Green concrete, resilient buildings in works at CU

Sulapha Peethamparan, Clarkson University assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is working to develop a more environmentally friendly form of cement-free concrete that doesn’t leach chemicals into water. Courtesy Clarkson University

Sulapha Peethamparan, Clarkson University assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is working to develop a more environmentally friendly form of cement-free concrete that doesn’t leach chemicals into water. Courtesy Clarkson University

Forget sustainable — try resilient.

In the world of energy-efficient buildings, a new trend is emerging. According to Andrea R. Ferro, an associate professor in Clarkson University’s department of civil and environmental engineering, work is now being done to create buildings that can be temporarily self-sustaining and, yes, resilient.

“The idea is that the building would be able to provide services to the occupants, like clean air and water and comfort with temperature and lighting, independently,” she said. “It’s not that the building would be off the grid or stand alone, but that the building could manage interruptions in network services. There could also be clusters of buildings where a resource that’s produced in one building could be used in a different building.”

Ideally, the resilient structures would be capable of producing and reusing their own water, power and other resources for short amounts of time —a necessity, Dr. Ferro says, in an increasingly disruptive climate. Along with other researchers at Syracuse University and the City College of New York, she is submitting a pre-proposal to the National Science Foundation to establish the Engineering Research Center for Healthy and Resilient Urban Buildings. [Read more…]

Taking a green path: From Watertown to Massena, businesses design to LEED

The new performing arts center at SUNY Potsdam, slated for completion in December, is one of many buildings in the north country that was designed to LEED specifications. The firm Pfeiffer Partners Architects used a special insulation technique to achieve maximal energy efficiency. Melanie Kimbler-Lago/ NNY Business

The new performing arts center at SUNY Potsdam, slated for completion in December, is one of many buildings in the north country that was designed to LEED specifications. The firm Pfeiffer Partners Architects used a special insulation technique to achieve maximal energy efficiency. Melanie Kimbler-Lago/ NNY Business

In recent years, a crop of green buildings has been sprouting up in the north country. From Watertown to Massena, environmentally friendly buildings are incorporating the latest in sustainable technology and achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in the process.

This designation, established in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council, recognizes sustainability and efficient use of resources by building designers and owners. And according to area architects, it’s becoming increasingly common in Northern New York.

“We are definitely seeing more people interested in it,” said Brian A. Jones, LEED-certified architect and partner at Aubertine and Currier in Watertown. “I believe it’s going to be a wave of the future and eventually a requirement for all buildings. Energy’s not going to get cheaper, and it’s going to be more vital to conserve our resources. People are realizing they’re going to have to live and build differently to afford living here.”

Aubertine and Currier’s most recent LEED-certified project was the 7,800-square-foot Land Port of Entry facility at Cannon Corners for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs, and Border Protection. This $7.5 million building, located in Mooers Forks, achieved silver certification after it was completed in January 2012. It includes a rain catchment system that collects rainwater for reuse in toilets and washing machines, solar panels that provide energy for hot water heating and a variety of green materials in its construction. [Read more…]

Polishing past for future: Improvements at Carlowden sharpen member-owned club

Sarah L. Brotherton, manager of Carlowden Country Club’s bar and restaurant, sits in the newly renovated bar at the club on Carlowden Road outside Carthage. Justin Sorensen/ NNY Business

At Carlowden Country Club in Carthage, some recent updates are adding a new chapter to the club’s rich and storied history. [Read more…]

Angling for prosperity: SLC’s FISHCAP program aims to strengthen economy

Let’s Go Fishin’ Charter Service owner Ed Reyes, Massena, holds a pair of walleyes. Mr. Reyes is a member of St. Lawrence County’s FISHCAP’s Advisory Board. Melanie Kimbler-Lago/ NNY Business

In St. Lawrence County, an innovative partnership is working to make the angling world fall hook, line and sinker for north country fishing. [Read more…]

Against all odds: selling NNY to docs

Several hard-to-find specialty physicians needed at local hospitals

Dr. Anel M. Abreu and Dr. Edward Choung, orthopedic surgeons with North Country Orthopaedic Group, are a few of the latest hires as part of a widespread physician recruiting effort. Photo by Norm Johnston.

