Monday, December 3, 2012

Plans to Be Unveiled

Curious to know about the plans for transforming the drill hall of the Armory into a library? The Armory Committee of the Hudson Area Library Board of Trustees has announced that on Friday, December 7, at 6 p.m., Vincent Benic Architects will present "the final schematic plan for the new library at the Armory." According to the announcement, posted yesterday on the library's website, "Representatives of our development partner, The Galvan Foundation, will also attend." The meeting will take place at 400 State Street.


  1. Does Galvan ever aim for LEED certification or GBC standards?
    And what ever happened to Hudson's Cool Cities initiative?
    I ask as I'm listening to PBS on global warning, and after 3 days of December 'heat wave' of mid 70's in midwest. But it is something I've wondered about for years re Hudson.

  2. Judy, I'm not sure if Galvan does or doesn't pursue LEED certification or GBC standards (LEED is the system and the USGBC is the organization) in its projects. You may find it interesting that, under the USGBC's LEED system, one could achieve a higher rating (i.e., LEED Gold) by tearing down the armory and building a new library than by adaptively reusing the existing structure. Full life cycle analysis is not considered in the LEED system and there are very active, vocal members of the USGBC who are not friends of historic preservation.


  3. Ward, I was hoping to start a conversation here about sustainability which seems to be of little interest in Hudson---although the term Sustainable has been replaced by Resilient by many----since it is too late for sustainability.

    Yes, I'm sure there are 'green builders' who care little about historic preservation and those whose interest in historic preservation seems to override environmental concern. I wouldn't doubt there are many historic buildings in the country which have been demolished and replaced by LEED Platinum buildings!

    I also take issue with some of the things that give builders 'points', as well as awarding 'not enough points' for consideration of the inherent energy in the existing building, which, I believe, is the full life cycle you mentioned. But that is another issue.

    Ä quick search of LEED historic buildings, comes up with many good examples of the two principles working in sync, including a 1891 Romanesque armory in Portland obtaining LEED Platinum status as a theater. Anyone with some time and interest will find fascinating projects around the country.

    The two concepts, sustainability/resiliency and historic preservation are not mutually exclusive. Smart communities embrace both.

    1. Relevant to this discussion, the architect for the Armory project stated that they were "not going for LEED certification" but they were being "very conscious" of energy costs.

    2. You're right, Judy, there are historic structures that have been updated and/or repurposed and achieved LEED certification. LEED certifications are typically pursued in order to achieve tax breaks or similar incentives which, in the case of a not-for-profit, are irrelevant. Structures on the NRHP and those deemed National Register-eligible, such as the armory, are exempt from compliance with modern energy code. That, of course, does not relieve one of social responsibility. As Carole pointed out, the architect stated they are "very conscious" of energy costs.

      In addition to historic preservation, I believe in "green" building design/practices, sustainability--all the buzz words--all good stuff and all very important. Jean Caroon has written a book that’s a fantastic resource on the subject ( I am a proponent of such initiatives and was one of the organizers of a seminar on this very subject at UMass-Amherst last October:

      I am also interested in the other part of your question: What are others doing in Hudson? Marina Abramovich recently unveiled plans for the old Community Theatre—what green building practices will she employ? Speaking of cool cities initiatives, how does that enormous, low-sloped black roof contribute to the 'heat island effect?' Will they install a reflective, white TPO membrane? A true “green” roof to help control rainwater runoff would be perfect.

  4. Ward, There is so much that could be done in Hudson that would probably even save the city money in the long run. The 'green' in green building, refers to saving $ as well as reducing GHGs
    A community that I'm very familiar with, recently put a white roof on the City Hall---on a roof that faces west on a main street. This very public placing was done intentionally to create awareness of the commitment the City has to---what ever you want to call it---- resilent communities, cool cities etc.
    In the instance of this medium size city a few residents pushed the city government, which was receptive and formed a Climate Action Task Force. The CATF now and encourages the City to do even more, sometimes having to convince Council members to support the City Administration .
    Early on one resident 'got a grant', although some suspect he paid for it himself, to hire an intern to do a Green House Gas Inventory of city owned buildings. The amount of low hanging fruit was impressive. The city garage and rec. center were singled out as the biggest problems and changes resulted in very big savings.

    The City administer, got a grant for a lighting inventory and, I think, found a pilot program to replace lighting.
    Businesses have been pretty cooperative, but getting the average homeowner interested has been a bigger challenge.

    Back to Hudson--Wouldn't it be something if Eric Gallaway could be a champion of both Historic Preservation and Environmental Issues! It would be a nice legacy.

  5. Your comment inspired me so I checked out the Lantern Organization's website. I looked at Eric Galloway's projects and then searched the architect's websites for several of them. In about 5 minutes I found projects that have achieved LEED Gold and LEED Platinum. It turns out he is a champion of environmental issues already.