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Cook+Fox and Terrapin Selected to Prepare Green Manual

There’s a strong perception that greening historic buildings is made arduous by Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) regulations. To help counter that notion, MAS and the LPC are producing a manual, “Greening New York City’s Landmarks: A Guide for Property Owners.” MAS has selected Cook+Fox and Terrapin Bright Green to develop the guide, which will provide straightforward action steps on how to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of the city’s landmark buildings while meeting preservation standards. The manual should be completed by the fall of 2012, and will be published digitally and available free of cost on the MAS and the LPC websites.

Terrapin and Cook+Fox have extensive experience in greening historic buildings, from greening the White House under the Clinton administration, working with the National Trust on their first LEED certified project at President Lincoln’s summer cottage and the Historic Front Street project at the South Street Seaport. Chris Garvin, a Partner at Terrapin and Senior Associate at Cook+Fox said, “The partners and staff of Terrapin Bright Green and Cook+Fox Architects are pleased to have been selected to develop this important Guide to greening NYC landmarks. It is a project that marries two guiding principles of our firms – environmental sustainability and cultural preservation – and we are looking forward to working with the MAS and LPC to produce a insightful and useful guide for all New Yorkers.”

While the manual will be primarily targeted to the owners of New York City’s small landmarked buildings, it will also be useful to owners of small older buildings across the city. “Roughly 55 percent of New York’s building stock is more than 70 years old, and any serious efforts to build a more sustainable city must include solutions for making these older buildings more efficient” said MAS President Vin Cipolla. “With this guide, we will provide clear guidance to property owners and the preservation community on how historic buildings can be part of the solution to fighting climate change and making New York City more sustainable. This isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for the bottom line too because it can lead to savings in energy costs.”

Along with the energy retrofit of the Henry Street Settlement headquarters, the manual is part of MAS’s ongoing Preservation and Climate Change Campaign, which is focused on integrating preservation into New York City’s climate change, green building and sustainability agendas. Completion of the manual will fulfill one of the milestones of the updated PlaNYC 2030.

MAS is grateful for generous funding for this manual from the New York Community Trust, The J.M. Kaplan Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Elizabeth and Robert Jeffe Preservation Fund.