

Tall Passivhaus design (left to right): Atelier Hayde Architekten, RHW 2 Raiffeisen Konzernzentrale, Vienna, Austria, image©Herzi Pinki. Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Police Headquarters, Charleroi, Belgium, image©Filip Dujardin. Dattner Architects, 425 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY, image ©Dattner Architects, Trinity Financial, MBD Community Housing Corporation. Handel Architects, The House at Cornell Tech, New York, NY, image ©Handel Architects.

air-tightness limit must be achieved (0.6 ACH@50Pa, or 0.036 CFM/ft2, 0.183 l/{s/ m2}) of surface area for large buildings) and proven through blower door testing. Buildings constructed to the Passivhaus Standard also benefit from improved indoor thermal comfort through reduced temperature asymmetry, better acoustic performance through enclosure upgrades, and higher air quality through increased ventilation and filtering of all supply air2. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change identified Passivhaus as one of the only whole-building strategies capable of reducing building energy use enough to achieve greenhouse gas mitigation targets for the building sector3 (IPCC, 2014). Municipalities in Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Spain have mandated

Passivhaus construction in various ways. Passivhaus activity is now underway in the United States, China, and many other non-European countries with varied climatic conditions. To date, approximately 60,000 buildings adhere to the Passivhaus Standard4. These cover a wide range of locations and typologies including office, residential, schools, fire stations, healthcare facilities, convention centers, embassies, and research facilities. While early Passivhaus projects were smallscale low-rise buildings, a number of large Passivhaus developments and tall buildings have emerged in the last few years. The new Bahnstadt district in Heidelberg, Germany, is an all-Passivhaus neighborhood that was partially complete at the time of publication. The development includes a mix of building types including housing, commercial, and educational. Tall building examples include a 256-foot-tall (78-meter-tall) office tower in Vienna, Austria, and the 270-foot–tall (82.3-meter-tall) CornellTECH Residential dormitory in NYC. Multiple large Passivhaus buildings are proposed for locations from New York to Brussels to China (Figure 3). Cities will surely benefit as Passivhaus buildings of all types are shown to be viable throughout the world.

2 International Passive House Association, Active for more comfort: Passive House, (Darmstadt, 2014). 3 IPCC: Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report, (Geneva, 2014), 45. 4 Passipedia, Examples, https://passipedia.org/examples, (2016).

9


10

Feasibility of Implementing the Passivhaus Standard for Tall Residential Buildings

Figure 4:

Rendering by FXFOWLE


Ilana Judah & Daniel Piselli | FXFOWLE

Figure 5:

Representative New York City context.

BASE-CASE BUILDING FOR COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS The purpose of the research study is to assess the feasibility of designing high-rise residential buildings in New York City to the Passivhaus Standard. High-rise residential buildings are a building type in high demand, one that continues to fill the need for housing as populations grow in New York and cities around the world. The comparative analysis examines the impacts of achieving the standard from architectural, enclosure detailing, mechanical, constructability, resilience, zoning, and code and cost perspectives. The base-case building is a 593,000-squarefoot (55,092-square-meter), 26-story multifamily mixed-use, high-rise building in Jamaica, Queens, one of New York’s five boroughs (Figure 4). The building targets

LEED v.3 Silver Certification and is currently under construction. Jamaica is well-served by transit. It hosts a regional transportation hub that includes bus, rail, and direct access to John F. Kennedy International Airport. The area is currently undergoing regeneration, and the city recently up-zoned the central district to enable higher density development. The base-case building is in the central district and immediately adjacent to the transportation hub. The building will serve as a model for mixedincome development with a combination of affordable and market-rate housing. While the neighborhood context around the base-case building is currently low-rise construction, the study assumed built-out adjacent properties to represent a fully developed future condition. This step was necessary to approximate a typical New York City building site (Figure 5), and potential future overshadowing from adjacent buildings. The site has a rail line and no structures to the

11


12

Feasibility of Implementing the Passivhaus Standard for Tall Residential Buildings

south, which ensures adequate exposure for passive solar gain in winter The base-case building is currently under construction. The design targets LEED v.3 Silver Certification. The building includes a three-story retail podium and a 450-unit residential rental apartment tower with amenity spaces on the 4th and 25th floors. The Passivhaus boundary, which identifies all areas to be accounted for in the energy model, includes all fully enclosed, conditioned space including retail, residential, and amenity areas. Below-grade parking is the only area excluded from the Passivhaus boundary since it is not fully enclosed or conditioned. Glazing is distributed across the building facades on all orientations based on apartment layouts. Shading devices are not used for specific South, East, or West solar conditions. The window-to-wall ratio is approximately 36 percent. This ratio is lower than many new market-rate residential buildings in New York City, where the current maximum prescriptive code glazing ratio is 40 percent. However, this ratio is higher than many affordable housing developments. The predominant base-case exterior wall system is a cement-panel rain screen assembly supported on a metal frame backup wall. The residential tower has aluminum windows with double-glazed insulating glass units (IGUs) and operable in-swinging casement windows. Storefront and curtain wall fenestration occurs at the podium levels.The central plant of the basecase building provides space heating, space cooling, and domestic hot water. The original building design consists of a combined heat and power (CHP) system that operates in conjunction with hot water condensing

boilers and absorption chillers. To provide a more representative comparison, the basecase building central plant is modified: the CHP is removed, boilers are natural gas, and chillers are electric. There are three 350-ton (1231-kW) water-cooled electric chillers and eight 2550 MBH hot water boilers along with associated pumps and accessories. These provide chilled or hot water that is circulated through a dual temperature water loop throughout the building. For residential units, vertical stack fan coil units are served with chilled and hot water from the central plant to provide heating and cooling. Ventilation is provided through ducted openings in the exterior wall to the fan coil units. Central roof fans exhaust the toilets and kitchens. Residential corridors utilize dedicated gas-fired, packaged air-cooled rooftop units with energy recovery for ventilation. Energy recovery is achieved through toilet exhaust from apartments. Amenity areas are conditioned by horizontal and/or vertical fan coil units, provided with chilled and hot water from the central plant. LED lighting and Energy Star-rated appliances are used throughout the residential portion of the base-case building. PASSIVHAUS DESIGN The Passivhaus redesign began with basic goals to make the result practical and replicable. The research team made a concerted effort to minimize changes to design and construction techniques. Products and construction methods familiar to the current New York market were used. No exotic systems or speculative products were required. Potential Passivhaus energy balances were iterated in PHPP. Enclosure performance targets were developed based on aggressive


Mechanical

Architectural

Ilana Judah & Daniel Piselli | FXFOWLE

Base Case

Iteration 1

Iteration 2

Passivhaus Design

Airtightness*

Pressurization Test @ 50 Pa

0.263 cfm/ft2

0.036 cfm/ft2

0.036 cfm/ft2

0.036 cfm/ft2

Insulation (Effective R-Value)

Roof Ground Floor Slab Basement Slab Rainscreen Wall (average) Brick Cavity Wall Lot Line Wall Foundation Wall Basement Wall

R 33.06 R 18.50 R0 R 12.02 R 10.71 R 15.90 R 4.34 R0

R 42.10 R 18.50 R 16.50 R 26.00 R 26.10 R 17.30 R 16.50 R 13.10

R 42.11 R 18.51 R 16.51 R 26.00 R 26.10 R 17.31 R 16.51 R 13.11

R 41.40 R 18.90 R 16.52 R 26.00 R 26.10 R 17.32 R 16.52 R 13.12

0.42 (R 2.4) 1.00 (R 1) 0.29 (R 3.4) 0.24 (R 4.2) 0.38 0.62

0.14 (R 7) 0.14 (R 7) 0.14 (R 7) 0.13 (R 7.5) 0.25 0.5

0.14 (R 7) 0.14 (R 7) 0.14 (R 7) 0.13 (R 7.5) 0.25 0.5

0.14 (R 7) 0.14 (R 7) 0.175 (R 5.7) 0.175 (R 5.7) 0.38 0.62

Windows U-Value Frame U-Value Glass SHGC

Residential Curtain Wall Residential Curtain Wall Residential Curtain Wall

Thermal Bridging

Ψ Typical Ψ Foundation χ Columns Ψ Balconies Ψ Windows & Doors χ Typical

0.15 0.15 1.2 0.556 0.15 1.2

<0.006 0.02 1 0.03 0.023 < 0.018

<0.006 0.02 1.0 0.03 0.023 < 0.018

<0.006 0.02 1.0 0.03 0.023 < 0.018

Ventilation

System Type

Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) for Corridors; Outside air provided directly to mechanical units without energy recovery for all other spaces

Multiple ERVs for all spaces (Semi Centralized System)

Multiple ERVs for all spaces (Semi Centralized System)

System Efficieny

Approximately 75% for Corridors; Not Applicable for all other spaces

Minimum 1 ERV (integrated into Heat Pump) for every apartment (Decentralized System); Multiple ERVs for all other spaces (Semi Centralized System) 80%

80%

85%

Mechanical System

System Description

Water-cooled Electric Chillers and Hot Water Boilers serving Two Pipe Fan Coil Units

Heat Pump, Heating Cooling and Hot Water Combined System in one unit per apartment; Seperated Heat Pump Cassettes Inline or Combined with PHI certified ERV’s

Water-cooled Electric Chillers Natural gas condensing Hot Water with magnetic bearing compressors Boilers serving Two Pipe Fan Coil Units

Central Plant Equipment

Cooling Efficiency

Electric Chillers, Hot Water Boilers, None and Cooling Towers 4.70 COP for Electric Chiller circa 2.00

Gas Powered CHP Cogen System feeding Hot Water system and Heating Coils with electrical generation for lighting and heat pump support. Heat pump heating and Hot water support with integration into ventialtion ductwork in a unique two part HRV/ERV system circa 2.50

Heating Efficiency

85% Thermal Eciency for Boilers

circa 1.80

Domestic Hot Water System Description

Indirect heat exchangers and storage tanks served by Boilers

Domestic Hot Water System Efficiency

Same as Heating Efficiency

Heat Pump, Heating Cooling and Indirect heat exchangers and Hot Water Combined System in one storage tanks served by Combined unit per apartment; Seperated Heat Heat and Power Units, also Pump Cassettes Inline or Combined supported by Heat Pump with PHI certified ERV’s circa 5.00 Circa 80 % with Cogen and 150% for Heat Pump Support

Lighting

Lighting in Apartments & Common Areas Lighting in Retail Spaces

20 FC @ 0.28 W/ft2 Avg.

0.14 W/ft2 Avg.

0.14 W/ft2 Avg.

60 FC @ 0.83 W/ft2 Avg.

0.25 W/ft2 Avg.

0.25 W/ft2 Avg.

60 FC @ 0.83 W/ft2 Avg.

Receptacle

Residential Recptacle Loads 0.50 W/ft2 Avg. Retail Recptacle Loads 1.35 W/ft2 Avg.

0.50 W/ft2 Avg. 1.35 W/ft2 Avg.

0.50 W/ft2 Avg. 1.35 W/ft2 Avg.

0.50 W/ft2 Avg. 1.35 W/ft2 Avg.

Table 1:

Comparison of PHPP inputs for base case, Iteration 1, Iteration 2, and Iteration 3 (based on the final Passivhaus design).

circa 3.00 circa 2.00

Electric Chillers, Hot Water Boilers, and Cooling Towers Peak condition: 0.61 kW/ton (COP 5.76); NPLV 0.352 kW/ ton for Electric Chiller 94.5% Thermal Efficiency for Boilers Natural gas condensing Water Heaters

95.5% Thermal Eciency 20 FC @ 0.28 W/ft2 Avg.

13


14

Feasibility of Implementing the Passivhaus Standard for Tall Residential Buildings

but achievable upgrades to base-case enclosure systems. Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing (MEP) systems were analyzed in PHPP until a viable system achieved a Passivhaus energy balance (Table 1). Architectural aspects of the Passivhaus redesign result in virtually no aesthetic changes. Architectural upgrades mostly occur at the level of details and specifications. Improved performance is achieved through additional insulation, reduced thermal bridging, simplified air barrier installation strategies, and triple-glazed insulated windows. These changes allow mechanical systems to be substantially reduced or eliminated, thereby reducing first costs, operations and maintenance costs, and replacement costs. The team preserved the base-case window-towall ratio of 36 percent. However, the windows were upgraded to include high-performance Passivhaus Certified triple glazing and enhanced thermally broken frames. Increased performance allowed window sizes and locations to remain unchanged despite un-optimized solar exposures and lack of shading devices. This achievement dispels a misperception that the team has sometimes encountered: that Passivhaus buildings do not have sufficient vision glass for views or daylight. Further, this result suggests that optimal building orientation, window exposure, and the addition of shading devices may allow Passivhaus buildings at the scale of the base-case building to achieve better performance with the same glazing ratio. The research team redesigned all major enclosure assemblies in the base-case building to achieve the required performance. A main area of focus was the predominant lightweight rain screen (Figure 6). The basecase assembly is considered to perform better

than average due to the use of intermittent aluminum attachment clips and more exterior continuous insulation than stud cavity insulation. This type of assembly has been shown to result in a 45 percent to 55 percent reduction of insulation effectiveness due to thermal bridging5. The Passivhaus energy balance required an effective insulation value of R-26 (IP U-0.0385, SI U-0.2184) for this assembly after accounting for thermal bridge reductions. A Passivhaus version of the assembly uses thermally improved fiberglass attachment clips and uninterrupted, continuous insulation. The improved assembly results in a lower, 20 percent reduction of insulation effectiveness6. This represents a 60 percent increase in insulation effectiveness over the base case. While this assembly achieves better performance, it is 3 inches (7.62 cm) thicker than the base-case assembly, and causes additional gross area and/or decreased usable area. While the study used this assembly, an alternate was considered to address the undesirable impact on area. The alternate is based on a different fiberglass attachment clip that is reported to result in a 3 to 7 percent loss of insulation effectiveness. This represents a 90 percent increase in insulation effectiveness over the base case. This alternate approach allows some insulation to be shifted back into the metal stud cavity. The resulting assembly is approximately 1 inch (2.54 cm) thicker than the base-case assembly, and minimizes additional gross and/or decreased usable area. Both improved assemblies reduce the potential for interior condensation by minimizing thermal bridging, and relocating insulation to the exterior. These measures shift the location of potential cold surfaces where condensation may occur to the exterior side of the weather barrier.

5 Payette, Thermal Performance of Facades, (Boston, 2014.) 6 Ibid.


Ilana Judah & Daniel Piselli | FXFOWLE

Figure 6:

1. Base case—Lightweight rain screen steel stud backup (R-17.65) 2. Passivhaus Proposal—Lightweight rain screen steel stud backup (R-26.0) 3. Alternate—Lightweight rain screen with steel stud and interior insulation

15


16

Feasibility of Implementing the Passivhaus Standard for Tall Residential Buildings

In 2012, New York City launched the Zone Green zoning incentive to encourage the design of high-performance enclosures and other energy savings measures. This incentive enables a portion of exterior wall to be excluded from zoning calculations if the wall’s thermal performance exceeds code requirements. Up to eight inches (20.32 cm) of exterior wall can be deducted after the first eight inches of wall thickness. The proposed Passivhaus details would enable the project to benefit from the maximum deduction permitted by the incentive. In providing the opportunity to increase the available Zoning Floor Area for development, this kind of incentive is highly influential in encouraging developers to provide more highly insulated exterior walls, and can be emulated in other jurisdictions. All major details in the base-case building are redesigned to enable airtight installation and reduce thermal bridging. Common air and vapor barrier products are used. Basecase building window closure details rely on sealant, which may crack over time. The Passivhaus design proposes self-adhered membrane flashing instead of sealant to improve the consistency of workmanship at joints between window frames and rough openings, and similar construction joints. Thermal bridge reduction strategies include the use of structural thermal breaks at balconies and parapets, proper positioning of window thermal breaks with assembly insulation layers, stand-off metal shelf angles, and discontinuous through-wall flashings (Figure 7). Calculated thermal bridge values were used when Passivhaus thermal bridge maximums could not be achieved. The Passivhaus MEP design is a modification of the base-case building system. Similar components are used such as vertical fan coil

units, water-cooled chillers, cooling towers and condensing boilers. However, greatly reduced heating and cooling loads enable the HVAC equipment to operate at optimum efficiency and to be specified at reduced sizes. Energy recovery ventilation units with a minimum efficiency of 85 percent are used for ventilation of all conditioned spaces. Chillers are changed from an electric system with a coefficient of performance (COP) of 4.70 to high efficiency magnetic bearing compressors with Variable Frequency Drives (COP 5.76). With reduced envelope heat losses, fan coil units in the apartments are capable of providing adequate heating even with low hot water temperatures of 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.56 C) supply and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35.0 C) return. These low temperatures enable the condensing boilers to operate at an optimum efficiency of 94.5 percent, compared to 85 percent efficiency in the base-case building. Ventilation with energy recovery is a key component to the Passivhaus design, permitting almost all energy in the exhaust air to be recovered and used to precondition incoming outside air. The tower portion of the base-case building utilized louvers on the facade to provide outside air to fan coil units in apartments. Apartment fan coil units did not utilize energy recovery. That inefficient system for ventilation was revised to ultra-efficient Passivhaus Certified energy recovery units mounted on the roof, with each unit serving multiple apartments. A small amount of additional shaft space was needed in each apartment to accommodate ventilation ducts. Amenity, lobby and retail spaces are served by separate ERV units (Figures 8 & 9). Balancing of the ventilation system is assisted by the use of spray sealant inside ducts and constant airflow regulators.


o

12.0 C 17

Ilana Judah & Daniel Piselli | FXFOWLE

o

10.0 C o

8.0 C o

6.0 C o

C 4.0 20.0

o

C

o

o C 18.0

2.0 C

o

16.0 C o

0.0 C

o

14.0

o

20.0 C o 20.0 C C18.0 oC o

C 18.0 o 16.0 C

o

-2.012.0 C

o

o

16.0 C C14.0 C o

o

o

C -4.010.0

o

o C 14.0 12.0 C

12.0 C C10.0 C o

o

o

o 10.0 C C 8.0

o

8.0 o C

-6.0 C o

6.0 C o

-8.0 C o

4.0 C

o

o

o

o

o

o

o

o

8.0C C 6.0 6.0C C 4.0 2.0 4.0C C 0.0 2.0C C o

o -2.0 0.0CC

o

-4.0 C -10.0 2.0 C C -2.0 C o

o

o

o

-6.0 Co -4.0 C

o

20.0 C o

18.0 C o

16.0 C o

14.0 C o

12.0 C o

10.0 C

-8.0 Co -6.0 C o

-10.0 C o -8.0 C

o

Material

o

20.0 C

o

o

0.0 C -2.0 C

o

18.0 C o

[W/(m·K)]

Material o Concrete, reinforced (with 2% 1of steel) AluminumC 60.000 0.900 -4.0 160.000 0.300 Gypsum AElPuDmMinum 0 .250 0.900 0.040 0 .900 Insulation EFGPoyapSmsuFm0ill .057 0.250 0 .900 o [W/(m·K)] Mineral wool 0.034 0.034 0.900 Mineral woo-6.0 lPVMaterial 0 . 0 3 4 C Cluminum 01.6107.00000.300.0 A 300 P V C 0 Rigid insulatPVC ioAlnuflexible mi0 nu. m029 1.6107.00000.900.0 900 0.14 0.140 EPDM 0.2500.900 0.900 Pan 0.003.5 Silicone f oam Feolam oFill 0400.900.0 900 SiliG coynpesufo 0.102.0 mam 2500.300.0 900 -8.0 Sile iMineral colne foC awool m 0.034 0.10.034 20 0.90.900 00 Stainless ste Slightly ventilated air cavity anisotropic PVC 0.170 0.900 taair inlessflexible steel 0.14 30.00.140 00 0.90.900 00 PVC UnventilatedSUnventilated cavity air cavity anisotropic P anel o WoSlightly od ventilated air cavity