Recite a list of the medical fields in which it’s difficult to find physicians in the north country, and you may just need to consult an otolaryngologist for your sore throat.

That’s because the list of hard-to-find specialties includes psychiatry, dermatology, urology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, endocrinology, orthopedics, obstetrics, primary care and, yes, otolaryngology: ear, nose and throat.

[Read more…]

Restoring a dream: For local firms, Boldt Castle continue to inspire and challenge

An image of the main staircase as it was found prior to restoration is held in comparison to the completed staircase being admired by visitors to the castle. Photo by Amanda Morrison.

It was 1977, and the picture was bleak.

Boldt Castle had just been given to the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority by the Edward John Noble foundation, which had itself purchased the property from millionaire George C. Boldt’s children. New York State had already declined the property, saying it would be too much work to repair and maintain, and the castle had been sitting empty and unfinished ever since being abandoned after the death of George Boldt’s wife in 1904. Vandals had defaced much of the interior with graffiti, and the original stone structures were crumbling or gutted by fire.

[Read more…]

Firm brings new life to schools

Ogdensburg project is Bernier, Carr’s biggest yet for single client

Loran Construction employee Dennis L. Sharlow, Pierrepont, builds a wall in a classroom at Grant C. Madill Elementary School in Ogdensburg using cement blocks and mortar. Photo by Jason Hunter.

School may be out for summer, but within the buildings of the Ogdensburg City School District people are hard at work.

With the help of the Watertown-based engineering, land surveying and construction management firm Bernier, Carr & Associates, P.C., the district is undergoing a $57.2 million reconstruction and addition project, the largest in its history. The scheduled work includes sustainability initiatives, technological updates, grounds enhancements and the addition of resource, title and speech spaces as well as much-needed renovations.

[Read more…]

Filling the void: class A space

Watertown financial advisors build office space to fit new needs

Aubertine and Currier’s Matthew R. Morgia, Annette M. Mason and Jayson J. Jones outside of the Morgia Group’s new office building on Watertown’s Mullin Street with Michael A. Morgia, of the Morgia Group and HighTower Advisors, and Patrick J. Currier from Aubertine and Currier. Photo by Norm Johnston.

If you’re trying to determine what Aubertine and Currier Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors specializes in, it may be faster to ask first what the Watertown-based firm doesn’t do.

“We’ve done a lot of work with healthcare, religious facilities, commercial retail development, multi-family housing, single-family housing, pretty much everything except educational facilities,” said architect Patrick J. Currier Sr. “We’ve pretty much covered the full gamut of architectural and engineering work. Because of the geographical area we live in, it’s hard for an architectural firm to say ‘we just do health care, or ‘we just do K-12 schools’ or anything like that. Everyone within the company brings to the table something specific.”

[Read more…]

Bringing ag to life

Morris Northstar Hatchery delivers millions of chicks each year

By Gabrielle Hovendon
NNY Business

After being inspected for health and sorted by sex, chicks are sent down a conveyer belt and loaded into crates. Photo by Justin Sorensen.

At Watertown’s Morris Northstar Hatchery, the most advanced pieces of equipment are not the incubators’ temperature-control systems, oxygenating fans or humidity regulators. They’re not the machines that roll incubating eggs to mimic movements of a mother hen; they’re not even the computers that monitor the progress of the eggs.

[Read more…]

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Farmer bets on crop’s resilience

By Gabrielle Hovendon
NNY Business

Paul T. Haldeman kneels next to hillside beds on Zoar Asparagus Farm in Rodman. Photo by Amanda Morrison.

Ask Paul T. Haldeman why his 50-acre farm is lined with rows of asparagus and the answer is simple.

“The fact is that this is the Tug Hill, and it’s a harsh area,” said Mr. Haldeman, owner of Zoar Asparagus Farm in Rodman. “We’ve tried lots of vegetables and other things, and it wasn’t profitable any other way. After about seven years of experimenting we came up with the conclusion that the only thing that would work was asparagus.”

[Read more…]

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