With baby boomers reaching maturity, new responsibilities can become overwhelming in a struggling economy. With parents in retirement, children growing up but staying at home or leaving, the financial burden for each can strain the whole family’s finances to a breaking point. Certainly if one finds themselves living pay check to pay check it is easy to make an argument for change.
Yet the strategy for self-sufficient living seems to dominate the typical American’s way of thinking, that is for the most part, graduate college and go live on your own. Certainly existing housing stock reinforces this notion. Yet in many cultures and even to an extent here in the US more people are opting to keep the family together, with grandparents, siblings and with in-laws. Financially, the strategy is sound, that is, one property supports many families or individuals.
The worry? Someone is a slob, loud, argumentative, problematic with an addiction, or some other self-destructive behavior. In this respect one has to establish rules to govern the standards which everyone needs to comply with. For instance, all public shared spaces must remain clean, and debris or storage free. But in this respect a well designed dwelling can answer many of the needs of most people, in providing secure storage areas, efficient handling of trash, sound absorption methods that limit the distance of airborne noise, and even orientation of spaces to further isolate individual dwelling modules. In this respect we have developed several housing prototypes as noted in previous or upcoming articles. For this article, we discuss some of the financial benefits to shared habitation.
A SimpleTwig Article: Galvanic Corrosion, sometimes referred to as Galvanic Action, describes the corrosion to a metal when that metal is in contact, either directly or with the help of a catalyst or another element, with another metal whose characteristics are not complimentary. Often two different metals can come in contact with one another without any corrosion, but some combinations do lead to corrosion and ultimately failure. This can be critical to prevent ‘rusting’ and unsightly stains, to prevent water penetration when a flashing fails, or to even prevent parts of a building from falling apart when a fasteners like a screws fails.
We take a look at what it is and how to prevent this type of corrosion so our buildings will last many decades longer.
A followup on the SimpleTwig article ‘Time, Not Distance, Determines Development of Cities‘ we need to take a moment to review the existing density of New York City, as an example to show that people reside in the area that physically puts them closer to where they work, in this case Manhattan. While this is probably obvious to most, one can not assume everyone understands the organic growth of cities.
While it would be nice for everyone to live and fit in Manhattan, or for that matter in a location that has a view of it’s beautiful skyline, it isn’t always possible given the cost of property, and, the lack of availability of housing stock. This means, with an ever growing population, alternatives must be addressed.
Time, that is the time it takes to travel to a job, determines where people focus on in their search for a place to live. Thus a city like New York City has it’s own CBD (Central Business Districts) of Midtown and Downtown, with extensions on the upper East/West Sides and infill throughout, along with growing CBD developments along the river banks of the Hudson and East Rivers, especially with regards to Newark, NJ and Downtown Brooklyn, NY.
When it comes to choices for a residence, there is a curve of acceptable ‘time to commute’ for a particular job. Those on the outskirts of this curve might travel 2 or 3 hours each way, not because they want to but only as a necessary evil in their life to pursue their own interest and priorities. This is why the current commuter system fails, in that providing express service is just not enough to harness the potential of land just beyond the more acceptable half-hour commute, and why there needs to be ‘super express’ service to new core areas to help increase housing and opportunities while providing the ‘time connection’ people demand for their daily lives.
There are nice looking buildings, and unfortunately ugly ones. The ramifications for creating an ugly building means that communities have to live with the results for decades. This simple fact distinguishes Architecture from other professions where a product can be used for a much shorter period of time and then discarded. Because of the financial investment in building, being careful on what you allow to be built is critical to a building’s life and community.
Here’s an example of a horrible developer and designer, who was probably a structural engineer or a very unskilled architect. One can just read this residential building and hear the conversation. “Keep it as cheap as possible, but lets add balconies to be a feature that will get people to purchase the units.
This townhouse renovation project in Brooklyn, NY is for a young couple with a need to secure their financial future, and, start a family. With this in mind, SimpleTwig suggested creating two rental apartments in addition to their Owner occupied unit. This would allow them to maximize extra income into their savings, giving them the option of combining units in the future when their family expanded.
Every winter, at least those with a lot of snow, we pull out our shovels and get to it. But there are things you can do to make the snow go away faster, and make the job easier…
It goes without saying that removing snow from sidewalks is imperative to keep people safe from falls and make life easier for those pushing strollers, or for old people to get around. One winter while shoveling my own sidewalk I looked across a street and saw an elderly woman literally stuck at a crosswalk. There was no way for her to cross as the snow was just too deep. Upon approaching her with my shovel she quickly apologized saying she had to get to the pharmacy. So I shoveled a path for her to get to the other sidewalk. It’s just too bad those who lived on those corner lots didn’t take care of this themselves.
New York Times: Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center
Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic announced the final details yesterday of their collaborative plan to renovate the stage of Avery Fisher Hall. The renovation is to take place from Aug. 23 to Sept. 12. It is to cost $3 million, and will involve no alterations to the hall itself.
The announcement was made at a news conference by Nathan Leventhal, the president of Lincoln Center, and Deborah Borda, the general manager of the Philharmonic. Also present were Kurt Masur, the orchestra’s music director; Russell Johnson, the chairman of Artec Consultants and the project’s acoustician, and John Burgee, the Architect who oversaw the hall’s last renovation, in 1976, and who is overseeing the visual aspects of the current renovation.