-10.0 Stainless C steel

o

8.0 C

Unventilated air cavity

Boundary Condition q[W/m

16.0 C [W/(m·K)]

o

-10.0 C

0. 035 0.900 0.130 0 .9 00 anisotropic 30.000 0.900 anisotropic

o

6.0 C

Epsilon 0.9 [ C] R[(m ·K)/W] Boundary Condition 2.500 0.900 q[W/m ] Exterior, ventilated Epsilon 0.3 0.300 Ep.s2 ilo5 n 00 .9 0.900 0.900 12.0 C 0 heat flux, upwards Exterior, normal -10.000 0.04Interior, 0 x.te0 rio5 r, 7 ventilated -10.000 0 .130 0EInterior, Interior, normal, horizontal frame, normal 20.000 0.130 Interior, frame, reduced 20.000 0.200 10.0 C 0 . 0 3 4 0 . 9 0 0 C] [ Boundary Condition Symmetry/Model section R[(m ·K)/W] Interior, heat flux, downwardsq[W/m ] 20.000 0.170 20.000 0.1000.300 Ep.s0 ilo2 n heat 09 .3 flux, upwards 0Interior, Interior, horizontal 20.000 0.1300.900 Epsilon normal, 0.9 8.0 C Symmetry/Model 0.000-10.000 Exterior, 0.040 0 .120normal0section .900 Exterior, ventilated -10.000 0.130 Interior, normal 20.000 0.130 .00frame, 0 0 .900 6.0 C 30 Interior, frame, reduced 20.000 0.200 Interior, normal, horizontal 20.000 0.130 anisotropic Symmetry/Model section 0.000 o

14.0 C

o

2

2

2

o

o

2

o

0.00

2

o

o

o

4.0 C o

2.0 C o

0.0 C o

-2.0 C

o

4.0 C

o

-4.0 C

o

2.0 C o

0.0 C o

-2.0 C o

-4.0 C o

-6.0 C o

-8.0 C o

-10.0 C

o

Material

[W/(m·K)]

-6.0 C o

Boundary Condition

C Epsilon 0.9 Concrete, reinforced (with 2% of steel) 2.500 -8.0 0.900 Exterior, ventilated EP01/04/2016 DM 0.250 0.900o Q:\0000 Jobs 5100 Studies\5108 FX FOWLE\5108 CONSULTANT\Task 5 Thermal Bridge Details\6_Rainscreen spandrel sill.flx Interior, heat flux, downwards Gypsum 0.250 -10.0 0.900C 01/04/2016 Interior, Q:\0000 MinerJobs al w5100 oolStudies\5108 0.034 FX FOWLE\5108 CONSULTANT\Task 5 - Thermal 0.034Bridge Details\7_Rainscreen spandrel head.flx heat flux, upwards Interior, normal, horizontal S il i co n e f o a m 0 . 12 0 0 . 9 00 flixo frame 7.0.625.1 Symmetry/Model section Stainless steel 30.000 0.900 flixo frame 7.0.625.1 Unventilated air cavity anisotropic

2

q[W/m ]

0.000

o

[ C]

2

R[(m ·K)/W]

-10.000 20.000 20.000 20.000

Figure 7:

[W/(m·K)] Material rain screen steel stud Passivhaus Proposal—Assembled details of lightweight backup (left) and reinforced (with 2% of steel) 2.500 0.900 corresponding thermal bridge analyses of variousConcrete, junctions (right). Gypsum 0.250 0.900 Mineral wool 0.034 Stainless steel Unventilated air cavity

0.034 0.900 30.000 0.900 anisotropic

Boundary Condition Epsilon 0.9 Exterior, ventilated Interior, heat flux, downwards Interior, normal, horizontal Symmetry/Model section

0.900

0 .130 0.170 0.100 0.130

2

q[W/m ]

0.000

o

[ C] -10.000 20.000 20.000

2

R[(m ·K)

0 0 0


18

Feasibility of Implementing the Passivhaus Standard for Tall Residential Buildings

Figure 8:

Heating, cooling and ventilation in Passivhaus Proposal

The regulators also help limit potential stack effect disruption of ventilation flows. ANALYSIS PHPP analysis shows a successful Passivhaus design (Table 2). The total primary energy savings is in line with general expectations of the Passivhaus Standard. Compared to the base-case

building, the Passivhaus design resulted in greater energy reductions in heating than in cooling due to the specific nature of the base-case design and the NYC climate. It is likely that buildings with different mechanical systems or buildings in other climates will require different proportions of heating and cooling energy reductions. The greatest challenge in meeting the overall energy targets related to appliance and receptacle loads. The high density of large buildings represents a greater number of kitchen appliances per square foot than


Ilana Judah & Daniel Piselli | FXFOWLE

ERV 1 - Residential Units ERV 2 - Residential Units

ERV 5 - Residential Units

ERV 3 - Residential Units

ERV 6 - Residential Units

ERV 4 - Residential Units

ERV 7 - Residential Units ERV 8 - Corridor

ERV 9 - Amenity ERV 10 - Residential Lobby ERV 11 - Bicycle Storage

ERV 12, 13 - Misc. Residential Service Areas

Space for Retail ERV by Future Tenant Space for Retail ERV by Future Tenant Space for Retail ERV by Future Tenant

ERV 14 - Comm. Storage

Figure 9:

Ventilation Zone Diagram

19


20

Feasibility of Implementing the Passivhaus Standard for Tall Residential Buildings

PHPP Modeling Comparison

Passivhaus Requirement Passivhaus Design PHPP Fulfilled? Savings Over Base-Case

Base-Case PHPP

Heating Demand

4.75 kBtu/(ft2yr)

2.86 kBtu/(ft2yr)

Yes

85%

19.72 kBtu/(ft2yr)

Heating Load

3.17 Btu/(ft2hr)

2.34 Btu/(ft2hr)

Yes

77%

10.29 Btu/(ft2hr)

Cooling Demand

5.39 kBtu/(ft2yr)

4.65 kBtu/(ft2yr)

Yes

40%

7.73 kBtu/(ft2yr)

Cooling Load

3.17 Btu/(ft2hr)

2.67 Btu/(ft2hr)

Yes

37%

4.22 Btu/(ft2hr)

Primary Energy*

38.0 kBtu/(ft2yr)

37.7 kBtu/(ft2yr)

Yes

47%

70.80 kBtu/(ft2yr)

Airtightness**

0.036 cfm/ft2@50Pa

0.036 cfm/ft2@50Pa

Yes

86%

0.263 cfm/ft2@50Pa

Passivhaus?

Yes

*Primary energy includes heating, cooling, dehumidification, DHW, auxiliary electricity, lighting, and electrical applicances. **Pressurization test result n50

Table 2:

Passivhaus Design PHPP Results

a smaller-scale building. Therefore, very efficient products are required to meet the targets. Construction: The main challenge in constructing a Passivhaus building similar to the proposed design is expected to be the quality of workmanship required to achieve airtightness requirements. While the same construction techniques are used in the base-case and Passivhaus design, attentiveness of the workforce and coordination between trades is crucial to the successful installation of the air barrier. The study proposes increased scrutiny of the air barrier through the use of the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) quality procedures, accredited professionals and auditing procedures to ensure proper design, installation and testing. ABAA recommendations include utilizing a third party air barrier consultant, and air barrier

shop drawings. Blower door testing is necessary to control quality and to prove performance. The study assumes additional time for construction for additional due diligence for installation of all components of the building enclosure, ductwork air sealing and testing, and air barrier testing and repair. Resilience: The Passivhaus design will improve overall building resilience. Increased insulation, thermally broken triple-pane windows, and significantly improved air-tightness will enable these buildings to remain comfortable during a power outage for a longer period of time than those built using conventional construction methods. A study was recently undertaken after Hurricane Sandy caused power outages and unsafe building conditions in NYC. The study concluded that an extended power outage in summer or winter would cause typical high-rise apartment buildings to reach unsafe temperatures in one


Ilana Judah & Daniel Piselli | FXFOWLE

to three days, while high-performance buildings similar to the proposed Passivhaus design would remain habitable for a week or more7. Passivhaus strategies such as operable windows, increased insulation, and improved air tightness help control passive heat gain and heat lost during power outages. Financial analysis: Dharam Consulting performed a cost analysis to compare the base-case building and Passivhaus design. Specific energy conservation measures were identified and costs for those items were assigned for both the base-case and Passivhaus design options. This side-by-side comparison enabled a clear cost analysis. The Passivhaus design was found to increase capital costs by less than 2.5 percent. Additional costs were primarily for the building envelope, general construction management and additional contingencies, while savings were captured in the reduced MEP systems. The largest cost increase was for the Passivhaus Certified windows. It should be noted that top-of-the-line windows were selected to test their cost, and that less expensive, non-Passivhaus Certified windows may also be used to achieve Passivhaus if other measures such as additional insulation can compensate for the slight reduction in window performance. In addition, as the market becomes more familiar with the standard, supplemental contingences and additional schedule time can be reduced or eliminated. CONCLUSION The findings of this study suggest that high-rise residential buildings in NYC can be designed to the very high levels of energy efficiency and resilience that Passivhaus establishes. This can be achieved with minor

aesthetic adjustments and reasonable glazing ratios. Financially, achieving the standard appears financially viable, and will become increasingly more cost effective as the design and construction industry becomes more experienced and familiar with Passivhaus. A number of challenges confront the implementation of Passivhaus in New York City and globally. As the standard was developed in central Europe, addressing local issues will enable worldwide application of the standard. Varying climatic conditions, construction practices, labor quality, product availability, codes, and cultural use patterns will result in different solutions in each location. Collaboration between the Passivhaus certifying body, local regulatory agencies, designers, and developers is critical. Financial and zoning incentives will also go a long way to shift the paradigm towards this ultra-low energy approach. Passivhaus represents a breakthrough in energy efficient building design that offers a significant opportunity for cities to become more sustainable, healthier places. European cities are already starting to include Passivhaus in building codes. New York has now introduced the standard as one path to achieve low-energy compliance for new city buildings. As Passivhaus is proven to be feasible globally, municipalities around the world can also consider mandating this highly energy efficient and resilient approach. This study shows how Passivhaus can be implemented in New York City for a single building typology. To prove this approach is globally viable, architects and developers around the world must launch similar studies and pilot projects—many such projects are already underway.

7 Urban Green Council, Baby It’s Cold Inside, (New York, 2014.)

21


22

Feasibility of Implementing the Passivhaus Standard for Tall Residential Buildings


Ilana Judah & Daniel Piselli | FXFOWLE

Ilana Judah is Principal and Director of Sustainability at FXFOWLE Architects. An architect with 20 years of experience, she believes in the importance of education, research and public advocacy in improving our environment. Ms. Judah leads sustainability visioning and strategy implementation for local and global projects of multiple scales and typologies. A Certified Passive House Designer, she is a board member of New York Passive House and served on New York City’s 80x50 Technical Working Group. A recognized industry leader, she has taught at Cornell, Columbia, New York University, and University of Pennsylvania.

Daniel Piselli is a Senior Associate and Project Architect at FXFOWLE Architects. He has over 18 years of experience leading teams on a wide variety of project types located in the United States and the Middle East–including metro stations, bridges, schools, offices, and residential buildings among others. Daniel is currently Project Architect for The Statue of Liberty Museum. His passion is to create transformative architecture by focusing on the design of exterior envelopes and sustainability to minimize energy use. As a Certified Passive House Designer, Daniel is leading the firm’s efforts to utilize Passive House standards in large-scale buildings. In addition to his project work at FXFOWLE, he has served on the Board for the Bird-Safe Glass Foundation for the past several years.

23


Hugh Ferriss, Drawing, Study for Maximum Mass Permitted by the 1916 New York Zoning Law, Stage 2, 1922.


Jack Robbins | FXFOWLE

HOUSE OF ZONING

AFTER 100 YEARS, SHOULD WE REBUILD IT? Jack Robbins, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, FXFOWLE

Amidst a boom of new, ever higher buildings in New York, civic organizations have cried out against developers, who, “growing more and more bold... have ruthlessly invaded neighborhood upon neighborhood...building out of all proportion to the character and needs of the district.” 1 They raise concerns about the capacity of existing infrastructure and call for the imposition of height limits. A neighborhood association speaks out against the hordes moving into an established neighborhood, threatening to destroy its character. Community leaders warn of the vast shadows new buildings will cast on public space and call the new generation of skyscrapers “destructive of adjacent land values, unwholesome

obstructions to light and ventilation, and undesirable edifices generally.” The issues and arguments sound like rants you might have read online last week. They were published in 1915. The fierce debates sparked by the pressures of a rapidly urbanizing city led, in 1916, to the creation of a bold, new, previously untested law, known today as the New York City Zoning Resolution. This revolutionary set of regulations inspired zoning laws across the country and around the world. Why, then, 100 years later, are we still having the same debates? Is zoning doing what we want it to do? And what is it we want it to do? We have lived with zoning for so long, treat it as such a given in the process of shaping our city that we have

lost touch with its purpose and its origins. Is zoning a leftover artifact of a different era, or does it still reflect today’s values? Is the house of zoning we started building over 100 years ago still the structure we want to live in today? To answer this we must consider zoning from a broader perspective, looking at the social, political, and intellectual forces that created it. New York City Zoning was largely shaped by the ethos of two key periods of history: the years before 1916 when it was created, and those before 1961, when it was entirely re-written. Socially progressive as well socially regressive forces were at work in both eras, and both forces left their mark on zoning.

1 Stern, Robert A.M, Gregory Gilmartin, and John Massengale, New York 1900: Metropolitan Architecture and Urbanism 1890-1915, (New York: Rizzoli, 1995).

25


26

House of Zoning

largest building in the world at the time of its construction. The building sparked opposition long before it was completed, with its opponents siting the shadow it would cast, the negative impact on adjacent property values, the strain on infrastructure, general harm to public health, and the potential dangers of fire. Zoning law, in this version of history, protects the public from the threat of unrestrained development represented by the Equitable Building.

Figure 1

The Equitable Building, as depicted in a 1919 Postcard. It rises in a sheer wall from its property line to a height of 42 stories and 538 feet.

ZONING’S ORIGINS The classic tale of the origin of zoning frames it as a reaction to the Equitable Building, which finished construction in 1915 (Figure 1). Still there today (and now ironically housing the central office of the New York City Department of City Planning), the Equitable Building takes up a full city block of Lower Manhattan and rises in a sheer wall from its property line to a height of 42 stories and 538 feet. At nearly 1.85 million square feet of space, it was the

Another version of zoning history ties zoning to the progressive social welfare and reform movements of the time. A quarter century earlier Jacob Riis’ photographs opened the public’s eyes to the deplorable slum conditions and overcrowded tenements of Lower Manhattan, inspiring a social reform movement and the creation of laws regulating residential buildings (Figure 2). New laws imposed requirements for daylight, fresh air, and fresh water, protecting the lower classes from the overcrowding and unsanitary conditions created by, or at least allowed by, wealthier building owners. The New Tenement Act of 1901 established the legal precedent in New York City for building height regulation, by limiting multi-family residential buildings to 1.5 times their street width. The idea of tying height to street width would be adopted 15 years later by zoning law. The New Tenement Act also drew a clear connection between regulating bulk and protecting the health and quality of life of the City’s inhabitants. Just as Riis’ photographs raised consciousness of lower class living conditions, the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory disaster brought attention to lower class workplace conditions. The fire in a loft building just east of Washington Square killed 146 people, injured 71, and remained

2 “ Equitable Building (Manhattan)”, last modified 25 November 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equitable_Building_(Manhattan)


Jack Robbins | FXFOWLE

Figure 2

“Lodgers in a Crowded Bayard Street Tenement— ‘Five Cents a Spot’”, photo by Jacob Riis, 1889.

the City’s worst workplace disaster until the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (Figure 3). Most of the fire’s victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women, aged 14 to 23. The tragedy triggered a host of new building codes and workplace safety regulations, setting another important precedent for protecting public safety by regulating building use and form. However, the loudest and most politically influential voices calling for the creation of zoning laws in the decade before 1916 were not primarily concerned with social

welfare or public health, but with the protection of an upper class enclave along Fifth Avenue from the incursion of “swarms” of poor factory workers. The Fifth Avenue Association, a group of retailers, hotels, property owners, and real estate investors, lenders, and brokers, 3 formed in 1907 to protect its territory—5th Avenue between 32nd and 59th Streets—from encroaching garment warehouses, manufacturing buildings (like the Triangle Shirtwaist factory building), and the workers employed in them (Figure 4). These workers were largely recent immigrants and included a high percentage of women. The city’s population had grown more than fivefold in the preceding 50 years, primarily through immigration, and the Fifth Avenue

3 Weiss, Marc A., “Skyscraper Zoning: New York’s Pioneering Role”, APA Journal, Spring 1992.

27


28

House of Zoning

Figure 3

Figure 4

Association’s white, male, Anglo-Saxon membership somewhat understandably perceived an invasion of foreigners overcrowding “their” street. Looking for a legal basis to protect their territory, the Association turned to zoning law (Figure 5).

But concerned that height limits would be insufficient to protect upper class areas, the Commission also recommends regulating uses, noting, “Height limitations alone will not prevent deterioration of sections owing to the invasion of inappropriate industries or structures.”4 The shift of focus from heightbased regulation to use-based regulation is an important one. Regulating uses, more so than regulating bulk, pits the haves against the have-nots, and so embodies to a greater degree underlying classist and racist motivations.

The Triangle Shirtwaist fire—first published on front page of The New York World on March 26, 1911.

In 1913, in large part in response to the lobbying of the Association, the City established the Heights of Buildings Commission to study the possibility of zoning regulation. The Commission produced an in-depth report with analysis of the two principal types of zoning regulation: height limits and “districting.” The Commission’s justifications for height limits largely links them to health, safety, increased light and air, and reduced congestion (Figure 6).

1916 advertisement from the New York Times urging action against the “Factory Invasion of the Shopping District” along Fifth Avenue.

Heavily influenced by the Fifth Avenue Association, the report devotes an entire chapter to Fifth Avenue, singling it out for special protection:

4 Report of the Heights of Buildings Commission to the Committee on the Height, Size and Arrangement of Buildings of the Board of Estimate and Appointment of the City of New York, Edward M Bassett, Chariman, December 23, 1913, http://archive.org/details/reportofheightsoOOnewy


Jack Robbins | FXFOWLE

Figure 5

Images from the “Commission on Buildings and Districts Final Report,” 1916, showing crowding on 5th Avenue.

29


30

House of Zoning

Figure 6

varying with the district, we can prevent the repetition of these conditions in other parts of the city. A few comparatively small districts of the city are already spoiled...

A page from the “Commission on Buildings and Districts Final Report,� 1916, relating building height to street congestion and fire risk.

There is no more striking example of the necessity of districting the city for the purposes of building control than is furnished by Fifth Avenue. The avenue will serve best the interests both of the abutting owners and of the entire city, if it is preserved as an attractive thoroughfare and high class retail center.5

The Commission’s attitude about poorer neighborhoods in the city stands in sharp contrast. They are considered beyond salvation, a disease whose spread might be stopped but not cured: While we know of no immediate practicable remedy for the existing congestion of population on the lower East Side, we believe that by appropriate restrictions

The idea of regulating building heights is transmuted to regulating building uses in order to keep ethnic groups and lower social classes out of rich enclaves, while the lower class neighborhoods are not considered worth improving. It may be easy to dismiss these 100-year-old class struggles as the attitudes of a less enlightened age, but our zoning laws were born from these impulses, and we should be wary today how much our zoning still bears their imprint. The charter written by the Commission enabled zoning law, and a second commission with many of the same members, the Commission on Building Districts and

5 Report of the Heights of Buildings Comission, page 51.


Jack Robbins | FXFOWLE

Figure 7

Sky exposure plane as described in the “Commission on Buildings and Districts Final Report,” 1916.

Figure 8

The Empire State Building. Tourists standing on the corner of 5th Avenue and 34th Street have been known to ask a passersby for help finding the Empire State Building, unaware that they are standing next to it. The building’s tower—25 percent of an entire city block—is set back to be all but invisible from the sidewalk directly below.

Restrictions, was formed to draft specific legal language. The change in the name of the new commission, from “Heights” to “Districts,” underscores the shift in focus from bulk control to use regulation. While their nearly 300-page report contains extensive maps, drawings, charts, and photos, the actual “Building Zone Resolution” that would become law is contained in a mere 17 pages. (By contrast, the Zoning Resolution we use today is over three thousand pages.) On July 25, 1916, less than 2 months after the report was issued, the resolution became law. THE 1916 RESOLUTION The 1916 Resolution establishes regulations that control three key aspects of development: Bulk Regulation, Height Regulation, and what we’ll call Marketplace Regulation.

