Scalable, Efficient - Retrofit Solutions Under Development

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently awarded the first six Energiesprong-style retrofits. This announcement comes as an exciting new development to last year’s article in Passive House Buildings about NY State’s planned implementation of the burgeoning retrofit style that aims to create standardized, scalable, deep energy-efficient retrofit solutions.

Read More

Mismatched Wallpaper Mystery

At 211 Warren Street in Hudson New York we are finally under construction on our first Passive House. 


Uncovered during demolition we found these boards supporting the center of the house. They are covered with mismatched wallpaper, possibly dating to the early 1800s. Is it possible that these boards were taken from another house to build this one?


-by Craig Tooman


Secret Spaces


To some

an attic may be a scary place,

dusty, worn,

eerily silent.

But to me,

an attic speaks

of possibility,

secret spaces to be revealed,

and new life.

-by Christa Waring



Peering into an old vent pipe using an endoscope: we do like old things, at different scales; we even like their scales.

IMG_5417 blog.jpeg

...And other hidden spaces of various scales.

IMG_5436 blog.jpeg

-By Chris Huffman


Shutter Dogs

(top right: shuttle pintle bottom right: shutter dogs)

Preservation architects have a plethora of skill sets. Some we perform everyday, others not so often. We suspend from sides of buildings to review facades up close. We develop intricate details for modern interventions into historic fabric. Rarely, though, do we get the opportunity to observe, catalogue, and organize historic shutter hardware! CTA was tasked with reviewing salvaged shutter hardware, testing it’s operability, and cataloguing each piece for possible reuse or replication. We will then incorporate detailed drawings of these pieces into the restoration drawings, calling out existing pieces to be restored and reinstalled, or for new pieces to be made to match the existing. 

by Chelsea Brandt


Where one can imagine the French countryside

2017-11-17 10.14.41.JPG

Everyone knows New Yorkers create rooftop hideaways to distance themselves from the hustle and bustle below. I always see lush garden patios, but one Tribeca roof stood out to me. Instead of a garden, the elevator bulkhead was transformed into a miniature Le Corbusier villa where one can imagine they are in the French countryside.

2017-11-17 10.14.55.JPG
2017-11-17 10.34.00.JPG



-- by Charlotte Parsons


It's a Match!

This terra cotta lion head (left) was replaced with glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) lion head (right) from Vestacast. The GFRC replacements provide an identical match to color, form and iron spots in comparison with the original.




by Bradley Heraux


Old San Juan


So let me suckle on the
Sun-baked breast that was
This day and pour
Its glory over my head
With the baptismal sea
Til I can't see a thing

Let it all come now
The old woman with withered hand gripping
The wilted cane by the weathered church
The young girl shy and sly by the shore
The lovers lost in a moment we cannot penetrate
The hungry doves that do not ask but wait for a kindness
The reluctant pilgrim pushing onward
The relentless lullaby of the waves
The prodigal stranger in his native womb

Ancestral bones lying by the waves
Let this all come
Absolve me of the
Life-drenched-light-stained collar
That gives pause to the jealous night
Then Lord, let it pass

--Guillermo Veloso


by Bohan Liu


One Does Want a Hint of Color

I like color. And not just regular color, but bold color, bright color, pastel color. I’ve had hair that might be best described as “watermelon eleganza,” my wardrobe’s color palette suggests I’m ready year-round for an Easter egg hunt (with me dressed as the Easter egg), and I was once told that I looked like the interior design from Golden Girls. Kinder words have truly never been spoken, so needless to say I was fainting-chaise-bound for a solid month after that compliment.


As such, I’m always delighted whenever I come across a kindred spirit (aesthetically speaking) for work, so when I encountered this lobby during a site visit a few weeks ago, it quite obviously spoke to me. (“You? Love this lobby? Well color me shocked,” said nobody ever.) My point is that for someone who loves color as much as me, it’s odd to then find myself working with architects, what with their love of black and all. Sure, black is a color, too, but where’s the fun in that?

Seriously, it’s like Nathan Lane said in The Birdcage: “One does want a hint of color.” I’m just not sure what he meant by “hint”…



by Ben Horner