We continue to make steady progress in retrofitting our new office space according to our architectural design and specifications. Under the coordination of Matt Lio, our Murphy Brothers Contracting project manager, work over the last several weeks included:
• Connecticut Thermofoam completed the framing for the office workstations on the second level
• Connecticut Thermofoam completed installing the insulation on the second level and installed a closed cell spray-foam insulation on the exterior walls
• Connecticut Thermofoam continued installing the drywall and taping (the joint compound that ensures seamless-looking walls), a necessary step before painting can begin
• PolyTemp continued installing the roof and second floor ductwork for the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system
• Continuing the installation of the data and communications wiring on the lower level
• Determining the measurements for fabricating and building the glass and aluminum partitions needed for office workstations
• testing the roof-top air-conditioning units to ensure that when they’re needed next spring, they will work
• The Murphy Brothers Contracting wood shop began rebuilding the main stairway to meet the current building code requirements
Next on our agenda
Next, while we will continue installing the drywall and taping, as well as the remaining ductwork, we will focus on priming the newly installed and taped sheetrock. We also will begin installing the acoustical ceilings and the tiles in the restrooms.
Our nonprofit partner
Q & A with Jim Killoran, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Westchester, our nonprofit partner
Q. How would you describe Habitat for Humanity’s role in Westchester?
The role of Habitat for Humanity of Westchester is a simple one. We believe that everyone should go to bed at night in a simple, decent home. To that end, in one of the wealthiest counties in the country with some of the most substandard housing, we build and rebuild. We help rehabilitate the homes of seniors, veterans, and those on fixed incomes. Habitat has built in Larchmont, Somers, Bedford, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Port Chester, Peekskill, White Plains, Armonk, New Rochelle, and more. Our families get interest-free mortgages with no down payment, and their mortgages are not sold and resold. Bottom line, we don’t want any kid living in substandard housing.
Q. How do you envision your partnership in the Today Media project?
We also hope we can share some of our extensive experience in building and building green. Hopefully, we can share our expertise in specific ways to save energy and using green products. Today Media should get a lot of credit for saving a building that otherwise would have been knocked down. We always say that the greenest building is the one you save. Deciding to retrofit this office building is a real plus for preservation. The other green aspect is Today Media’s commitment to making the workplace better for its employees.
Q. How long has Habitat for Humanity been thinking and building green?
Habitat has a long history of going green. For example, in 1997, we were using structural insulated panels or SIPs, which is a green approach—a composite building material that’s energy efficient and cost effective—before they were popular. And, in 1998, we started installing solar panels in a house we were building in Yonkers that received recognition from Residential Architect Magazine and was featured on the Bob Villa series, Home Again. That was the first of nine homes in what has now become a green neighborhood.
Q. Is there a possibility that Habitat for Humanity can benefit from any of the materials that have been removed and salvaged from the Today Media building?
We’re discussing ways that we can both benefit from this relationship. Fortunately, we were able to receive about 30 sets of commercial grade MechoShade blinds that were salvaged from the windows during the dismantling phase and can be used in our construction or in our ReStore in New Rochelle. It’s one of our 700 ReStores in the country that sell surplus building materials, home goods, and furniture at a fraction of retail prices. Reusing or reselling materials is a great way to save a tremendous cost to the landfill and the environment when these materials are simply thrown away.
Q. What projects are you focused on at the moment?
Our volunteers have been responding with dedication and speed to help those in need after Hurricane Irene. We’ve been pumping out flood waters, gutting homes, installing sheetrock and insulation, taping, and painting, as well as donating furniture and supplies to those affected. We’re also focused on creating the Yonkers High-Line at the old Croton Aqueduct—one of our biggest initiatives yet. We’re taking back every foreclosed home to get families back into their homes.