Bulk Regulation Bulk controls were intended to protect both private property and the public realm from potential development excesses and unpredictability. The 1916 law limited building height along the street edge to a multiple of the street width.6 Above that height, a building had to set back from the street at a proscribed ratio of horizontal setback to vertical height. This ratio created an invisible angled plane, the “sky exposure plane,” which a building could not penetrate (Figure 7). Each successive floor under this plane had to be smaller, until a floor’s area reached 25 percent of the lot area, at which point the building could build straight up, penetrating the sky exposure plane, with no limit on height. The resulting towers were widely spaced, thin, and set back from the

6 One-half to two and a half times the width depending on the area.

31


32

House of Zoning

street, preventing them from having too much impact at the street level (Figure 8). One consequence of the “25 percent tower rule” was that only very large lots (and significant land owners) could build very high. They needed enough land that 25 percent of the lot was a reasonable size for a building floor. Ironically, a regulation that started from an initial desire to limit building height, did not, in the end, impose any height limit, but controlled only the shape and form of that height. Implicit in the sky exposure plane and the 25 percent tower rule controls is a quid pro quo: the right to build unlimited private building height in exchange for giving something—light, air, and space— to the public realm. Building bulk was governed by a blend of both private (the lot size) and public (the street width) factors, but with no cap on the total amount that could be built. This system both protects public space from the excesses of private development, and reserves an “unlimited status” for developers who could amass enough property. It can be seen simultaneously as protecting the broader public from private excess and bestowing “unlimited” entitlement to an upper echelon of developers.

Figure 9

Hugh Ferriss’ drawings, published in the New York Times Magazine, and later in his book The Metropolis of Tomorrow, were deeply influential. Image courtesy of The Skyscraper Museum.

Despite regulating bulk, the authors of the 1916 Resolution did not articulate a vision of what a future city built under the law might look like (other than preserving certain existing forms). World War I meant that few large buildings were built in the years immediately following 1916. It wasn’t until 1922, when architect and renderer Hugh Ferriss drew a series of step-by-step perspectives demonstrating the architectural consequences of the zoning law, that the


Jack Robbins | FXFOWLE

physical implications for building form really began to be understood (Figure 9). He translated the regulatory envelope into the “wedding cake” steps and angular terraces we now recognize as the Art Deco style. This vision was so influential that the building style quickly spread to cities around the world—from Los Angeles to Shanghai—that had no zoning to require the form.7 Use Regulation Use regulation, or land use districts, control where certain activities can or can’t occur. Following the much older precedent of “Common Nuisance Law,” what can be built in a given location depends on what it is used for, what happens inside it, not its outside shape. The 1916 zoning resolution divided the city into three district types: Residential, Commercial, and Unlimited. Unlike today’s use districts, this was a hierarchical system: a residential building could be built in any of the three districts, while an industrial one could only be built in an Unlimited district. This structure reflects the underlying protectionist nature and origins of zoning. Residential uses were protected from the “common nuisance” of industrial uses. The 1916 zoning was generally framed as a safeguard against threats, whether from the physical form of a building like the Equitable Building, unsanitary living conditions, or hordes of factory workers in neighborhoods where they weren’t welcome. The use hierarchy also promoted segregation along class lines. A wealthy resident had the freedom to build his house anywhere. But lower classes, who depended on work in factories for their livelihood, were zoned to less desirable areas of the city. By protecting property values from noxious

uses, use regulation can implicitly pit those people with valuable property to protect against those who do not have any. Use regulation thus bears the imprint of the class stratification and struggles of the early 1900s. Marketplace Regulation Although not always thought of in economic terms, since its inception zoning has been justified as a way to protect property value. Both the Heights Commission and the Commission on Building Districts and Restrictions were explicit in their desire to protect individual property values and the investment stability of neighborhoods. Previously development patterns and building height had been restricted and stabilized by the limits of construction and transportation technology. In the decade or so before 1916, structural steel and elevators allowed buildings to reach new, previously un-contemplated heights. As these enabled vertical growth, new streetcar systems enabled horizontal spread of cities. Manufacturing and its workforce could locate further from the waterfront shipping areas that had been their domain, and closer to higher class residential areas, which saw them as a threat. The potential for unrestricted growth enabled by these technologies was frightening and destabilizing to property values. Zoning applied new “artificial” constraints to stabilize the marketplace, replacing the “natural” constraints of older technology. While zoning regulated the marketplace of property and development by limiting what could be built and where, within the law’s bounds there was still a free market. This idea is embodied in the concept of “as-of-right”: buildings which comply with zoning are not subject to additional

7 “ I916 Zoning Resolution”, last modified 30 September 2016, https://en.wiki pedia.org/wiki/1916_Zoning_Resolution

33


34

House of Zoning

The constraint slows market response, limiting the risk of over-developing in response to a sharp but un-sustained rise in demand. Zoning created a regulated marketplace that could theoretically limit volatility while still allowing market forces to operate. RETHINKING ZONING (1916-1961)

Figure 10

From “Zoning New York City”, 1958, showing the concern with adequate parking space. Image source: nyc.gov

review or approvals by the government or the public. Limiting the power of the regulation to measurable and quantifiable things protected development from political subjectivity. A developer wouldn’t need to have—or buy—political influence to get a building approved, and the desires of the marketplace, not the regulators, governed. In theory, if he played by the rules, the little guy could also build big. However constraints on bulk meant building big was effectively limited to those who could buy big (amounts of property). The 1916 zoning, unlike later versions, constrained the supply of development, but did so without putting a cap on it. Constrained supply forces prices up during periods of high demand. But as the supply had no ultimate ceiling, the market would, in theory, eventually correct itself toward a balance between supply and demand.

In the 1920s federal model zoning codes based on the New York City resolution spread zoning laws around the country, and a landmark 1926 Supreme Court decision affirmed zoning’s constitutionality. But in New York, the law’s shortcomings became ever more apparent. Numerous amendments were made to the text over the years. In 1938 the City Planning Commission was created to administer the increasingly unwieldy law. Despite these attempted improvements, calls from critics began to emerge to scrap the law entirely and start over. The postWorld War II building boom added to the pressure to re-think zoning. In 1948, the City Planning Commission hired Harrison, Ballard and Allen to study potential changes. Their 318-page “Plan for Rezoning the City Of New York,” issued in 1950, failed to gain sufficient political support. A second attempt in 1958, “Zoning New York City: A Proposal for a Zoning Resolution for the City of New York,” by Voorhees Walker Smith & Smith, weighed in at 389 pages, and included a complete draft of new zoning text. Finally, in 1961, more than a dozen years after the initial studies, a completely new zoning resolution was approved. Both the 1950 and 1958 studies were highly critical of the 1916 zoning, noting that it did not reflect then-current conditions of the city, or sufficiently plan for future growth.


Jack Robbins | FXFOWLE

Figure 11

Images from “Plan for Rezoning�, 1950, showing the Lever House and Stuyvesantown as models for future development under the new zoning. Image source: nyc.gov

Cars and the parking space they required had become an important planning issue, not addressed in 1916 (Figure 10). The 1916 Resolution lacked provisions to deal directly with density, despite being written only a few years after Manhattan reached a peak population and density level, unrivaled to this day. Critics claimed that a full build-out under the 1916 zoning would have allowed a city of 55 million people. (Since there was no height limit, theoretically there was no maximum capacity.) Ironically the 1961 Resolution, explicitly designed to limit growth and population, was written roughly 10 years into a 30-year population decline for the city.

The 1961 Resolution was much more forward thinking than the 1916 version, with a clear vision of the future. The studies that preceded the 1916 law were filled with photos and diagrams of the negative conditions that the law would prevent, but very little that conveyed what a city built under the new law would be like. The reports proceeding the 1961 resolution, in contrast, are filled with renderings of future cityscapes, and photos of Lever House, the Seagram Building, and tower-in-the park housing developments as the models for what the code was trying to create (Figure 11). The 1916 code was reacting protectively against the sins of the past, while the 1961 code looked with optimism toward a brighter future. With the former, an architectural style had been developed after the fact, shaped by the necessities of the code, in the later,

35


36

House of Zoning

Figure 12

In 1947, 18 blocks of tenement buildings and industrial storage were cleared for Stuyvesant Town, 8,800 apartments in cruciform towers in a park-like setting. The private-sector project which displaced 16,000 residents was seen as model for Urban Renewal.

the code was modeled after an architectural style that had already been created and built. As part of that same mid-century ethos, the federal government instituted a series of programs to promote growth and development that, perhaps inadvertently, helped to decimate city downtowns across the country. Programs like the G.I. Bill, the American Housing Act of 1949, and the Federal Highway Act of 1956, had the effect of encouraging the middle class to move away from cities into new suburban

developments. These and other governmentled initiatives also helped raze once-vibrant urban neighborhoods, to make way for new highway infrastructure and housing developments. Poorer neighborhoods, usually populated by minorities, were designated “blighted” and subject to “slum clearance” that aimed to erase and rebuild them in a modernist mold. These initiatives looked to a tower-in-the-park model of disconnected high-rises as a way to bring order, cleanliness, light, and greenery to neighborhoods designated as blighted. The 1916 zoning was ill-suited the urban scale and building forms of this Urban Renewal approach (Figure 12). Although the 1961 rewrite was not specifically designed to aid slum clearance, it was very much in harmony with the approach, and motivated by the same ideology.8


Jack Robbins | FXFOWLE

Figure 13

Three configurations of a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 1. FAR allows for flexibility in distribution of bulk.

THE 1961 RESOLUTION: ZONING REMODELED Bulk Regulation To allow these modern building forms, the 1961 code moved away from sky exposure planes and the 25 percent rule, and introduced the concept of Floor Area Ratio or FAR (Figure 13). FAR limits total square footage for a given lot to a fixed multiple of the lot area, and allows for more flexibility in the building form, providing the opportunity for modernist-style sheer towers set back from the street, instead of the deco “wedding cake” setbacks. In the new code, the building base height was no longer related to street width.9 The 25 percent tower footprint rule was expanded to 40 percent and in some cases up to 55 percent. Depending on the district a building lot was in, developers had a choice of different building envelopes, and different ways to get to the FAR limit. The new Zoning Resolution also introduced the idea of incentive zoning through the plaza bonus. A private owner could build

more—get a bonus amount of floor area— in exchange for creating Privately Owned Public Spaces, or POPS, at the street level.10 More broadly, incentive zoning offers development rights in exchange for some kind of public benefit, and has been emulated and widely used in other cities. It has been used to incentivize public benefits ranging from the preservation of certain building types or building uses (e.g. theaters near Times Square), to the inclusion or creation of specific new uses (from daycare to supermarkets), to particular stylistic preferences that reflect the tastes of a given time period or location. The exchange implicit in the original zoning law—more private space in exchange for public benefit (light and air in 1916)— became explicit and transactional. Qualitative benefit was replaced with measurable quantities. The open space created under the 1961 code was meant to directly compensate the increase in building density, to make a more crowded city more livable. Although over 3.5 million square feet of open space has been created through bonuses, the poor quality of the space has been a perpetual problem. POPS regulations have been amended repeatedly, in 1975,

8 I n testimony at public hearings held in 1960 on the proposed zoning, the new law is repeatedly linked to slum clearance, and to the City’s Slum Clearance Committee, headed by none other than Robert Moses, the power broker leading the charge on large-scale urban redevelopment. 9 Street width was reflected only in a simple binary system for the initial setback, wide street or narrow street. 10 Initially, one square foot of public plaza bought the right to build 10 square feet of private floor area. POPS eventually included plazas, open arcades, and through-block connections in some areas. Some fully interior public spaces were also allowed.

37


38

House of Zoning

open spaces (Figure 14), the reality often proved different. Many private open spaces were under-designed, felt residual, and often destroyed the spatial continuity of the public realm. Towers-in-the-park too often wound up as towers-in-the-parking lot. Private development may have benefited from greater flexibility, but public space was hurt by the lack of quality it allowed. Use Regulation The 1961 Resolution kept the broad usebased zoning district categories, replacing Unlimited Districts with Manufacturing Districts, and creating a series of subcategories within each district type, roughly corresponding to density levels. Eighteen Use Groups were created, and a 16-by-18 matrix showed which Use Groups were allowed in each zoning district. The Resolution text lists specific allowable uses for each Use Group—page after page of everything from frozen food lockers to umbrella repair shops. The lists have The cover graphic from “Plan for Rezoning The City presented a problem as uses change over of New York,” 1950, shows the desired transition time and new ones are invented. The uses from traditional stepped setbacks under a sky of 1961 are not the uses of today: typewriter exposure plane to sheer modernist towers on a base. stores are listed specifically, while there is no Image source: nyc.gov mention of computers. The 1961 Resolution may have been more forward looking and 2007, and 2009, each revision aimed at more flexible in its vision for building form, improving the quality of the spaces. The but it regulated uses based on a more City is still trying to wrestle with the quality shortsighted, less flexible view that bears issue, and recently proposed completely the date stamp of a particular year. privatizing the poor quality POPS along Water Street in Lower Manhattan, in In the 1961 reworking of use districts, exchange for improvements to the quality no residential uses could be built of other parts the public realm. in manufacturing districts, and no manufacturing uses were permitted in The failure of 1961 bulk regulations generally residential districts. Rather than being lies in the poor quality of the open spaces, based on a nested hierarchy of increasing both public and private, that it created. noxiousness, manufacturing uses and Although inspired by Corbusier-like visions residential uses are considered mutually of widely spaced towers amidst verdant

Figure 14


Jack Robbins | FXFOWLE

Marketplace Regulation While FAR created a currency of development units that could be priced and traded, the regulation of uses under the new zoning resolution had unintended marketplace consequences, and often proved a poor tool for regulating the market. Under the 1961 code, residential uses and industrial uses were completely segregated. The idea, as it had been in 1916, was partly to protect residential neighborhoods from the incursion of noxious uses. But the new law was also written to support the manufacturing economy by creating districts where industrial uses were no longer in competition with residential uses for the same land. However, between 1950 and 1983, manufacturing employment declined 58 percent in the city,11 a trend which the law could neither foresee nor stop.

Figure 15

Cover of “The Wastelands of New York City,” 1962, a report by the City Club of New York that examined the high vacancy rates of commercial loft space in Soho. Photo ©Jack Robbins at The Skyscraper Museum.

noxious to each other, and factory workers could no longer live where they work. Commercial uses were also, in theory, not permitted in residential districts, though in practice commercial overlays and residential designation equivalents allow this, further complicating the supposed separation of uses. One might ask whether the main purpose of the zoning was to separate or integrate residential and commercial uses, and whether the baseline assumption of separation for these uses is the right starting point.

In the Soho neighborhood of 1961, the old manufacturing loft buildings were not suited to new post-war manufacturing methods, and were being slowly abandoned by industry. Zoned for manufacturing, the area did not allow residential uses. With little demand from manufacturers, rents dropped low enough to become attractive as studios for artists with little income (Figure 15). Those artists soon began living, illegally, in their studio spaces. Illegality helped keep prices low, and more and more people took advantage of the blind eye City government had turned toward the use infractions. Eventually zoning was forced to catch up with reality, and, in 1971, residences were allowed. The revised zoning again sought to protect a threatened existing use, the nowvalued artists’ neighborhood. Residential uses were restricted to “live-work quarters” for artists, who had to be certified by the Department of Cultural Affairs. If the

11 Salins, Peter D., “Simple Rules for a Complex Society: Redesigning New York’s Zoning”, City Journal, Winter 1993.

39


40

House of Zoning

original 1961 zoning had allowed both residential and manufacturing uses from the start, the residential conversion of the neighborhood might have happened much more quickly and fluidly. On the other hand, the lack of a free market kept rents low, and promoted the birth of a “black market” arts district, now world famous. Sunset Park in Brooklyn represents a variation on the same story. Despite a sizable number of existing residences, the neighborhood was zoned in 1961 as a Manufacturing district, with the idea of promoting industrial uses. Instead these uses declined, and grandfathered residents stayed. Their homes deteriorated as the non-conforming use made obtaining insurance or mortgages difficult, which inhibited rehabilitation or building improvements. In 1972, zoning again bowed to reality and parts of the area were rezoned as residential.12 In both Sunset Park and Soho, zoning failed to anticipate, and was slow to respond to, changing economic conditions, namely the decline of manufacturing uses. Zoning restricted the basic market recalibration that might have happened in a more free market. In the case of Soho this lead to the rebirth and revitalization of an area by artists. In the case of Sunset Park, it stifled the basic upkeep and growth of a residential community. It is hard to say if either of these was more harmful or more beneficial ultimately. But what can be said is that neither was an intended consequence, and that zoning regulations took a decade to adjust to economic reality. As a lever for government to use in influencing the economy, zoning is hard to calibrate, too

slow to respond to changes, and in many ways powerless in the face of much larger economic forces. AFTER 1961: ZONING UNDERMINED In the first two decades that followed the 1961 Resolution, a wide range of forces, from new areas of law to new planning practices and policies, to new lifestyles, began to undermine and alter the modernist vision of the 1961 code. The same year that the new zoning was enacted, Jane Jacobs published, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, a watershed in urban planning. She argued directly against the prevailing sensibilities of the 1950s that had given birth to the new zoning. Jacobs advocated for mixed uses, pedestrian activity, density, and the idea that cities should be made up of buildings from different eras, not wiped clean and rebuilt. She writes that, “Intricate minglings of different uses in cities are not a form of chaos. On the contrary, they represent a complex and highly developed form of order.” 13 A few years later, in 1966, Robert Venturi’s gentle manifesto Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture took an allied stance from a more purely aesthetic perspective. Jacobs and Venturi both celebrated a kind of messiness—of cities and buildings—and pointed away from the overzealously orderly sanitization offered by modernist planners and architects, and embodied in the 1961 code. In 1963 the much-protested demolition of the neoclassical, McKim Mead and Whitedesigned Pennsylvania Station building led to the birth of the historic preservation movement and the creation in 1965 of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Landmarks Preservation Law that it

12 Norman Marcus, Esq., “New York City Zoning—1961-1991: Turning Back The Clock—But With An Up-To-The-Minute Social Agenda,” Fordham Urban Law Journal, Volume 19, Issue 3, 1991, Article 11. 13 Jacobs, Jane, Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961.


Jack Robbins | FXFOWLE

Figure 16

Figure 17

Picketers outside of Penn Station in 1961. Photo courtesy of David Hirsch.

The demolition of Penn Station. Photo courtesy of Norman McGrath.

administers (Figures 16 & 17). The creation of protected historic districts took over one of the original functions of zoning: to ensure stability and secure property values against radical change. Like Zoning, preservation law can often favor the haves over the havenots, and by constraining development, unbalance market forces. Preservation law was also a reaction against the planning principles reflected in the 1961 Zoning Law; a legal bulwark against the excesses of urban renewal and the modernist clearcutting of wide swathes of the city for modern towers or multi-lane highways.

brought the environmental consequences of unregulated industrialization into the collective political consciousness. New laws at the federal level included the Clean Air Act (1970), the Water Pollution Control Act (1972), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (1970) creating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Safe Drinking Water Act (1974), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (1976), and the Clean Water Act (1977).14 Zoning had in many ways originated to protect the public health, a crude form of environmental protection law. But as air, water, and soil contamination paid no attention to zoning boundaries, true environmental laws that focused on the sources and measurable contamination were required to address the growing

The same era also saw the birth of an environmental movement and new environmental protection laws. Books like Rachel Carson’s 1962 Silent Spring

14 “ Environmental Law”, last modified 1 October, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_law

41


42

House of Zoning

problem. As with historic preservation, the new laws provided a more targeted and specific protection from a danger that was part of the original rationale for zoning. Not long after it took effect, the 1961 zoning law itself also began to be changed in response to some of the same societal forces. In 1967 Special Districts were created—the first one to preserve theaters around Times Square. Special Districts nullify and/or augment existing zoning in a specific area. To date there are 44 Special Districts in the city. In the 1980s the Department of City Planning introduced Contextual Districts and Quality Housing. These amendments to zoning law allowed, and in some places required, developers to build buildings that were closer in scale and form to more traditional, historic, New York City buildings. Both the 1916 and 1961 resolutions were written with a clear eye toward reducing overcrowding. Ironically the 1961 code was written at a time of decreasing population in the city: between 1960 and 1980, New York City population actually fell by 10 percent. This decline was part of a larger trend of suburbanization and “white flight” from urban centers across the country. The suburbanization movement was inherently segregationist—both along the racial lines inherent in the term “white flight”, and along the lines of traditional zoning land use categories. New post-war suburban communities were almost exclusively residential, with little threat of encroaching commercial uses, much less industrial ones. However, the non-residential uses soon followed suit, and the shopping mall, the office park, and the industrial park became

emblems of a completely use-segregated suburban lifestyle. The separation of uses which had originally been created by zoning for the close quarters of urban settings became both a legal, and more importantly, a cultural part of the suburban lifestyle. New subdivisions targeted a narrow income range and often enforced racial discrimination. Suburbanization strongly reinforced use separation, class stratification, and racial segregation. Given that use regulation in zoning had been born in large part from racist motivations in 1916, and re-codified in 1961 in support of large scale slum clearance, it should be unsurprising that use separation and racial segregation went hand in hand as part of suburbanization. All of these trends—the urban and architectural design ethos of Jacobs and Venturi, historic preservation, environmentalism, and suburbanization— served to undercut the raisons d’etre and the force of zoning law. Historic preservation and environmentalism overtook zoning with more stringent and focused laws in areas that zoning had once been the primary (if ineffective) means of regulation. An appreciation for the messiness of mixed uses, traditional urban forms, and complex architectural expression, undermined the modernist planning ideals of towers-in-the-park and slum clearance. And suburbanization brought the racism and use separation first codified in zoning to its logical and cultural extreme. ZONING TODAY Is Zoning an Effective Tool for Regulation? Today New York zoning regulation is an unmanageable mess that does not reflect the city we want to be, nor even the city


Jack Robbins | FXFOWLE

Figure 18

From the Municipal Art Society report “Accidental Skyline,” 2016, showing shadows cast on Central Park by new Midtown “supertall” towers.

that exists. The perpetual modifications and amendments have been largely additive, creating Special Districts or carving out exemptions, and the result is increasingly unwieldy and impenetrable. An industry of experts and interpreters has grown up to assist developers in navigating it. A great deal of City bureaucracy and budget among agencies, Borough offices, and community boards, is dedicated to understanding, managing, and enforcing it. Civic and neighborhood groups spend their time trying to make sure that both the City and developers are playing

by the rules. Navigating the processes required for zoning compliance, especially for exemptions or changes, is effectively available only to those with the means to hire the expertise, and to commit extensive resources of time and money. Only an elite echelon of developers and large institutions have those resources to wring extra square footage from the code. In New York City, the only major American city that has never done comprehensive master planning, zoning has also become the de-facto planning tool. But zoning law lacks the key elements of any successful master plan: clear vision, well-defined principles, straightforward guidelines, direct paths to implementation, and public understanding and support. The city

43


44

House of Zoning

described by our zoning does not even reflect the city we live in—nor maybe even the city we want to live in. A recent New York Times article calculated that 40 percent of the buildings in Manhattan—many of them well loved—do not comply with existing zoning and could not be built today. If the City were entirely remade to comply, would we even recognize it as New York? Ever the epicenter of development controversy, the perceived threat of building height is likely a permanent fixture of urban change. Recent zoning amendments to redress some unintended consequences of height limits, making minor increases (five feet in some cases) to to allow for better ground floor street activation or higher residential ceiling heights, have faced stiff neighborhood opposition. Outcry has also been strong over a new class of (as-of-right) supertall residential buildings, particularly along 57th Street in Midtown, where developers have been able to buy up small amounts of excess floor area over a large area of lots, transfer it, and employ relatively small floorplates to achieve stratospheric heights. The shadows cast on Central Park are a particular flashpoint (Figure 18). The resulting towers are thin, spire-like, and widely spaced, not unlike the intent of the original 1916 25 percent tower rule, their shadows moving rapidly across Central Park like sundial needles. In this sense zoning might be seen to be achieving a kind of balance between private development and safeguarding public space. Unfortunately the result may be more an unintended product of finite FAR and market forces (the high value of views and small exclusive floorplates) than deliberate bulk controls. Zoning should employ bulk

controls that protect the public realm (and private property) against excesses, while still giving enough play to market dynamics. Zoning, from its start, was intended as a tool to protect public space, and later also to create it. But neither the quantity nor the quality of open space created through zoning has been sufficient to keep up with the impact of increasing density. Nor does zoning provide for the ongoing upkeep and maintenance of the open spaces. A piecemeal approach that burdens individual developers with design cannot produce the scale and quality of public space needed for higher density cities. More success may be seen in the approach of the West Chelsea Special District, created in large part to underwrite the development of the High Line Park. In this model, development supports the open space, and directly benefits from proximity of that open space. The design and implementation of the public space, however, is independent of the individual developers. Increased urban density requires more than just open space. Zoning must link increases in density directly to the other amenities and infrastructure that are needed to make a denser city more livable and functional. Public benefits should include infrastructure such as mass transportation or flood protection, whose durability and lifespan are commensurate with the additional density, and whose zone of benefit extends beyond an individual development. Required “soft” benefits, such as specific uses, may not stay relevant as neighborhoods and needs change, and can be difficult to enforce over the life a building. Design and implementation of fixed public benefits should be entrusted to entities


Jack Robbins | FXFOWLE

Zoning-Separated Uses

Integrated Use Development

Figure 19

Integrated Use seeks to combine uses vertically in a single building.

whose mission aligns with the specific public good, not developers who may treat it as a burden to be satisfied as minimally as possible. This approach would in particular benefit projects whose large scale requires centralized planning, coordination, and design, such as district-level resiliency measures. Neighborhood-scale flood berms, for example, could be built far more economically, on a per capita or per square foot basis, than the building-by-building approach of regulations that put the flood-proofing burden on individual property owners. Does Zoning Promote Values We Believe In? Use separation is a core element of zoning that no longer reflects the values of society today, namely our belief in greater social equity. Use regulation was born from a caste system of a different century, and amplified by the racist segregation that characterized mid-century urban planning. The creators of both zoning codes saw impoverished, racialminority, city neighborhoods as areas to be

abandoned or razed. Surely this is no longer our view today. While use separation may have at times protected lower income areas from incursions of uses that would have had a negative impact, the majority of the history of use separation has benefited wealthier, more established neighborhoods at the expense of lower socio-economic groups. As a mechanism to protect property value, use regulation inherently bestows greater benefits to those with more property to protect. Its inequitable distribution of benefit and burden is fundamentally regressive. While neighborhood stability can benefit a broader common good (there may indeed have been some broader value in preserving 5th Avenue as a high-class enclave in 1916) this must be weighed against the harm to those who get no direct benefit. Markets and uses change faster than zoning, and re-zoning efforts are always playing catch-up. The 2004 rezoning of the Brooklyn Waterfront created a residential

45


46

House of Zoning

Council of Economic Advisers has said, monoculture, failing to anticipate the need “Zoning restrictions—be they in the form for a greater mix of uses. FXFOWLE’s of minimum lot sizes, off-street parking Greenpoint Terminal Market project is requirements, height limits, prohibitions on among several that seek new zoning to multifamily housing, or lengthy permitting redress this oversight, with a strategy processes—are supply constraints. that integrates commercial, residential, ...Restricted supply leads to higher prices and light manufacturing uses. Similar and less affordability.” 15 Inflated prices recent projects include the Domino Sugar Redevelopment, 25 Kent Street, and the disproportionately affect the poor because City’s own 2016 RFP for Long Island City those with lower incomes spend a greater Mixed Use Redevelopment. Each of these percentage of their income on housing.16 turns to a new hybrid that mixes uses which As a tool for the government to guide the zoning would have formerly kept apart. economy, zoning is too coarse, sluggish, This new building typology pushes beyond and often ineffectual. The Federal Reserve standard mixed use developments toward regulates interest rates on a quarterly basis something that might be called integrated and government spending budgets are use developments (Figure 19). Integrated passed annually, but it takes five to ten use typologies allow for a kind of cross years to alter zoning, a pace that can never subsidization, similar to the underlying hope to respond to economic cycles. mechanism of Inclusionary Housing, where In general, economic drivers have become more profitable uses subsidize the less less tied to place, and a place-based profitable ones which are nonetheless regulation of the economy makes less needed for a balanced and resilient urban sense. Nonetheless, in New York City real economy. Currently, residential space estate and development represent a sizable commands a high enough price that it can portion of the economy, so the economic help subsidize low rent space, such as the impact of zoning must be a factor in its flexible work space needed by creative, tech, creation and management. Zoning should and light-industrial uses. Although this may ideally serve as a damper that mitigates change in the future, by integrating uses, sharper fluctuations and instability in premium uses can always subsidize less the real estate economy, but it also must profitable, but desired, uses. As markets find a way to be more flexible and more change, integrated use development would responsive to economic change. allow for more fluid conversions of buildings and neighborhoods from one use to another. CONCLUSION Edward Glaser and other urban economists have written about how zoning fundamentally restricts the supply of land (or allowable development area) and how that restricted supply in the marketplace causes prices to rise. Jason Furman, chairman of the White House’s

The zoning resolutions of 1916 and 1961 each took years of debate and in-depth study to create. They were each based on the morals and the understanding of social and economic forces of their day. Our morals and our understanding of those forces have greatly evolved. Our zoning should too.

15 “ Barriers to Shared Growth: The Case of Land Use Regulation and Economic Rents”, Remarks by Jason Furman, Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, The Urban Institute, November 20, 2015 16 http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottbeyer/2016/09/26/obama-administration-report-attacksnimbyism-and-zoning/#163be0b16e72


Jack Robbins | FXFOWLE

Zoning should be rethought to align with the values we want for our city and our future, to embrace integrated uses, equitable opportunity, and economic responsiveness. Of the three categories of regulation—bulk, use, and marketplace—bulk regulation seems to be the least problematic in terms of its underlying values. There, the problems are more in the details and mechanisms, not the essential aim of shaping private development to protect and enhance public space. The regulation of uses seems far more problematic, and should be fundamentally questioned. As cities are intrinsically places that bring different people and different functions together, shouldn’t city zoning be encouraging integration of uses, not a suburbanstyle segregation? Finally, as a tool for marketplace regulation, zoning seems important, but hopelessly clumsy. How can zoning be used to help create a stable marketplace but become more flexible in response to changing economic realities and macro-economic forces? Answering these questions will not be quick or easy. We should start the studies now. The New York City Zoning Resolution is like a house that has been perpetually added to and patched and cluttered with different pieces of furniture acquired slowly over time. There is no question that every modification, every new table, has some appeal, answered some need at one time. But it is a mess, a mess we have lived with it for so long we can no longer truly see it for what it is. And even if we could peel away all the layers and the clutter and the new additions, would we still want to live in that house whose foundation was laid a century ago,

and was entirely rebuilt in 1961? Since that time our family has grown, we live differently, we are more inclusive, our jobs have changed, and yes, we are, in a collective sense, older and wiser. It is time to build a new house. New York City Zoning should be rebuilt from scratch. Its present form does not reflect the values of our world today and is nearly unmanageable from an operational point of view. It bears the strong imprint of two eras that were less equitable in their thinking than ours, and, despite the best of intentions, it continues to reinforce those bygone values. The process of rebuilding our house—rewriting zoning—should begin with an understanding of our own values, and how we want zoning to impart them. It must integrate what we’ve learned over the last 100 years: build on the pieces that work, jettison those that don’t, recognize the limitations and be wary of unintended consequences. It is a scary thing to give up on a house that we have spent so long in, lavished with love and attention, watched our city grow up in. But we owe it to ourselves to build a house of zoning that reflects the best of who we are, and who we hope to be.

47


48

House of Zoning


Jack Robbins | FXFOWLE

Jack Robbins brings an exceptional combination of talents to his work as both an architect and urban designer. He engages the complex forces and challenges of urban environments with a design-oriented approach. Drawing on deep expertise and international experience, he generates insightful and creative solutions for a wide range of public, private, and institutional clients. He has extensive experience leading large, multi-disciplinary teams in collaborative projects, delivering savvy strategies and implementable plans. Jack’s passion is cities and the buildings, spaces, and infrastructure that make them vibrant and sustainable. He teaches, writes, and speaks frequently at conferences and symposia.

49



Dan Kaplan & Fatin Anlar | FXFOWLE

ISTANBUL:

MODERN METROPOLIS— LAYERED HISTORY Dan Kaplan, FAIA, LEED AP, Sr. Partner, FXFOWLE Fatin Anlar, AIA, LEED AP, Sr. Associate, FXFOWLE

“Culture is mix. Culture means a mix of things from other sources. And my town, Istanbul, was this kind of mix. Istanbul, in fact, and my work, is a testimony to the fact that East and West combine cultural gracefully, or sometimes in an anarchic way, came together, and that is what we should search for.” —Orhan Pamuk

Figure 1

View looking south to Marmara Sea and Princess Island.

51


52

Istanbul: Modern Metropolis—Layered History

Figure 2:

Bosphorus and Marmara Sea from Topkapi Palace.

Figure 3:

Typical nighttime silhouette of an Istanbul Mosque.

Figure 4:

Historic landscape of Cappadocia in Central Turkey (left). Zoning Envelope (right).


Dan Kaplan & Fatin Anlar | FXFOWLE

ISTANBUL Typically defined as a bridge between East and West, Istanbul’s condition is more accurately described as the pivot point between four regions. In addition to East (Asia) and West (Europe), it is equally a link between the Slavic world (north) and Arab world (south). As the surrounding regions—along with Turkey itself—have evolved in the post-Cold War period, Istanbul has reemerged as a true crossroads of trade, capital, and ideas. With Istanbul’s population fast approaching 15 million, there is pressure on the city’s aging building stock, which is not seismic resistant. Coupled with a young population (the average age is 29) and a generally vibrant economy, the overall conditions have been ripe for high-rise development. Istanbul’s rich and layered past is a backdrop to this growth and renewal. It is an ancient city that has served as the capitol of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. The city’s planning, monuments, and architecture reflect these periods. The late modern architecture in Turkey typically generated monotonous, repetitive buildings, much of their form predetermined by highly restrictive codes. Adding to the mix and contributing greatly to its sense of place, is Istanbul’s natural environment: the landscape, the Bosporus, and the Marmara Sea (Figure 2, 3).

Out of this milieu was born Allianz Tower. A new 42-story office tower marking the eastern entrance to the city. It is intended as a singular, high performance, headquarter quality office tower, simultaneously worldclass and reflecting its unique locale. ARCHITECTURAL CONCEPT: CULTURE + CLIMATE SYNTHESIS Istanbul’s Allianz Tower draws its design from a cultural reading of place. The region offers a limitless territory of ornament and expression. Its designers looked beyond superficial analysis of this fertile domain to the realm of deeper interpretation. The tower brings together sculptural massing, which is rooted in place and landscape; a solar-responsive skin, alluding to Islamic tradition; and numerous green spaces. Like Istanbul itself, the building is culturally-specific yet internationally resonant; it operates locally and also within a larger field of worldwide architectural concerns. Istanbul is divided by the Bosporus, a narrow strait. The Old City is situated on the western, European side; Allianz Tower is on the Asian side, ten kilometers to the east, at the intersection of two major highways. It’s the first tall building that visitors to the city encounter from the east en route from Sabiha Gökçen Airport to the city center. This condition as a regional marker influenced the tower’s obelisk form.

53


54

Istanbul: Modern Metropolis—Layered History

Figure 5:

Sculptural development during design phase.


Dan Kaplan & Fatin Anlar | FXFOWLE

SUN PATH DIAGRAM

SHADOW STUDY (SPRING EQUINOX)

SOUTHEAST

SOUTHWEST

Figure 6:

Ecotect analysis.

Early in the design process, design strategies were sought to anchor the massing into both cultural and solar contexts, while addressing more normative functional and regulatory issues. The unique geographic and historic landscape of Cappadocia in Central Turkey (Figure 4)—tower-like habitations emerging from rock formations—were an influential reference in the sculpting the form, as was the more general reference to Islamic geometric ornamentation. Working within the sky-exposure planes generated by the irregular site also proved formative; maximizing the usable area of the upper floors as the planes converged was especially challenging (Figure 5). Rotating the building on the site by approximately 33 degrees increased the floor plate size by 10 percent,

NORTHWEST

NORTHEAST

improved the core-to wall dimensions, and reduced the height of the building by 4 floors, all making the building more efficient. It had the added benefit of modestly reducing the solar insolation (2 percent) (Figure 6). All these influences—cultural, sustainable, and functional—were integrated into the chiseled figure of the tower. It is useful to highlight the role of insolation modeling during the early design phases. Office buildings in this climate are generally “cooling dominant”: they use more airconditioning due to the size of the floors and the intensity of people, lights, and equipment within. There is also the desire for large expanses of glass for enhanced occupant experience. This adds up to an imperative to increase passive shading of the building’s skin, preventing solar energy from hitting and penetrating the glazing.

RADIATION ANALYSIS

55


56

Istanbul: Modern Metropolis—Layered History

Figure 7:

Typical geometrically ornamented Islamic mashrabiya screen.


Dan Kaplan & Fatin Anlar | FXFOWLE

Figure 8:

Combination of historic architectural elements with Modern art. Paco Rabanne © Estate of Guy Bourdin by permission of Art + Commerce

Using SEFAIRA and Ecotect modeling software, the design team iteratively tested various orientations and massings. The massing was rotated in part to optimize solar response. Beyond the rotation of the building, a more robust passive shading regime was needed in order to achieve the conflicting desires of transparency, with approximately 80 percent glazing, and ambitious energy reduction goals. Islamic vernacular architecture was a departure point for resolving this contradiction. Geometrically ornamented Islamic mashrabiya screens (Figure 7) both temper direct sunlight and limit views from the street into residences. The designers sought to replicate the qualities of the mashrabiya on the building skin. The solution, a stippled golden scrim that drapes over the glass surface of the building, incorporating ornament-like patterning, is tuned to the solar orientation,

and reduces heat load. Among the wideranging sources for the sunscreen were the sensibilities of the “exotic Orient,” where gold and bronze are metals of sophistication; the innovative garments of Paco Rabanne; and the cloak in Klimt’s iconic painting The Kiss (Figure 8). The building skin represents a merger of cultural and climatic goals, an incorporation without pastiche. Green spaces laced through the tower embody the environmental emphasis. Three groupings of sky gardens are positioned at key exposures. These two-story gardens provide a thermal buffer between exterior and interior, access to fresh air, and places of relaxation for office workers. A larger garden, with a weave of planting and architectural elements, crowns the tower. These green areas temper the verticality and closed environment inherent to typical high-rise buildings. Allianz Tower unites opposites in new forms of synthesis. The building is a modern skyscraper, but it is imbued with a textural richness and ornamentation appropriate

57


58

Istanbul: Modern Metropolis—Layered History


Dan Kaplan & Fatin Anlar | FXFOWLE

Figure 10:

50 percent coverage. The amount of the screens are gradually reduced on the east and west, finally disappearing on the north façade.

in the East. The exterior skin controls the sun, but it creates transparency. The skin expresses the local culture, but it also refers to a larger aesthetic vocabulary (Figure 9).

The scrim is composed of varied sized perforated panels, held off from the primary exterior glass surface by 300 millimeters (Figure 10). The panels themselves are integral to the larger unitized curtainwall panel, allowing for efficient erection. They were fabricated from 50-millimeter-thick aluminum sheets, with round perforations at a density of 50 percent. In order to resist oil-canning and deflection under wind loads, the panels incorporate larger (2 centimeters x 6 centimeters) “eyelids”. This configuration, formed by cutting slits and then pressing the surface outward, was reached through a process of trial and error with the fabricator. The panels then received a powder-coated finish in two shades of golden brown. This

Façade Detail of Allianz Tower.

INNOVATION AND PERFORMANCE Allianz Tower incorporates a variety of significant, high-performance strategies to make the building more comfortable and enjoyable for its occupants and have a lighter touch on the environment. Exterior Solar Shading A stippled golden scrim shades the glazing, reducing the solar load. Based on computational analysis and iterative design studies, the scrim needed to be most heavily deployed on the south elevation, with almost

Figure 9:

View of Allianz Tower from the southeast.

59


60

Istanbul: Modern Metropolis—Layered History

solution balanced the need for both strength and shading properties on the one hand and transparency on the other. The final design maintains 50 percent perforation and reduces overall insolation by approximately 18 percent. It is worth noting that the façade was designed and conceived of in 2010, during the project’s design phase. At that time, the MEP engineers were not sufficiently confident of the shading benefits of the panels—both overall and at peak-load periods. The design team relied on some modeling that was ultimatly not robust or accessible enough to overcome the concern. Since then, advances in rapid shading modeling (Cornell University’s Sustain simulation program, to cite one) are allowing more precise and reliable calculations. To reduce heating and cooling loads further, the curtainwall incorporates four-sided, structurally glazed, unitized curtain wall. The glazing has a low-E coating along with ceramic frit for additional sun shading. Together, these enable the incorporation of floor-to-ceiling, un-tinted glass while simultaneously achieving ambitious energy efficiency goals. Due in part to the shading strategy, the energy model demonstrates a 26 percent improvement compared to the baseline building performance of ASHREA 90.1. It is a significant accomplishment that Allianz Tower is Turkey’s first office tower to receive LEED Platinum Certification, receiving 81 out of a possible 110 credits. For Energy, the building achieved 19 credits of 37 possible; for Sustainable Sites; 11 out of 12 possible for Indoor Environmental Quality and all 10 points available for Water

Efficiency. Further, 80 percent of the tower meets the criteria for Regional Materials, four times more than the amount required to achieve maximum points. Skygardens: Social Spaces in the Tower The skygardens are an integral part of the building concept. These two-story spaces laced through the office floors allow occupants to enjoy natural light in a multifunctional area within the workplace. Socially, they form focal points for offices, providing places to talk with colleagues, hold informal meetings, eat lunch, drink coffee, and relax during breaks. Each skygarden acts as a “buffer zone” into which conditioned indoor air “spills” before being exhausted from the building. The municipality encourages social spaces, allowing up to 10 percent of a given floor to be deducted for this use. Taking this as a departure point, the designers developed four principles: I) they should be two stories in height, allowing all occupants to be no more than one level away (preparation for connecting stairs are incorporated); II) they should be directly accessible and visible from the elevator lobby on each floor, promoting public character and orientation; III) they should not be overly grand, so they remain a comfortable, informal space (about 100 square meters); IV) they should occupy a building corner so that there is perception of volume. These have largely been incorporated into the final design (Figure 11, 13). Rooftop Garden: Greenspace Gets the Best Space A common frustration with tall buildings is that mechanical services equipment often occupies the most visible and privileged


Dan Kaplan & Fatin Anlar | FXFOWLE

Figure 11:

The tower’s sky garden and roof deck.

Figure 12: Rooftop garden.

61


62

Istanbul: Modern Metropolis—Layered History

Several planning strategies were implemented to realize this favorable arrangement. This site was large enough to allow the building’s cooling towers to be located at-grade in the podium structure. This prevented the noise, plume, and bulk from spoiling the experience of the garden. Similarly, the exterior maintenance rig was located below the roof garden level. Several approaches were studied at length for exterior building maintenance unit, including a central telescoping boom mounted on a central pole. The ultimate solution included a custom-designed rig parked inside the floor between the garden and mechanical floor. Retractable doors integrated into the exterior wall system are positioned on the four façades, allowing the unit, with an 18-meter reach, 170-meter vertical run capability, to serve the entire building.

Figure 13:

Allianz Tower. Office floor with sky garden.

part of the tower: the top. Given the environmental aspirations of the building, it was appropriate that the crown of the building be programmed with a unique exterior garden space. The top mechanical floors are capped with a roof deck and the obelisk profile is maintained by sloped extensions of the curtain wall, providing shelter from the wind. At the very top, the glass gives way to an open steel frame. The rooftop has minimal equipment, being served by a mini-core containing a shuttle elevator, egress stairs, and a small toilet room. The remaining area—450-squaremeters—is landscaped (Figure 12).

Daylight & Views The principal characteristic of the tower is transparency and access to daylight and views from the interior. The views, particularly to the south and east, are dramatic with unfettered sightlines to the Marmara Sea, Princes’ Islands, and the Sultanahmet Peninsula. Despite a relatively small floor plate (1,350 square meters) the central core configuration was implemented to allow 360-degree access to the exterior. Consequently, the lease spans are relatively low, around 10 meters typically, resulting in a large proportion of perimeter zone (Figure 13). The exterior wall features floorto-ceiling glazing, with an 80 centimeter “step-up” at the head resulting in 320 centimeter-tall glazing (Figure 14). The combination of narrow floor plates and


Dan Kaplan & Fatin Anlar | FXFOWLE

Figure 14:

Rendering of Allianz Tower façade detail.

ample glazing allows for 90 percent of regularly occupied spaces to have access to views and 75 percent to be naturally day-lit. Underfloor Air Distribution: Flexibility and Energy Efficiency A raised floor system permits easy customization and incorporates an energyefficient displacement ventilation system (Figure 14). Supply air is introduced to the space via floor diffusers; perimeter heating and cooling is provided by low-profile, four-pipe fan coil units located in the floor plenum. As the air warms, it rises and pollutants

are carried toward the ceiling by the warm air. Rather than mixing the air within the entire space, fresh air is provided to the habitable zone. An under-floor air distribution system has significant energy savings when compared to an overhead air system because of lower fan static requirements. Economizer hours of operation will further increase energy savings. STRUCTURAL INNOVATION Like the building itself, the structural design needed to address technical limitations, economic constraints, and cultural differences, all while striving to create a world-class building and one of Turkey’s first truly modern skyscraper.

63


64

Istanbul: Modern Metropolis—Layered History

From a structural perspective, it is imperative to note that Turkey is in a seismically hazardous region and is materially impacted by activity from the North Anatolian Fault Zone. The 1,200-kilometer-long, very active fault accommodates the relative motion between the Anatolian and Eurasian plates. One of the largest recent events was centered in Duzce, outside of Istanbul, and measured a magnitude 7.2. The government of Turkey has invested heavily in disaster mitigation as well as earthquake research. The Turkish Municipalities were particularly interested in embracing state-of-the-art seismic analysis and design in an effort to minimize economic loss. The lack of expertise and local availability made the use of steel impractical and as such, a concrete frame was chosen. Recent advances in the design of high-rise concrete structures in regions prone to severe ground shaking provided a guideline for the design of the Allianz Tower. The use of Performance Based Design (PBD) in lieu

Situated within this seismic context, Istanbul is susceptible to extreme ground shaking. As seismic forces are proportional to building weight, the use of a steel frame was initially considered.

of the prescriptive code requirements was chosen as the code based design was simply impractical to construct. Based on previous design experience with high-rise concrete towers in regions of severe ground shaking, such as 301 Mission in San Francisco and the Shangri-La Tower in the Philippines, the design team was comfortable undertaking this approach. The design team sought to produce a consensus approach that followed the requirements as outlined in the Seismic Design Guidelines for Tall Buildings developed by PEER and the Istanbul Seismic Design Code for Tall Buildings developed by Bogazici University. While both documents are based on similar research and thinking there were some significant differences that needed to be resolved as part of the development of the basis of design. In addition to producing a more reliable design, PBD allows the designer to ignore the prescriptive requirement that a dual lateral resisting system be utilized. Specifically, the code requires the use of moment frames in addition to shear walls. While the use of a dual system is not a drawback per se, the code requirement that the frames be proportioned to resist at least 25 percent of the overturning moment produces unusually large perimeter elements. Moreover, the aggregate lateral capacity exceeds nominal demand by 25 percent.


Dan Kaplan & Fatin Anlar | FXFOWLE

Figure 15:

flexibility in services layout and enabling the 80 centimeter “step up� at the head of the curtainwall.

Once the need to utilize a dual system was eliminated, the design team chose to eliminate all of the beams and utilize a flat plate system. The traditional concrete floor framing system in Turkey is a beam and slab system. Beams were replaced with a 300-millimeter cast concrete flat slab, providing more

The lateral system for the tower comprises a concrete core wall with outriggers. To improve the performance of the building, the outriggers were replaced with Buckling Restrained Braces (BRB) (Figure 15). Unlike a traditional outrigger, the BRB is capable of developing yield forces in tension and compression without buckling. This behavior provides reliable and quantifiable ductility.

Buckling restrained braces in the middle of Allianz Tower.

65


66

Istanbul: Modern Metropolis—Layered History

TEAM & PROCESS: INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS—LOCAL MILIEU

This fusion started at the top, with the developer-builder Renaissance. Renaissance is the second largest developer-builder in Turkey with farranging projects throughout the country. This project, its first significant high-rise in the capitol, serves both as conventional real estate development as well as Renaissance’s “calling card”, highlighting its ability to develop and construct world-class vertical buildings.

“choreography” between international design team, local professionals, global and local subcontractors, and the municipal agencies responsible for entitlements. The team—including many trained architects and engineers—well understood the procurement and management of architectural and engineering services, including the interface between international and local professionals. Mr. Serdar Biznet, a board member and structural engineer, provided crucial support and insight during the first-ever performance-based review of a high-rise structural frame in Istanbul. Renaissance had a seasoned and sophisticated purchasing department, experienced in the procurement of large subcontracts: curtain walls, elevators, superstructure, HVAC, and the numerous specialties found in the high-rise typology.

Critical to the success of the project was Renaissance’s deep experience working on projects outside of Turkey. Their in-house design, construction and development teams were formed in the crucible of working on high-rises in Russia, the Middle East and in the Turkic-speaking countries of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Due to the logistical and managerial complexities of executing these types of projects abroad, the developer’s teams acquired useful skill sets applicable to the Renaissance Tower. Foremost was the mastery of the

The international professional team was similarly well-suited to the task. From Four Times Square and the New York Times Building (with Renzo Piano Building Workshop) to Eleven Times Square and 3 Hudson Boulevard, FXFOWLE has been in the design leadership of ground-breaking tall buildings in New York City. Further, the firm has had an active presence in the MENA countries, including several innovative tall buildings at the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This dual-pedigree was helpful in bringing best

The project’s organizational design and managerial tone was critical to achieving its innovative features and overall level of quality. It fostered the marriage of local know-how and the application of international best practices.


Dan Kaplan & Fatin Anlar | FXFOWLE

practices and innovative technologies to the project. For instance, the design of Allianz Tower’s screens, integrated into the unitized curtain wall, owes much to the research and development of the terracotta baguette screens of the New York Times Building. FXFOWLE was helped immensely by its in-house Turkish trained architects, lending a critical architectural, cultural and linguistic bridge. The local architectural firm Fehmi Kobal Design complemented FXFOWLE. Trained at the University of Virginia and MIT, Mr. Kobal was familiar with U.S. architectural norms, processes, and culture. In addition Kobal was the executive architect for the very successful “Kanyon” tower and shopping center in Istanbul, designed by the Jerde Partnership. That project’s analogous level of complexity was a strong foundation for Kobal’s work on Allianz Tower. Of the engineering consultants, structural engineer DeSimone had the most difficult task; Allianz Tower was the first tower to go through Istanbul’s performance-based structural review. DeSimone and local structural team (APCB) worked in close collaboration with Dr. Mustafa Erdik, a professor and Chairman of Earthquake Engineering Department of Bogazici University, who reviewed the structural design and oversaw the approval process

with the local agencies. Educated at METU and Rice University, his deep knowledge and experience with designing buildings in sensitive seismic areas was instrumental for the project. Local and global MEP services worked in a similarly close collaboration with Cosentini and Okutan Muhendislik, as well as with façade engineering. Okutan’s engineering expertise and local knowledge has been an important factor in selecting the best and most efficient systems for this tower. Axis Facades, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Istanbul, Seoul, and Shanghai, brought their expertise from different parts of the world and provided full-time attention to the project through its experienced local team. Through it all, and adding in no small measure to the outcome, was an espritde-corps fostered by the owner’s positive outlook; the message was that the team was engaged in something extraordinary. Like most high-rises, Allianz Tower was designed and constructed based on the “Hollywood Model,” in which groups of firms come together around a project. They are mutually dependent and need to be in close coordination. However, to achieve the levels of innovation and quality evident here, the firms and individuals must transcend the day-to-day working method and succeed at real collaboration.

67


68

Istanbul: Modern Metropolis—Layered History

At the beginning, there were no strict targets or limits in order to achieve certain performance, sustainability level, or grading systems, but rather an overriding goal to “do the right thing.� Understanding that the project would be a signature for the developer and the city, knowing that the performance of the building was paramount, and recognizing that the regulatory hurdles would be high, all lent a sense of urgency

resulting in heightened attention. Complementing this transactional side was a relational aspect. The individuals involved truly liked and respected each other, which led to a level of trust, which resulted in its mix of organizational skills, can-do spirit, and attention to hospitality. This modern international group was quintessentially Turkish.

Figure 16:

Detail of Allianz Tower.


Dan Kaplan & Fatin Anlar | FXFOWLE

69


70

Istanbul: Modern Metropolis—Layered History


Dan Kaplan & Fatin Anlar | FXFOWLE

Dan Kaplan’s passion and preoccupation is sustainable city building. He is widely recognized for integrating design excellence, sustainable innovation and an urban point-of-view into noteworthy architectural and urban design projects. Dan has principally served in a design and leadership capacity for many of FXFOWLE’s significant projects–from individual buildings to large scale urban plans. He leads the firm’s commercial and residential practice, and is adept at creating large-scale high performance buildings and urban design. He continues to evolve his design vision through architectural investigation, creating commissioned work, and teaching.

With a comprehensive background in all phases of architecture and design, Fatin Anlar provides leadership throughout all phases of architecture and design—from master planning through construction administration. He has led design teams on many of FXFOWLE’s national and international projects of diverse topologies, including commercial, mixeduse, hospitality, residential, and sports and recreation facilities. Fatin provides leadership throughout all phases of the work effort, from master planning through construction administration. He has worked on many sustainable building projects including commercial, mixed-use, hospitality, residential, and sports and recreation facilities located throughout the world.

71


Figure 1:

The building site contrasted with an automotive assembly line. Despite modern materials and methods, the building site in its essential aspects has not changed for thousands of years. Image: KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images 1 http://www.citymayors.com/society/urban_growth.html 2 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, July 10, 2014 3 Bongaarts, John. 2001. Household Size and Composition in the Developing World. Policy Research Division, Population Council, p.8 An edited version of this paper was presented at the 2015 NYC New York Conference Proceedings, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).


David Wallance | FXFOWLE

MOVING PARTS

MODULAR ARCHITECTURE IN A FLAT WORLD David Wallance, A IA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Sr. Associate, FXFOWLE

By the time you finish reading this sentence, the world’s urban population will have grown by one new household. And as you pause for a moment to consider that, another household will have been added. Then another... pause... and another... The world’s population is urbanizing— rapidly. New urban households are forming eighteen times faster than rural households. In 2010, for the first time, the proportion of the world’s population living in a city passed the 50 percent mark, and urban population will continue grow into the foreseeable future, with the figure rising to 60 percent by 2030 1. By 2050, the world’s urban population is expected to increase by

2.5 billion inhabitants, according to a United Nations report2. At roughly five persons per household3, that’s a total of 500 million new households. In order to keep pace, 275,000 new dwelling units will be needed every week, on average, for the next 35 years. Equally staggering, estimates predict that in ten years, by 2025, there will be 440 million existing urban dwellings that are substandard, not fit for a healthy, dignified

73


74

Moving Parts: Modular Architecture in a Flat World

Figure 2:

American-style suburban subdivision, as pioneered by William J. Levitt. Low-cost production stickframe housing developed on inexpensive tracts. Image: Christoph Gielen: UNTITLED XI Nevada, from CIPHERS courtesy of Jovis Verlag, Berlin

existence4. Virtually every breath you take marks the need to add one urban dwelling unit somewhere on the face of the globe, most likely in a developing country. The wherewithal to purchase a car is considered the benchmark of entry into the middle class, and roughly seventy developing countries, altogether containing about four billion people, are poised to see rapid increases in car ownership in the years ahead5. The global rise in car ownership, while marking economic improvement for tens of millions of people a year, is at the same time an ominous trend, because

with widespread automobile ownership comes the tendency towards Americanstyle suburban sprawl (Figure 2). Land use patterns in the developing world increasingly resemble our own, with urban surface area worldwide increasing at twice the rate of urban populations6. On a global scale a growing and urbanizing middle class is buying cars and using them to live on the outskirts of cities, away from dense metropolitan cores (Figure 3), a trend that can be reversed only with planning policies that encourage density. Such policies include investment in civic improvements: convenient mass transit; compact land

4 Woetzel, Jonathan, Mischke, Jan and Ram, Sangeeth, The World’s Housing Crisis Doesn’t Need a Revolutionary Solution, Harvard Business Review, December 25, 2014 5 Ali, Shimelse and Dadush, Uri, The Global Middle Class is Bigger Than We Thought, Foreign Policy, May 16, 2012 6 Seto, Karen C. & Güneralp, Burak, Global forecasts of urban expansion to 2030 and direct impacts on biodiversity and carbon pools, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 16, 2012


David Wallance | FXFOWLE

Figure 3:

Traffic congestion. In the ten most congested American cities drivers spent an average of 42 hours a year sitting in traffic.

use/density tied to transit; public safety; water, sanitation, electrification, and other infrastructure. But without safe, economical, high-quality multi-story dwellings that can be built at a rate that keeps pace with urban population growth, the trend towards sprawl will continue unabated. The land use problem is inextricable from the problem of construction economics. DRAWING THE ENERGY BOUNDARY Research has shown that energy consumption from automobile use associated with suburban development is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. While the display of technology

like solar panels can make a statement about sustainability, the resulting energy savings represent a fraction of what can be achieved by employing site-specific passive design and thermally efficient construction. But all of these strategies combined aren’t nearly as effective as one that should be considered first and foremost: effective land use. Regardless of how energy efficiently you build, you get the greatest energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions simply by building cities. The Jonathan Rose Company, a real-estate firm that specializes in environmentally responsible development, did a study

75


76

Moving Parts: Modular Architecture in a Flat World

in 2011 that compared household energy consumption between urban and suburban patterns of land use. They discovered that when you step back and consider housing density, housing type (single family versus multi-family), and proximity to energy efficient public transportation, the gains in energy efficiency that are achieved by building dense, multi-story development with access to mass transit outshine the gains from all other energy-saving technologies. For example, according to Rose, a family living in a conventional multi-story apartment building without energy efficient features, but with access to transit consumes 40 percent less energy than a suburban house built with high efficiency heating systems, low wattage light fixtures, and airtight and well insulated walls. Energy efficient construction still matters: by bringing that urban multi-story apartment building up to stringent energy standards, an additional 16 percent gain can be achieved, for a 56 percent reduction in total compared to an equally efficient house in the suburbs7 (Table 1). In contrast, consider the unintended consequences when energy savings are first sought from technological fixes rather than from changes in land use patterns. In a 2012 study, the NRDC 8 showed how energy efficiency could be perversely undermined by policies that promote solar panels. The sloped roof of a suburban house standing by itself on a plot of land

is the perfect mounting position (assuming it faces more or less south) for solar panels. The land use patterns that are ideal for rooftop photovoltaics, the NRDC found, resemble nothing other than Sunbelt sprawl! The economist Edward L. Glaeser has studied the comparative energy use of U.S. cities and suburbs, tallying the impacts of heating fuel, electrical consumption, driving, and public transportation, and finds convincing evidence—supporting Rose and the NRDC—that dense, vertical cities are far more energy efficient than their suburban counterparts. Glaeser’s findings also take into account that much of the housing stock in cities is old, with poor insulation, drafty windows, and inefficient heating systems, whereas suburban housing stock tends to be newer and better insulated. Glaeser shows that even with those very inefficient buildings in the mix, for example, “an average New York City resident emits 4,462 pounds less CO2 [annually] than an average New York suburbanite” 9. No doubt about it: Dense development in city cores is energy efficient. Now imagine how an economical high-rise modular system, as an urban building block, could be far more effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions than a landscape of suburban rooftops covered with solar panels.

7 Jonathan Rose Companies, “Location Efficiency and Housing Type: Boiling it Down to BTUs,” March 2011 8 Goldstein, David B. & Bacchus, Jamy. A New Net Zero Definition: Thinking outside the Box, Natural Resources Defense Council, 2012 9 Glaeser, Edward L., Green Cities, Brown Suburbs, City Journal, Winter 2009


David Wallance | FXFOWLE

Single Family Detached 250

Single Family Attached

240 132

Multi Family

221 132

Million BTU per Year

200

186 132 155 71

150

100

108

149 41

142 71 113 26

108

89

87

84

115 71

97 26

89 71

50

0

130 41

CSD

TOD

CSD

70 26

71 54

Transportation Energy Use Home Energy Use

95 41

TOD

44

CSD

54

44

TOD

with Green Automobiles with Green Buildings

CSD Conventional Suburban Development TOD Transit Oriented Development

Table 1:

Location Efficiency matters more than energy efficiency. An ordinary multi-story apartment house with access to mass transit is actually 40% more efficient than a car-dependent suburban community of energy efficient houses and green automobiles.

MOVING PARTS Prefabrication and modular construction have seen a recent resurgence of interest as a means to “crack the code” of construction costs for multi-story urban housing. However, the long-standing theory that modular construction will solve our housing problems has yet to be proven in practice. There remains an urgent and unmet need for a solution that can achieve both quantity and affordable quality to provide for a growing urban population.

The global market for prefabricated housing is forecast to reach 829,000 units by 2017. At an annually compounded 4.4 percent growth rate the global market will reach about 3.4 million units10. While this may sound like a lot of units, it is in fact a meager output—a fractional percent of the anticipated need for more than a billion new and replacement urban housing units worldwide (Table 2). The existing modular industry is simply not equipped to respond in any meaningful way.

10 DRM Investments Ltd., 2014 11 K ieran, Stephen & Timberlake, James. Re-fabricating Architecture, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, 2004

77


78

Moving Parts: Modular Architecture in a Flat World

Global Need for Urban Housing

New Housing Units Needed by 2050

Projected 2050 Capacity of Modular Industry

Each Bar Represents 1 Million Units of Housing

Table 2:

The anticipated demand for urban housing over the next thirty-five years contrasted with the projected capacity of the modular industry as presently organized. (Note that the projected capacity is predominantly single-family manufactured housing, or trailers in common parlance.)

The search for a better way to organize building construction, on a par with the automotive, aerospace, and shipbuilding industries, is one of the mythic quests of modern architecture. The modernist pioneers of the early 20th century fervently believed that new industrial technologies in the hands of architects would solve the housing problems of their era. Since that time, there have been innumerable attempts to marry architecture and manufacturing. Some have succeeded as polemic, and some have succeeded as prototype, but none to date has succeeded to any great degree in transforming building culture (Figures 4, 5 & 6). In the modernist spirit, architects Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake make a cogent and compelling case for transforming the way we build in their book “Re-fabricating

Architecture” 11, drawing a sharp contrast between the architect and the process engineer, in which the former is wedded to anachronistic notions about art, and the latter dedicated to efficiency and “commodity.” Architecture is fragmented, where industry is integrated. The industrial process engineer designs the relationships among the many parts and participants so that they merge seamlessly in a complex endeavor. The architect, on the other hand, is relegated to the comparatively narrow task of designing a building. Kieran and Timberlake study modern supply chain manufacturing methods, and compare those methods with building construction. Today, OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) source myriad components and subcomponents from a global network


David Wallance | FXFOWLE

Figure 4:

The original “plug-in” modular idea, as proposed by Le Corbusier for the Unite d’Habitation in Marseilles. (The Unite was ultimately built using conventional techniques.) Others, most notably Archigram, have proposed similar approaches. None have been successful due to the cost of a redundant structural frame and difficult construction logistics.

Figure 5:

A pre-cast concrete module for Moshe Safdie’s Habitat being hoisted into position. The heavy modules, many weighing over 50 tons, required that a temporary factory be constructed on site in order to solve the transportation problem. Safdie subsequently proposed a series of modular projects, none of which were built. Image courtesy of Safdie Architects/Jerry Spearman.

Figure 6:

Kisho Kurokawa’s Nakagin Capsule Tower. Pods hung off of a central concrete core were intended to be replaced after 25 years. They never were, due to the near impossibility of removing them, and the building became increasingly shabby.

79


80

Moving Parts: Modular Architecture in a Flat World

of suppliers. Very large objects, like jumbo jets and ships, are assembled in prefabricated “chunks” fitted out with systems and finishes. Only at the final assembly stage are the chunks, which may be entire sections of fuselage, joined together and systems stitched into a complete whole. However, Kieran and Timberlake don’t follow their logic all the way through when it comes to industrializing the building process. The domain of process control stops at the factory or shipyard gate. Process engineering provides a method to control the manufacture of a large, discreet object assembled under one roof. So far, so good, but the vexing problem of assembling buildings from modules, as opposed to a jetliner is that, once assembled the jet flies away. In contrast, the building, which may be hundreds if not thousands of miles away from the factory, has not yet been assembled. Once the building module exits the factory it is no longer under the control of the process engineer, and the slow, cumbersome, and expensive way in which modules are traditionally moved from factory to building site remains the weak link in the chain (Figure 7). Here is the crux of the matter: The problem of transportation logistics in modular building construction is the problem of modular building construction. Questions of factory capacity, growth potential, innovation, and R&D, all stem from transportation. Supply chains in a global economy are dependent on global transportation. The incumbent modular manufacturers—which are without exception relatively small companies—have imprisoned themselves in what we might call the transportation fallacy. They strive to build the largest

possible modules, in the belief that that economy comes from having the fewest units to roll down the highway and crane onto a foundation, and the fewest number of joints to close up and finish in the field. As an unintended consequence of this commitment to super-size modules, the incumbents have burdened themselves with high transportation costs owing to the need for escort cars, planned routes, overnight accommodations, fuel, special permits and insurance, as well as regulatory limitations on hours when modules can be transported into urban areas. As a further consequence the incumbents are unable to compete with conventional construction beyond about a 200-mile radius12 (Figure 8), and even within that limited range they rarely compete on cost savings. Instead, they compete on time savings alone. The combination of high overhead, high local labor rates, and limited market opportunity makes these companies vulnerable to the ups and downs of the business cycle, and reluctant to invest in plant, equipment, and R&D. Like stunted trees on an exposed mountainside, they expend all their resources on survival and cannot grow. Even the time-saving argument starts to unravel when it comes to a largescale building like an urban high-rise. Part of the idea behind saving time in modular construction is that modules are manufactured while foundations are being poured, so that modules start arriving at the site for craning as soon as the foundation is ready. Once foundations are done, however, the rate at which modules can be produced in the factory has to match the speed with which the crane can operate, or those time-savings will quickly evaporate. The incumbent

12 Smith, R.E., Prefab Architecture: A Guide to Modular Design and Construction. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2011


David Wallance | FXFOWLE

Figure 7:

A typical oversize modular load being trucked on the highway. In addition to being costly to transport these loads have difficulty navigating tight urban streets.

Figure 8:

A two-hundred mile radius centered on New York City, illustrating the transportation range for conventional oversized modules. Map data Š2015 Google

81


82

Moving Parts: Modular Architecture in a Flat World

Figure 9:

An intermodal container port. Shipping containers are equipped with standard corner fittings designed for automated crane operation. Containers are transferred seamlessly from ship to truck or railroad flatcar. RFID technology monitors container locations anywhere in the world in real time.

Figure 10:

Intermodal shipping lanes. Every year, roughly 25 million containers are moved on the intermodal transportation system.


David Wallance | FXFOWLE

manufacturers, with small facilities that don’t exceed a couple of hundred thousand square feet, cannot produce at a rate much faster than three modules a day, mainly because production is modeled on the traditional division of building trades rather than on supply chains. As the following example will demonstrate, this rate of production places a natural limit on time-savings for larger scale buildings. A single crane hoisting large, heavy modules weighing as much as 80,000 pounds can stack up to twelve modules a day, or four times the factory production rate. What happens if a large building—let’s say a tower on the order of 500,000 square feet—is being manufactured? At one-quarter the rate of crane capacity, production capacity starts falling behind as soon as foundations are completed. Let’s assume a fairly typical 12-by-40-foot module, comprising 480 square feet. Allowing six months for foundations, at the upper rate of three modules a day 396 modules or about 190,000 square feet are in storage ready to start stacking when foundations are done (requiring about eight acres of storage space). The 645 modules comprising the remaining 310,000 square feet will take another ten months to manufacture, during which that costly crane and operating engineer, rented by the day, is working at 30 to 40 percent efficiency. Add another four to six months of hook-ups and final finishing after craning is finally done and the construction time comes to a total of twenty to twenty-two months, a timeframe comparable to a conventionally constructed building. Although the potential to shorten that time by seven to eight months was there, the limiting factor turns out to be the rate of factory production.

Now consider this situation from a business point of view. The factory that undertakes a 500,000-square-foot building will be tied up for a year and a half on that one project. All other sales opportunities must be passed up. By the time the manufacturer is finally ready to accept a new order, customers will have been driven to the competition. To maintain marketing and sales momentum, project turnaround time cannot be much more than just a few months. This suggests that large-scale projects require enterprises that operate in large-scale markets. Transportation is not only the problem that must be solved, but it is the problem that must be solved first, before a scalable system for manufacturing modular buildings capable of mass-production (and ideally of mass customization) will come to fruition. And the solution, which has been right in front of us for more than half-century, derives from the standard ISO (International Standards Organization) shipping container. The shipping container, a cheaply transported modular structure, is the basis of our modern global supply chain, moving seamlessly by ship, rail and highway, as if carried along on a giant globe-strapping conveyor belt (Figures 9 & 10). ••• While it may seem ambitious in the context of the present modular industry’s capacity, a manufacturing rate of twelve modules a day (i.e. the daily crane rate) is far too limited a goal. More than sixty years ago there was an enterprise that set the bar for modular manufacturing. In 1948, the Lustron Corporation launched the last serious effort at industrial-scale housing production, building a fully engineered and tooled-up

13 Kerr, Douglas, Suburban Steel: The Magnificent Failure of the Lustron Corporation, 1945-1951, Ohio State University Press, 2004

83


84

Moving Parts: Modular Architecture in a Flat World

assembly plant in a 3 million-square-foot former aircraft factory. With a vertically integrated production line designed for 3,000 houses a month13 (Figures 11 & 12), Lustron would have had the capacity to produce the modular equivalent of a 1 million-square-foot residential tower a week. SHIPPING CONTAINERS TRANSFORMED Recycled shipping container architecture has been trending for several years, but when it comes to scale, containers turn out to have significant technical limitations. A realistic look at the problem of obtaining used shipping containers will make evident how unfeasible it is to use them for any but the smallest buildings. To get to a significant scale of operations would entail the recovery of hundreds of thousands of containers a year. In this scenario, the ability to recover and reprocess used shipping containers quickly becomes a scale-limiting factor. Even if there were a way to recycle in quantity there are problems with structural soundness, contaminants such as bituminous waterproofing and pesticides, and combustible plywood floors that will not meet code for fireproof construction.

Figure 11:

The Lustron Corporation took over a 3 millionsquare-foot former aircraft factory and re-tooled it to produce steel-framed prefabricated housing.

Figure 12:

The specially designed Lustron tractor-trailer. Lustron’s plant was laid out so that the trailer could move along the factory assembly line for loading in the reverse order of installation at the site—in other words, components that were manufactured and loaded last were installed first.

Further, much of the value-added material in a shipping container must be thrown away. The freight doors on one end of the container are of no use in building construction.


David Wallance | FXFOWLE

The catalog, fueled by Internet-based commerce and social media, would become a globally connected platform for collaborative design. Large portions of the corrugated steel siding must be cut away and sent to the scrap yard in order to make a modular system that can be expanded spatially (we don’t want rooms to be limited to an 8-foot width) so the frame of a standard shipping container then becomes too weak and has to have steel reinforcement welded to it. Costs add up, steel is wasted, and the slow process of converting a shipping container to a building module further limits the scale of operations (Figure 13). If scale is the objective, then what’s needed is a module that can be cheaply transported like a shipping container but which is engineered from the get-go to be optimized for mid- and high-rise building construction. Such a module would meet ISO’s dimension standards, and would be fitted out with the eight steel corner nodes, that enable automated intermodal handling.

We’ll call that new type of building module a Volumetric Unit of Construction, or VUC, to clearly distinguish it from a shipping container (Figure 14). With such a system fully engineered and proven, a continual stream of variations, accessories, and add-ons can be developed to fit on the basic VUC chassis, enabling untold design flexibility and choice. This system is analogous to an iPhone, in which hundreds of thousands of apps have been developed to work on Apple’s operating system. Like apps, the plug-and-play accessories for the VUC—balconies, shading systems, secondary facades, kitchens, etc.—could be developed by third parties . These “modular app” developers would be architectural product manufacturers, architects and industrial designers, or anyone, for that matter, who has an idea and the technical wherewithal to work it out and coordinate details with the VUC manufacturer. The catalog, fueled by Internet-based commerce and social media, would become a globally connected platform for collaborative design. With the modular industry for the first time operating with economies of scale, regional variations responsive to climates and cultures would flourish.

85


86

Moving Parts: Modular Architecture in a Flat World

Figure 13:

The shipping container is encumbered by numerous features that are disadvantageous for building construction. Stripped down to its essentials—standard ISO conforming dimensions and corner nodes—it can be re-engineered to be optimized as a building module. Image courtesy of Global Building Modules, Inc. (GBM).


David Wallance | FXFOWLE

87


88

Moving Parts: Modular Architecture in a Flat World

1,193

AIR 119

TRUCK 40

RAIL 11

SHIP

0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

900

1,000

1,100

1,200

Grams of CO2 per Ton-Mile

Table 3:

Comparison of CO2 emissions per ton-mile for various forms of containerized freight transport.

BLUE IS THE NEW GREEN A proposal to base a modular building system on intermodal transportation and global supply chain procurement raises a question: Does shipping building modules halfway around the world make environmental sense? The answer, which will come as a surprise is “Yes, and...”. First, maritime transportation is many times more fuel-efficient than trucking, so the shipping distance across oceans translates into a fraction of the fuel consumed if that distance were traveled by a tractor-trailer over the highway. Overseas shipping is roughly ten times as efficient as truck transport14 (Table 3). Via the Panama Canal, the trip from Shanghai to New York is 12,000 miles, or the equivalent of 1,200 miles on the highway. Let’s call this “Equivalent Trucking Miles,” or ETM. The second part of the answer has to do with weight. The quantity of fuel used to move materials, no matter what mode of transport, is proportional to weight. The all-steel VUC, having no concrete, at 41 pounds per square-

foot is approximately one-third the weight of a conventional steel-and-concrete building. Energy expended per square-foot of building area to transport a VUC is one-third of what it would take to transport the materials required to build 1 square foot of a conventional building. That 1,200 ETM becomes, in effect, the equivalent of 400 ETM per square-foot (ETM/SF). Remember that under LEED, a Regional Priority credit is achieved by obtaining materials within 500 miles. A building comprised of VUCs would be 20 percent more efficient than a conventional building in which all of the materials met the requirement for Regional Priority. SCALE, SCALE, SCALE Why, one might ask, do global supply chains matter? The answer has to do with the difference between simply moving the construction trades indoors, which is what the incumbents do, and transforming the modular industry along the lines of other advanced manufacturing sectors, as in, for example, the flourishing technology sector. With supply chains, myriad components are manufactured simultaneously by specialized suppliers. Components converge at an

14 http://www.nrdc.org/international/cleanbydesign/transportation.asp#footnote3, February 5, 2012


David Wallance | FXFOWLE

assembly facility, where building modules are rapidly put together on a moving line. Supply chains require economies of scale and standardization. The hide-bound incumbent manufacturers will never achieve scale, and don’t (can’t) think in terms of standardization. If there is to be a response to the need for multi-story urban housing on a meaningful scale, then modular needs to go global. A globalized modular industry can meet the demand of a burgeoning urban population for mid- and high-rise housing, at a cost and level of quality that will encourage living in densely populated environments. Scale matters above all else. Scale drives industrialization, advanced manufacturing technology, supply chain procurement, and modern quality-control techniques. But scale in modular construction has proven elusive. To achieve scale in a contemporary enterprise global markets are required, and conventional modular manufacturing is locked in a regional cage of a 200-mile trucking radius. Breaking the chains of regional manufacturing means adopting intermodal transportation, the system by which standard shipping containers are moved inexpensively around the world by the millions each year. The introduction of containerized shipping fifty years ago revolutionized global trade, but until now a shipping container was a metal box stuffed with products—it was not the product itself. A new type of building module—the Volumetric Unit of Construction—based on the shipping container but purpose-engineered to meet the specific and stringent requirements of mid- and high-rise building construction (Figure 15), retains the advantages

of intermodal logistics and automated handling. Such a module would be the basis for a completely integrated building system that will spawn a new industrial ecology, an interdependent network of architects, industrial designers, process engineers, entrepreneurs, and building product manufacturers that will flourish within a global market, leveraging the power of distributed intelligence. Dimensional standards and rules that govern the arrangement of components (an architectural operating system) will provide a behind-the-scenes backbone for a growing open-source catalog of apps. An expanding web of connections among stakeholders and start-up enterprises will ignite a global architectural conversation from which a new kind of architectural vernacular will emerge. Here, regional differences, whether they are cultural, environmental, or historical, will find expression within a system of broadly accepted technical standards. The challenge, then, is how to achieve scale with diversity, differentiation, and local adaptation, in the context of a global shift to encourage density and discourage sprawl. A shift in land use of this magnitude requires a concerted effort on multiple fronts, which must include a solution that reduces the cost while increasing the quality of multi-story housing for the emergent global middle class. The key is within reach: an industrialized system of modular construction borne on the conveyor belt of intermodal shipping.

89


90

Moving Parts: Modular Architecture in a Flat World

Figure 14:

VUCs can be arranged to create varied unit layouts and can be stacked into high-rise buildings. Elevators, fire stairs, corridors, interconnections and vertical services are integrated into VUCs as a “plug-and-play� system. Image courtesy of Global Building Modules, Inc. (GBM).


David Wallance | FXFOWLE

Figure 15:

A study by FXFOWLE for a 536,000-square-foot residential development over a conventional retail base, comprised of 1,621 standard VUCs arranged into high-rise, mid-rise, and townhouse typologies.

91


92

Moving Parts: Modular Architecture in a Flat World


David Wallance | FXFOWLE

David Wallance is a Senior Associate at FXFOWLE Architects in New York City. He has practiced architecture for over thirty years, with wide-ranging experience in the design of residential, commercial, cultural, and institutional buildings. David pursues an approach to design characterized by a synthesis of form and building technology. He believes that we intuitively respond to buildings that are well-made, in which an architectural intention is legible at every scale down to the details. At the Polshek Partnership from 1993 to 2005, David was senior designer on the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 2005, David joined Global Building Modules, Inc. (GBM), a start-up venture, to pioneer a system of modular construction based on the transformation of the standard shipping container into a purpose-engineered module for mid- to high-rise buildings. He has designed several buildings using the system and has filed 38 patents, the first four of which are now approved. David is currently working on a book about modular architecture and the transformative potential of the GBM system. He received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Cooper Union, and has been an Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation since 1997. FXFOWLE Architects is working with Global Building Modules, Inc. on the continued development of the GBM system.

93



Sarah Gerber | FXFOWLE

FROM ANYWHERE TO SOMEWHERE:

BLURRING THE LINES BETWEEN THE WORKPLACE AND THE URBAN SPHERE Sarah Gerber, AIA, LEED GA

WHEN WE CAN WORK ANYWHERE, WORKING SOMEWHERE BECOMES INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT. Technology is transforming how we work and, therefore, how we define the workplace. Recent advancements have virtually rendered obsolete the way we have worked for decades: plugged into a particular place. While many 20th century futurists believed technology—mobile technology in particular—would physically separate us from each other, the result has been quite the opposite. We are social beings, hard-wired for interpersonal

exchange, and we thrive when we make connections that involve all of our senses. We communicate not only with words; we communicate through voice intonation, hand gestures, and other physical signifiers that are then interpreted through a unique set of receptors. We go to work just as much to interact with others as we do to perform office tasks. Today’s workforce must be connected, both virtually and physically, to remain informed and relevant. This point was vividly marked by Marissa Mayer’s 2013 decree that all Yahoo-ers must work in

95


96

From Anywhere To Somewhere: Blurring the Lines Between Today’s Workplace and the Urban Sphere.

Figure 1:

17th Century London Coffee House, Lord Price Collection: Alamy Images


Sarah Gerber | FXFOWLE

the office and telecommuting would be frowned upon.1 Mayer was reacting less to a decline in productivity and more to a publicly perceived, company-wide loss of creativity. Leaders of the tech world realize that it is the face-to-face interactions, and often the serendipitous ones, that generate the creative thought necessary to stay competitive in a knowledge-based work environment. In today’s workplace “a more intensively social model of labour is coming into sight, where learning and work are no longer clearly separated and docile obedience is not enough.” 2 As technology continues to advance and generate large amounts of data, the individual who is able to synthesize and see creative connections through collaborative processes will be most valued by modern-day organizations. Time has shown us that while technologies are in almost constant flux, our need for social belonging remains constant. WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN AND YOU CAN FIND IT AT STARBUCKS. Today’s modern coffee houses often function as ersatz work environments, much like the coffee houses of 17th century London. These early coffee houses provided a comfortable, efficient environment that was conducive to informal, in-person communication. Unlike the local pub,

the coffee house was a public venue where it was possible to engage in serious conversation; it was the ideal location to discuss business and learn the news of the day. Initially, the conversations were primarily coincidental in nature. Customers sat at long communal tables where proximity encouraged listening in on strangers’ conversations without regard to their position or stature within society. Soon the coffee house became the designated place for conducting business and the conversations grew more sensitive in nature. Thus semi-private booths were introduced to separate serious business discussions from the lively banter of daily news. As the scale of conducting business continued to grow, the requirement for a dedicated meeting place increased in importance. The result was the modern-day concept of the office. One of the first purpose-built offices was the neoclassical New East India House, opened in 1729. As the London headquarters for the East India Company, it represented a clear separation of decision-making administrative functions from the physical trading of goods that took place in India. Designed by the merchant Theodore Jacobsen, this imposing structure on Leadenhall Street was built on the

1 A ll Things D. http://allthingsd.com/20130222/physically-together-heres-the-internal-yahoo-no-workfrom-home-memo-which-extends-beyond-remote-workers. 2 Cohen, Don and Prusak, Laurence, In Good Company: How Social Capital Makes Organizations Work. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2001.

97


98

From Anywhere To Somewhere: Blurring the Lines Between Today’s Workplace and the Urban Sphere.

Figure 2:

Jacques Tati Film “Playtime” 1967. Still from Playtime courtesy of the Criterion Collection. http://www.criterion.com/films/651-playtime

foundations of the former Craven Mansion and consisted of numerous offices and meeting rooms, as well as a courtyard and garden for large receptions. Though the office workers of the East India Company were considered the intellectuals of their time because they managed work done in another country, they were essentially clerical drones, processing huge amounts

of printed information within a bureaucracy poised to take advantage of the nascent Industrial Revolution. By the 19th century—a period of rapid technological change that included the invention of the light bulb, telephone, and typewriter—a new theory of work management called Taylorism emerged. 3 Borrowing the methods of the assembly line, this approach relied heavily on the analysis of workflows to increase efficiency and considered employees little more than cogs in a large corporate wheel. Soon the

3T aylor, Frederick Winslow. Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1911.


Sarah Gerber | FXFOWLE

The Quickborner Team used conventional furniture and arranged it loosely within an open office setting to create microenvironments that responded to the variety of ways in which people work. This concept was the first to acknowledge multiple work activities within an office through the simple arrangement of furniture, panels, and planters to delimit areas and provide a certain degree of privacy.

Figure 3:

Osram Offices in Munich, Germany 1965 by The Quickborner Team—The new idea promoted by Burolandschaft encouraged all levels of staff to sit together on the same open floor. ©HENN

office environment began to physically emulate the manufacturing environment with long rows of identical desks performing repetitive clerical tasks. Terms such as “work ethic” and “best practices” were coined to describe this analytical approach to work processes in which physical activity (like picking up the phone and filing papers) was broken down into its smallest, most time-efficient units. The machine-like approach of Taylorism resulted in high employee turnover and was later challenged by socialist theories that sought to understand the effects of human relationships on work performance. One of these concepts was the “Burolandschaft” or “office landscape,” developed by a team of management consultants based in Quickborn, Germany, during the 1950s.4

A strong advocate of the socialist-based “office landscape” concept was the American furniture company Herman Miller, founded by D.J. DePree, the grandson of Dutch émigrés who settled in Zeeland, Michigan. The European socialist beliefs of Zeeland’s settlers had a strong influence on DePree’s corporate philosophy; therefore, it seemed only natural that he would seek to make an American version of the Quickborner Team’s office landscape at Herman Miller. To do this, DePree developed the Herman Miller Research Corporation (HMRC) and brought on inventor Robert Propst, along with industrial designer George Nelson. Most notably, Propst engaged a team of psychologists, anthropologists, scholars of ornament and pattern, and sociologists to understand how people work, how information travels, and how the office layout affects worker performance. Propst believed “the maximum use of our senses is the most compelling reason for grouping people together in offices, grouping offices together in single large buildings, and putting many large buildings together in compact communities.” His flexible, kit-of-parts approach was a manifesto of sorts that outlined the office as a “critical object in the sensorium of modern experience.” 5 The product of his approach was the Action Office.

4 Francis Duffy, Colin Cave and John Worthington. Planning Office Space. Great Britain: The Architectural Press Ltd., 1976, 69. 5 Propst, Robert (1968) The Office: A Facility Based on Change, Herman Miller

99


100

From Anywhere To Somewhere: Blurring the Lines Between Today’s Workplace and the Urban Sphere.

Figure 4:

Herman Miller “Action Office II.” Courtesy of Herman Miller, Inc.

Introduced in 1964, the Action Office system sought to provide multiple furniture configurations within an open office landscape filled with IBM Selectric typewriters and Xerox copy machines. But its design was deemed too expensive, difficult to assemble, and only appropriate for management office use. Propst went back to the drawing board and developed Action Office II, this time without the involvement of Nelson, whose aesthetic-focused approach did not meld with Propst’s vision for flexible design. Corporations saw the economy in this simple kit-of-parts solution, thereby making the Action Office II the new benchmark for modern office design. While the system

was readily adopted for its cost efficiency, its intended approach was not in line with capitalism’s focus on controlling the work process. The result was a system of furniture in which the parts were limited to a one-size-fits-all configuration known as the “cubical,” a 20th century furniture system relegated to a 19th century Taylorism approach. Propst’s research was focused on enhancing performance by developing a furniture system that would respond to our social requirements. Unfortunately, most corporations chose to sacrifice worker effectiveness in the name of a system efficiency that removed the worker’s ability to reconfigure the furniture to suit his or her individual needs. And so the cubicle farm (often parodied in Dilbert comic strips) became the new corporate office landscape.


Sarah Gerber | FXFOWLE

Figure 5:

Dilbert Comic Strip. DILBERT ©2011 Scott Adams. Used By permission of UNIVERSAL UCLICK. All rights reserved.

The modern workplace could not be limited to the use of a system like the cubicle if it was to keep up with the everchanging, global environment. The onset of the Great Recession of 2007 required a more economical use of real estate, spurring the replacement of the cubicle with a new type of workstation called the bench. A simple solution borrowed from collaborative environments like the trading floor, the bench was a single-surface unit shared by multiple workers. It encouraged ease of office reconfiguration by moving people rather than furniture parts. The benching system’s efficiency benefited from new technology as well, using flatpanel computer monitors which hovered over the desk surface via bracket arms. Businesses also contributed to this overall space-use efficiency by implementing alternative workplace strategies (AWS) that incorporated shared practices, such as hoteling and hot desking. Today, these seating formats are often referred to as free-addressing or touchdown spaces, and commonly seek to provide a 1.3:1 model

of employee to desk ratio rather than the traditional 1:1 ratio. But history repeats itself, and soon the adoption of the open office environment was taken to extremes, creating a one-size-fits-all approach similar to the Dilbert-days of the cubicle. Today’s workplace must acknowledge the complexity in the way we work, adjusting for individual or group settings as well as introvert or extrovert personalities. It must respond to an evolving economy as well as to new tools like handheld devices, which are updated at an exponential rate. This paradigm shift in the way we work requires an office space rich in workplace options that can be measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. To do this, businesses are creating blended work environments, remarkably similar to the environment of the 17th century coffee house, where perceived hierarchy is removed and settings can accommodate both formal and informal interaction. Facilitated by WiFi technology, businesses are adopting solutions from other practice models with similar functional requirements. For example, the office environment now shares many of the spatial qualities seen in hotels and airport lounges, where leisure and business are blended into one setting. In the not-too-distant

101


102

From Anywhere To Somewhere: Blurring the Lines Between Today’s Workplace and the Urban Sphere.

Figure 6:

888 Boylston Sky Garden

past, these informal areas were seen as rare luxuries. Today, access to amenities such as cafes, coffee bars, and fitness centers are a primary consideration when trying to attract top-tier talent known as the knowledge worker. Sometimes these amenities are immersed within the office tower itself; other times they are provided through a larger, urban ecosystem.

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. —John Donne

A recent example of an amenity-rich work environment is Boston Properties’ 888 Boylston designed by FXFOWLE Architects, now under construction in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. One of the speculative office tower’s most notable amenities is the opportunity to provide a sky garden on each tenant floor. Each elevated garden is an indoor-outdoor space designed to promote employee productivity and wellness through natural ventilation and sunlit, southern views. Through the use of WiFi, workers will be able to step outside the traditional boundaries of the office floor onto the terrace to conduct informal business in a vibrant, healthy setting. In addition to this unique office tower amenity, 888 Boylston will also benefit from an Eataly food hall located within the adjacent Prudential Center. The project


Sarah Gerber | FXFOWLE

Wearables devices to reach about $20bn by 2017, growing at over 60% CAGR $20,000

Revenue ($mm)

$18,000 $16,000 $14,000 $12,000 $10,000 $8,000 $6,000 $4,000 $2,000 2013A Complex Accessories

2014E

Smart Wearables

Figure 7:

Wearables Chart—Goldman Sachs Investment Research 09.03.2014. Courtesy Goldman Sachs & Co.

is part of a larger Back Bay ecosystem, which consists of hospitality, retail, and food options, that extends well beyond the Prudential Center. The tower’s sustainable environment, along with its distinguished neighborhood and wealth of amenities, are integral to the branding of 888 Boylston and its Class A office environment.

2015E Smart Accessories

2016E

2017E

Action Cameras

Another developer capitalizing on amenities is Brookfield Office Properties, the current owner of the site formerly known as the World Financial Center. Brookfield has rebranded the WFC complex as Brookfield Place to respond to the Financial District’s evolving workforce and burgeoning residential population by introducing several amenities such as a 100-infant childcare facility, a 35,000-square-foot gym, and a second floor filled with a variety of fast-casual food

103


104

From Anywhere To Somewhere: Blurring the Lines Between Today’s Workplace and the Urban Sphere.

options. To further entice neighborhood involvement, Brookfield hosts a full lineup of events in its public hall which has a dramatic view of the Hudson River and nearby marina. Most importantly, the amenities are intended to service both the Brookfield office towers and adjacent residential areas. This hyper-workplace recognizes the benefits of creating a vibrant, shared environment that blurs the distinction between business and leisure thanks to the physical freedom allowed by mobile technology.

81%

believe that in the future, industry boundaries will dramatically blur as platforms reshape industries into interconnected ecosystems. —Accenture Technology Vision 2015 Survey

A MICKEY MOUSE APPROACH TO WORKPLACE DESIGN As mobile technology reinforces our inherent desire to stay connected, the architecture profession is tasked with finding increasingly innovative ways to respond. We can learn a lot by looking at the interconnected ecosystem created by The Walt Disney Company, who recently made a billion-dollar investment towards upgrading its theme park and resorts in Orlando, Florida. In 2014, Walt Disney launched the MagicBand: mobile technology in the form of a rubber wristband that uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to transmit user information. The MagicBand is an RFID bracelet that contains a high-frequency, passive inlay which removes the need for paper tickets, hotel room key cards, and credit cards. It also has a low-frequency active transceiver that provides data related to queue movements and use patterns, allowing management to measure guest behavior in real time.6 The band is part of a larger Disney-curated experience that begins when a guest registers with the online vacation management system known as My Magic+. By using mobile technology, Disney is able

6 Swedberg, Claire. “MagicBands Bring Convenience, New Services to Walt Disney World.” RFID Journal. June 16, 2014.


Sarah Gerber | FXFOWLE

Figure 8:

Mobile technology: Wristbands and smartphone apps are increasingly being used by companies to improve user experience while creating a useful data base of client information.

105


106

From Anywhere To Somewhere: Blurring the Lines Between Today’s Workplace and the Urban Sphere.

to combine data from all of its various hotels, restaurants, rides, and retail outlets into a unified data bank of information. The Magic Kingdom’s approach could be used to inspire new thinking about design of the workplace as today’s office functions expand into the urban environment through the use of mobile technology. Recently, FXFOWLE was engaged to reposition a convention center next door to its 888 Boylston project in Boston. The 1980s function of the center has been superseded by a larger facility in South Boston, requiring it transform its business model from a traditional expo center to a boutique operation that focuses on providing a personalized meeting environment outside the workplace. Similar to work environments found in urban office towers, the Boston center requires a symbiotic relationship between business and attractive amenities. While not considered a typical work environment by today’s standards, the convention center is gradually being redefined as an extension of the workplace. Since the center is a place where people conduct business, establishing a strong mobile connection to its neighborhood would reinforce the operations of both the center and the Back Bay community. The center’s greatest branding asset is right in its own Back Bay backyard. The neighborhood is rich with American history and lined with pleasant, pedestrianscaled streets, creating an authentic experience that is uniquely Boston. In addition to its well-known shopping areas, Newbury Street and the Prudential Center, the neighborhood is near another amenity,

the Charles River Esplanade, which is undergoing a revitalization effort of its own. Back Bay also has numerous hotels and restaurants within easy walking distance of the boutique convention center. With such a diverse array of amenities right next door, why would the center invest in its own? Tapping into the neighborhood assets would reduce overhead costs associated with maintaining and operating food service and other convention center support areas while reinforcing the rich vitality of the community. The sum of the neighborhood is therefore greater than its individual parts. Both the center and Back Bay share in Chamber of Commerce publicity and revenue streams—and most importantly, data that allows for the strategic planning of future convention events. By using a mobile technology concept similar to Disney’s My Magic+ and MagicBand, the convention center would connect with neighboring businesses through one data-driven system. This one-stop-shopping approach would also reduce the friction encountered by event planners when trying to create a memorable convention experience. A unified mobile technology system would allow a convention attendee to use one device, such as a smartphone or wristband, to unlock their hotel room door or charge dinners, drinks, and entertainment throughout Back Bay. Most importantly, the convention center and its neighboring businesses would gain valuable data on the spending habits and preferences of convention-goers for future functions.


Sarah Gerber | FXFOWLE

Figure 9:

Flock of Starlings—Patterns found in nature, similar to the flight pattern of starlings, are studied by researchers to identify mathematical patterns that can be adapted to workplace processes.

This proposed scenario illustrates the power of mobile technology and its ability to connect us across a wide range of settings, while influencing our architecture, and therefore, our urban environment. In some ways, we find ourselves back where we

started: inherently social beings, sharing, planning, and strategizing in a communal space, like London’s early coffee houses. But in this rebirth, we have grown far beyond physical walls. More and more, working somewhere and the art of placemaking is increasing in importance, and those who can capitalize on the potential for creative connections through our newfound freedom, untethered to anyplace in particular, are the ones who will drive the future workplace.

107


108

From Anywhere To Somewhere: Blurring the Lines Between Today’s Workplace and the Urban Sphere.


Sarah Gerber | FXFOWLE

Sarah Gerber, AIA, LEED GA Sarah brings over 25 years of experience in both interior and exterior architecture, through all phases of design. She has a special interest in innovation, focusing on how developing technologies affect the way people live and work. Sarah received her Bachelor of Design in Architecture degree from the University of Florida, and her Master of Architecture degree from Washington University. She was part of FXFOWLE’s team from 2012-2016.

109


An edited version of this paper was presented at the 2015 NYC New York Conference Proceedings, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).


Ilana Judah & Fiona Cousins | FXFOWLE

THE URBAN SKYSCRAPER AS A

RESILIENT REFUGE Ilana Judah, Int’l Assoc. AIA, OAQ, LEED AP, CPHD, Principal, FXFOWLE Fiona Cousins, PE, LEED Fellow, Principal, Arup Why Urban Skyscrapers? In October 2012, New York City was hit by Superstorm Sandy. The storm and its aftermath was a rude awakening, causing billions of dollars of damage to buildings and infrastructure, and millions of hours of lost productive time. Sandy also changed general awareness about the scale and extent of the impact that big storms could have on the Northeastern United States, bringing issues of resilience and adaptation to the forefront.

After Sandy, city planners, architects, engineers, and politicians undertook many initiatives1,2 to assess resiliency and propose improvements to buildings and urban environments. Taskforces evaluated waterfronts, infrastructure, and buildings, and sought expertise from other flood-prone locations, such as the Netherlands. They identified the factors that differentiate New York—its large population, high density, economic importance and reliance on high-rise residential buildings.

1 Building Resilience Task Force, Urban Green and NYC. 2 Rebuild by Design competition, HUD.

New York’s skyscrapers played a key role in exacerbating Sandy’s effects and its aftermath: Many commercial and residential buildings were damaged, and the inability of residential high-rises to maintain power and water supplies displaced many occupants or made remaining in the buildings challenging and uncomfortable. It became clear that even if “business as usual” operations could not be maintained, enabling occupants to remain in tall buildings during extreme weather events,

111


112

The Urban Skyscraper as a Resilient Refuge 

was essential to effectively managing a critical situation, alleviating significant pressure from emergency management services. This paper outlines the measures necessary in order to achieve this goal. Tall-building resiliency poses challenges and opportunities that are distinct from low-rise buildings. Density and verticality provide both favorable and unfavorable conditions. High population density enables the possibility of better communication, community cohesiveness, and streamlined access. Building at scale also allows greater investment in the design, technology and systems that support the buildings. Scale allows help to be provided more easily by delivering goods and services to fewer locations and makes information sharing between occupants easier, allowing them to quickly become aware of, and to access, emergency resources. Neighbors can help one another easily because travel distances between their homes are negligible. However, challenges of scale include the high concentration of people in one place, which magnifies the impact of a local system failure. Most fundamentally, the need to vertically transport people, goods, services and water is what makes addressing resiliency in tall buildings substantially different than in low-rise projects. Resilient to what? The most common climate resiliency challenges in coastal urban areas are related to hurricanes, with their attendant storm surges, rainfall and wind, and to power failures due to heat waves or snow storms.

This paper concerns these resiliency challenges. In some areas earthquakes are also a significant risk, one that necessitates additional resiliency strategies. Resiliency Needs If a city could be built with unlimited resources, it might remain fully functional during extreme climate events. But an existing city and its buildings are subject to the cost of redundant services, and the unpredictable ways in which complex, interrelated systems fail during a disaster. Planning for a city’s needs before, during, and in the recovery period after an emergency event, is a critical step in ensuring services are available. Because tall buildings have significant scale, they can play a major part in providing refuge, not only for regular occupants, but also potentially for a temporarily expanded population of displaced neighbors during and extreme weather event. Abraham Maslow developed a hierarchy of human needs in an attempt to rationalize human motivation. This hierarchy has two groupings: deficiency needs and growth needs. The lower levels must be satisfied to enable higher levels of activity3 (Figure 1). During an emergency event, Maslow hypothesized, people will experience different levels of the pyramid. During, and immediately after an event, there are often problems with access to elements in the lower two levels.4 As time goes on, and these needs are resolved, people will seek to address higher level needs. Understanding the order in which needs have to be met helps to organize the approach of using urban skyscrapers

3 http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/conation/maslow.html 4 http://www.deepermind.com/20maslow.html


Ilana Judah & Fiona Cousins | FXFOWLE

Self-Actualisation

(achieiving indiviual potential)

Esteem

(from self & others)

Belonging

(being a part of a group, love, affection)

Safety

(shelter, clothes, removal from danger)

Physiological (health, food, sleep)

Figure 1:

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid.

as resilient refuges because it helps to prioritize which systems need to be available at each stage of an event. Defining Climate Resilience Climate resilience is the capacity of a socio-ecological system to: (1) absorb external stresses and maintain function and (2) adapt and reorganize into different configurations that improve the system’s integrity, leaving it better prepared for future climate change impacts. 5,6 The implications of climate change for cities, particularly for rapidly growing urban centers in developing countries where the majority of inhabitants are poor

or “otherwise vulnerable to climate-related disturbances”7 are enormous. Resiliency is not consistent within cities; it depends crucially on the local infrastructure, on social networks, information availability, and personal resources. Poverty, gender, ethnicity, and age, all contribute to the resilience or vulnerability of people to climate hazards, and both city-wide and building-based resiliency plans must take this into account. Cities depend on systems made up of physical infrastructure, information exchanges, and institutional capacity. For example, electricity, a necessity of high-rise life due to reliance on elevators and pumps for water distribution, will depend on the performance of physical systems such

5 Folke, C. (2006). “Resilience: The emergence of a perspective for social-ecological systems analyses.” Global Environmental Change, 16, 253–267. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2006.04.002 6 Nelson, Donald R., W. Neil Adger, and Katrina Brown. 2007. “Adaptation to Environmental Change: Contributions of a Resilience Framework.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 32: 395-419 http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/4245/1/AnnualReviewofEnvResources_32_395-419_2007.pdf 7 Moench, Marcus. Tyler, Stephen. “A Framework for Urban Climate Resilience.” Climate and Development. 2012 , 4:4.

113


114

The Urban Skyscraper as a Resilient Refuge

REDUNDANCY

CONSTANT LEARNING

RAPID REBOUND

Figure 2:

Characteristics of Resilient Design.

as generators and grids, information systems to understand the location of power outages, and on the electric company. Resilient systems “ensure that functionality is retained and can be re-instated through system linkages” despite some failures. Other characteristics of resilient systems are shown in Figure 2. These characteristics can be applied to urban skyscrapers as a means to protect the building and its occupants, as well as support the surrounding community.

CAPACITY

SAFE FAILURE

Urban Skyscrapers as a Response to an Emerging Need As cities increase in population, development patterns tend to change to accommodate additional people, often through increased density or multi-center development. Increased density is often achieved through high-rise buildings connected by mass transit systems. As growth and densification of urban areas continue, there is a developing awareness that the design and management of highrise buildings must evolve to respond to mounting climate change risks.


Ilana Judah & Fiona Cousins | FXFOWLE

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR URBAN SKYSCRAPERS Climate change is impacting the design of buildings: Wind and rain events are becoming more extreme in many areas and summertime temperatures are rising. Therefore, existing buildings with oncerobust designs may now be more vulnerable. Examples of climate-related changes and risks related to buildings are:8 • Increased average and extreme summer temperatures leading to thermal discomfort and increased risk of power failure • Sea level rise and increased flood risks from coastal surges • Increased rainfall and rainfall intensity causing increased flood risk • Changing soil moisture levels causing slope instability, subsidence, and heave • Extreme storms increasing risk of structural failure due to wind • Increased frequency and duration of heat waves • Reduced rainfall leading to water shortages • Increased snowfall leading to increased risk of power failure Systems must be designed for flexibility and diverse conditions, and for redundancy and capacity in order to meet fundamental human needs in extreme weather. In most cases, these new design conditions will require integrated design, taking account of all the systems within the building as well as its relationship to its surroundings.

Location & Site Resilient urban skyscrapers must take into account their climate and context. Climate has traditionally been treated as fixed, based on historical data, but faith in the past patterns as predictive of the future is now inappropriate. Careful analysis of climate change projections is needed to develop a design that provides robust performance in the face of future extreme weather events. Predictive tools such as Weathershift9 can provide more data for future-proofing buildings. Skyscrapers are usually built within an existing urban fabric that establishes contextual conditions such as street levels, and their relationship to local flood elevations. The size of a skyscraper is often such that the surrounding infrastructure, such as electrical and plumbing services, has to be expanded to provide adequate capacity for the increased population, creating opportunities to improve its resiliency at the same time. For example, modifying an existing water main to accommodate the increased demand of a new high rise presents the occasion to address response to potential flooding of that system. Height & Density The small site area and urban context of a high-rise means that there are limited opportunities for on-site collection of rainwater or energy, and for the on-site production of food. The large population in tall buildings means large quantities of resources are needed. Other complexities related to building height include the need for power for vertical transportation of people, water, food and other resources.

8 Alisdair McGregor, Cole Roberts and Fiona Cousins, Two Degrees: The Built Environment and Our Changing Climate (Oxfordshire: Routledge, 2013), 53. 9 WeatherShift, NY City climate change report.

115


116

The Urban Skyscraper as a Resilient Refuge

Figure 3:

Allianz Tower, FXFOWLE Architects. View of exterior shading. ©David Sundberg/Esto


Ilana Judah & Fiona Cousins | FXFOWLE

Figure 4:

The Solaire, Pelli Clark Pelli, View of vertical photovoltaics. ŠJeff Goldberg/Esto

However some features of tall, denselypopulated buildings can be designed to promote resiliency. These include floor-plate and unit design to maximize natural daylight, the use of naturally ventilated sky-gardens, shading (Figure 3), and use of photovoltaics on vertical surfaces with high solar exposure (Figure 4). Space & Programming Tall-building resiliency involves rethinking space planning and programming: Economic drivers tend to lead to large, deep-plan floor plates, which are unsuited to daylighting or natural ventilation—crucial features in resilient commercial and residential

buildings. These drivers can also push critical mechanical and electrical equipment below ground level, jeopardizing that equipment in the case of flooding. This approach requires a balanced approach to space planning that adequately prioritizes resiliency. A resilient tall building also needs additional programmatic elements. These include communal spaces with backup climate control and power where people can take refuge, as well as food and water storage areas. These communal spaces need not be additional: Amenity spaces in residential high rises may double as areas for refuge during a long-term power outage. Equipment rooms may also be larger than usual due to the need for system redundancy and water or energy storage.

117


118

The Urban Skyscraper as a Resilient Refuge 

Figure 5:

higher common charges to cover ongoing expenses, can offset initial investments by developers and owners.

Some owner-occupied buildings offer examples of space planning solutions that reflect attention to resiliency. For example, the New York Times Building provides a kitchen and cafeteria on a centrally located floor, helping to support continuous functioning of the newspaper when neighboring food services may not be available (Figure 5).

Food Access Other than providing for kitchens, delivery areas, and in some instances commercial cafeterias, access to food in tall buildings is not the responsibility of design or management teams. A few residential projects have incorporated urban agriculture, but most urban high-rise projects addressing food production remain theoretical (Figure 6).

New York Times Building, Renzo Piano & FXFOWLE. View of Cafeteria. ŠNic Lehoux

The financial implications of rearranging floor plans to allow for passive design and the inclusion of additional common areas can be significant. However, the economic benefits of improved resilience, such as reduced insurance premiums, improved rentability, or the potential for

While food production is one part of an overall food-access strategy, another crucial strategy is inclusion of storage space for food and plans for delivery to mobilityimpaired occupants. Here, neighborhood involvement is crucial to helping identify


Ilana Judah & Fiona Cousins | FXFOWLE

Figure 6:

Nordhavnen City Regenerative Competition, FXFOWLE, View of District Food Towers.

and appropriately coordinate the needs of various building residents. Emergency operations plans that identify eligible residents will facilitate a rapid response by community members. Enclosure Design The building skin is the first line of defense for a resilient refuge, protecting occupants from the elements. Properly designed, it can minimize heat gain and loss, provide wind protection, and promote occupant comfort.

A well-designed enclosure can reduce reliance on HVAC systems and electrical lighting. In addition, the enclosure can be designed to provide ventilation during a power outage. Current enclosure design practices do not always provide resiliency. A study by the Urban Green Council (USGBCNY)10 simulated various high-rise building typologies in winter and summer conditions in New York City during a seven-day power outage. Pre-2000 masonry buildings were compared with post-2000 masonry buildings and with all-glass buildings.

10 Urban Green Council, 2014. Baby It’s Cold Inside. (pdf) New York Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. Available at: http://issuu.com/urbangreen/docs/baby_it_s_cold_inside (Accessed May 11, 2015).

119


120

The Urban Skyscraper as a Resilient Refuge 

Temperatures in all-glass buildings increased most dramatically during the summer condition. During the winter condition, temperatures in poorly insulated pre-2000 masonry buildings fell most dramatically (Figures 7 and 8). The main drivers of internal comfort during the summer are glazing percentage and shading. In winter, insulation and infiltration are also significant. High-performance buildings that focus on these factors, perhaps even pursuing applicable Passive House standards, which emphasize high performance building enclosures as a primary design strategy, remain much more comfortable (Figure 9). While good daylight and views are important, these goals can be met through judicious placement of glazing without the energy and comfort tradeoffs of an all-glass building. Other issues to be considered in resilient enclosure design are more extreme wind forces on glazing, and uplift on projecting elements such as shading devices or rooftop ballasts. Stormwater management at the lower floor levels may require an approach that passively sacrifices one zone of a property while preserving the rest, or temporary flood barriers.

Typical Building Indoor Temperatures During a Winter Blackout. Urban Green Council. Typical Building Indoor Temperatures During a Summer Blackout. Urban Green Council.

Ventilation Systems Ventilation systems are necessary in order to provide air for breathing, and for the removal of odors. They are also sometimes used to deliver heating and cooling. Code requirements typically result in bathrooms and kitchens being located away from the facade of residential buildings and therefore require mechanical ventilation

Figure 7:

High Performance Building Indoor Temperatures During a Summer Blackout. Urban Green Council.


Ilana Judah & Fiona Cousins | FXFOWLE

Figure 10:

Manitoba Hydro Place, KPMB Architects. View of Operable Windows. ©Tom Arban

systems, which rely on electrical power. The loss of these systems doesn’t threaten life but it can make long-term occupancy unpleasant. Most residential buildings have operable windows to allow for occupant control of ventilation, meaning that they can be slightly ventilated under all circumstances. The size of openings may be limited by code to prevent fall hazards; although the resulting openings are adequate to provide minimum ventilation, they are often not large enough to provide sufficient ventilation to cool down an apartment to close to ambient conditions during hot weather. As natural ventilation can pose challenges such as controlling temperature, humidity, and pressure differentials, most tall, residential buildings in temperate or warm climates provide additional cooling through mechanical systems such as air-to-air heat exchangers, DX split-systems or other systems that rely on power to operate.

While low-rise buildings may be able to rely almost exclusively on natural ventilation during a power outage, the complexity of tall buildings is such that they are more likely to require power for mechanical air-conditioning systems. Therefore, ensuring resiliency for some level of power supply is essential. Despite these challenges, it is possible to design high-rise buildings for good natural ventilation for some periods of the year. The air is often cleaner at a higher floor level, and it can also be windier, depending on the surrounding buildings, adding to the potential cooling and ventilation effect. Several design elements contribute to passive ventilation: narrow plans, the use of naturally ventilated sky gardens, and the arrangement of residential units to allow cross ventilation—with windows on more than one face of the apartment. These strategies can expand the opportunities for thermal comfort in tall buildings without having to rely exclusively on mechanical conditioning (Figure 10).

121


122

The Urban Skyscraper as a Resilient Refuge

Water A fundamental part of resiliency is an accessible drinking water supply. The maintenance of sanitation also relies on the availability of water. The availability of water to high-rise buildings depends on both the municipal system that provides the water to the building and the distribution system within the building itself. Flood, heat and wind events tend not to disrupt the municipal utility’s piping network but may disrupt remote filtration and pumping installations, especially if there is also widespread power failure. The protection and resilience of these installations is the responsibility of the utility. Once water is delivered to the site most high-rise buildings require water booster pumps to get the water to upper floor levels. Water is also essential for sprinklers used for fire protection. Most codes require back-up pumps for sprinkler systems, and some codes require that these are run by diesel engines so that the fuel can be stored on-site. For these reasons, maintaining power to the building’s water system is a priority when planning for resiliency in tall buildings. An alternative to maintaining continuous power to booster equipment, which would still allow for short-term power failures, is to provide water storage tanks at the top of the building with capacity to supply water for a certain number of hours. Sanitation systems are typically water-based and use gravity to remove sewage from the site. In some instances sumps and pumps are used and these must also be provided with a resilient power system if the sanitation system is to operate during power failure.

Vertical Transportation Systems Elevators are crucial for access to highrise buildings. If a building is to be occupied for an extended period of time after a catastrophic event (especially if a community’s workplaces, transport systems, and public facilities are compromised) it is essential that people can leave and return to their apartments, sometimes with heavy emergency supplies, without having to climb many flights. Use of the elevator system is particularly important for mobility-impaired residents, as well as for those with small children. Power Systems & Delivery Many of the systems in a high-rise building, including water, ventilation, cooling, and vertical transportation are dependent on power to operate. Other systems such as lighting, data, and appliances are also dependent on power. As with water systems, power supply usually relies on the utility system. However, there are ways to provide a building with its own power supply. Renewable sources like solar and wind energy can provide power in an emergency but they have variable output and are unlikely to provide the required capacity or reliability. Reliable power can be provided from local generators fired by gas or diesel fuel, such as in the case of the Manhattan neighborhood of Battery Park City, which has a central plant that provides combined heat and power, fueled by natural gas, to multiple buildings. This allowed for the neighborhood to remain fully operational during Superstorm Sandy. Several considerations will influence the design of the local generator, such as quantity and duration of power required, reliability of the local gas utility, and


Ilana Judah & Fiona Cousins | FXFOWLE

Figure 11:

View of lower Manhattan power outage after Superstorm Sandy. Cogeneration Plant at Battery Park City.

local utility requirements for islanding— the operation of the building power independent of the utility. Power generating systems can be made to pay back even more quickly if they are also used for regular non-emergency operations—for example to generate heat in winter or for utilitysubsidized peak-load shedding in summer (Figure 11). Zoning & Building Codes Changes to zoning should be considered to encourage or allow modifications to tall building designs that increase resiliency. Additional insulation reduces usable and rentable areas, as do spaces that could

serve as areas of refuge or storage. For instance in New York City, initiatives such as Zone Green or the Quality Housing Program enable additional area taken by insulation or common amenity rooms to be deducted from overall floor area ratio (FAR) requirements. Beyond not penalizing building owners for providing these areas, providing additional zoning bonuses would further incentivize implementation. Addressing building resiliency more comprehensively in building codes will reduce future physical and economic damage to communities. In New York City, several building-code modifications have been made, addressing issues such as elevating building systems elements above flood levels, increasing fuelstorage quantities, enabling temporary flood barriers on sidewalks, providing

123


124

The Urban Skyscraper as a Resilient Refuge

Figure 12:

Sandbagged entry of Goldman Sachs Headquarters prior to Superstorm Sandy.

drinking water to common areas, and facilitating use of natural gas co-generation for standby power11. Because many of these modifications impact both codes and agency regulations, such as fire departments’ and environmental protection services’, proposed changes must be carefully coordinated. Community Responsibility Building owners are responsible for the life-safety of residents and tenants, with respect to all systems where they have control. In some high-rise buildings,

this responsibility is shared with others—the tenants or residents themselves, or property managers. The tall building scale makes it crucial for stakeholders to collaborate on issues of resiliency because it is, in essence, a community. In addition to evaluating the designs of fixed infrastructure systems, considering how information will be shared after an event and identifying how the community within a building will be organized will make the best use of the available resources. While these elements are not strictly part of building design and may change over time, information and management plans are supported by design work and must be kept in mind throughout the design process.

11 U rban Green Council, 2013. Building Resiliency Task Force. (pdf) New York Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. Available at: http://urbangreencouncil.org/sites/default/files/2013_brtf_ summaryreport_0.pdf (Accessed May 11, 2015).


Ilana Judah & Fiona Cousins | FXFOWLE

Given the impact of high-rise buildings during an emergency, questions of responsibility to the greater community arise. Incentivizing owners to allocate an area for temporary public shelter, to install publicly accessible power outlets, and even to allow community access to areas for refuge, would better distribute demand for help and alleviate burdens on community centers, hospitals, and other institutions that typically serve as emergency shelters. Emergency Management While thoughtful design is essential to resiliency, the active participation of building managers and occupants is also critical. This was demonstrated by the emergency management strategy put in place by Goldman Sachs, which sandbagged its New York City headquarters prior to Superstorm Sandy, avoiding millions of dollars of damage and enabling them to return to business much sooner than other organizations (Figure 12). Depending upon climate and location, emergency management plans in tall buildings can help building owners and occupants properly address fire-safety, hurricanes, earthquakes, and terrorism risks, reducing risks related to power outages, water shortages and food access. By identifying areas of refuge, protocols for modifying indoor conditions to remain comfortable, locations to source potable water or food, and strategies for communication, these plans can keep occupants secure, healthy and comfortable until normal conditions can be restored.

DESIGN RECOMMENDATIONS The design community now recognizes the impact of climate change in building design. Designers and developers are modifying tall-building designs through compliance with new building codes or to meet specific client requirements. The following recommendations address tall-building design through the lens of resiliency: Design for Multiple Modes Planning for resiliency means that multiple operational modes must be considered in the design of buildings. Buildings must be planned to be resilient to specific types of events. The operation of buildings during and after these events may not be the same as that planned for “business as usual.� The operation of the building may also change over time based on changes in weather, sea-level rise, occupancy, or patterns of use. Resilient design must identify those things that might change and how the building will perform under less than ideal conditions. Design Resilient Systems Resilient system design must identify any single points of potential failure and the possibilities for redundancy, flexibility and adaptability in the system. High-rise buildings are heavily dependent on certain systems for their operation. The critical systems include power, ventilation, water supply, sanitation, and vertical transportation. Most of these systems require power, making the operation of the emergency power system especially critical.

125


126

The Urban Skyscraper as a Resilient Refuge 

It is generally not affordable to back up all the power uses in the building. Life-safety systems are typically backed up, but these are often limited to lighting, sprinkler, and stair pressurization systems. The cost of additional backup is high and must be prioritized, with vertical transportation and water supply at the top of the list. Limited lighting and refrigeration for food should also be prioritized. Prioritize Passive Design Approaches Passive measures that reduce energy requirements and improve comfort are a key part of resiliency planning. Passive design strategies such as increased insulation, improved air tightness, natural ventilation, daylighting and shading, must be prioritized to reduce heating and cooling loads, the need for electric lighting, and allow the building to operate more effectively in emergency conditions. These measures often create financial savings and payback periods can be further reduced if the risks of system failure leading to cold, overheating and productivity loss are included in the calculations Revise the Building Program Programming that includes space allocation for occupant and community use is important for resilient design. However, it will likely be the most financially and organizationally challenging aspect of a resilient design process. Providing areas of refuge, spaces for food storage and facilities accessible to the surrounding community may require negotiation between the building owner, community members and potentially the local municipality.

The necessary programmatic changes should be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending upon the building use and context. For example, if on site-cogeneration or energy storage provides sufficient hot water in all apartments, showers may not be needed in areas of refuge. Governments must recognize the value in allocating resources to support a decentralized model for sheltering people in extreme situations, rewarding building owners accordingly for providing the crucial support of shelter, communication facilities, or power to the greater community. CONCLUSION High-rise buildings represent a unique typology, one in which a purely passive approach is not feasible to achieving true resiliency. As discussed in this paper, vertical distribution necessitates minimum power requirements in an emergency, yet yields a widespread, positive impact on a building’s population. A hybrid passiveactive approach that reduces loads while incorporating on-site power generation will conserve the limited energy available and allocate it to where it is most essential, enabling occupants to meet their fundamental needs during an emergency event. Meeting basic human needs requires that the scenarios under which the building services are to be maintained are clearly articulated—whether the scenarios address sudden events or gradual changes over time. Most important, the desired outcomes must be clearly described and included in the design process, and carried out throughout the life of the building. Designers, building managers and owners, and city agencies


Ilana Judah & Fiona Cousins | FXFOWLE

Figure 13:

Tall Buildings in Manhattan.

can use these scenarios to provide a framework for decision-making around the systems that will support residents citywide. Providing resiliency to cities requires more action than simply addressing storm surges in flood zones and protecting municipal

systems and infrastructure—it requires careful design and maintenance of buildings over the long term. Tall buildings that can protect critical numbers of inhabitants within homes and offices offer key to achieving resilient, modern cities that offer the verticality we have come to depend on with the protection we will require in the future.

127


128

The Urban Skyscraper as a Resilient Refuge 


Ilana Judah & Fiona Cousins | FXFOWLE

Ilana Judah is Principal and Director of Sustainability at FXFOWLE. An architect with over eighteen years of experience, Ms. Judah leads sustainability strategies for local and global projects of multiple scales and typologies. She is active in municipal and national environmental initiatives, including AIA New York’s Post Sandy Initiative, in which she co-authored a white paper entitled “Where Mitigation Meets Adaptation: An Integrated Approach to Addressing Climate Change in New York City;” former Mayor Bloomberg’s New York City Green Codes Task Force’s Climate Change Adaptation Committee; and as a juror and organizing committee member of the FAR ROC resilient and sustainable design competition. She is a frequent speaker, critic and juror on sustainable and resilient design.

Fiona Cousins has worked in the built environment for over twenty years. Ms. Cousins leads the sustainability team in the New York office of Arup, and is a member of the Arup Americas Board. As a mechanical engineer, her area of specialization is thermal comfort and energy efficiency. She is a frequent presenter on resilience and sustainability issues, drawing on her work for NYS 2100, the Housing Recovery Operations Office, NYC’s Building Resilience Task Force and other projects. She also co-authored Two Degrees: The Built Environment and Our Changing Climate, and is chair-elect to the US Green Building Council board of directors.

129


FXFOWLE Podium develops white paper content that reflects the firm’s core values of design excellence, technical innovation, and sustainability.

FXFOWLE ARCHITECTS 22 WEST 19 STREET

NEW YORK

NEW YORK , NY 10011

WASHINGTON DC

MAIN +1. 212 .627.1700

INFO@FXFOWLE .COM

FA X +1. 212 .463. 8716

W W W.FXFOWLE .COM