November 16, 2015 |
Twelve stories above City Avenue, Michael Pestronk is standing in a penthouse apartment, looking out over the Schuylkill toward Manayunk. The building, one of four in the 1,000-unit Presidential City apartment complex, is the Washington, which has undergone a top-to-bottom renovation by Pestronk and his brother, Matthew, known corporately as Post Bros. The second building, the Madison, is getting closer to completion, Michael Pestronk said, and the Adams and the Jefferson will follow.
March 8, 2015 |
I wrote about green building a few weeks back, and about how some studies show that houses with sustainable features sell for 10 percent to 14 percent more than comparable houses without them. I had interviewed Jim Maransky, president of E-Built L.L.C. and builder of the Icehouse in Fishtown, who, while confirming those results, added that the appraisal process is the place "where the green premium many times falls apart. " Others had made the same complaint, and I also was aware that the Appraisal Institute has been trying to address it for several years.
December 25, 2014 |
When Janet Milkman took over as executive director at the Delaware Valley Green Building Council in 2009, LEED was a largely unfamiliar acronym, and the environmentally and energy-sensitive construction that the accreditation recognizes was not common in the region. Milkman acknowledges that there were days when she wondered whether she had made the right decision in taking the building council job, intended to promote green construction. "It was probably the depth of the recession.
November 23, 2013 |
On the exhibit floor, the "Doctor of Cork" - actually, Bronx businessman Ken Bollella - touted the eco-attributes of cork flooring. It's lightweight. It insulates. While it will char, it won't ignite, he said. And termites won't eat it. Since it's mostly air, he said, "my joke is, if termites ate it, they'd die from gas. " Bollella's firm, Globus Cork, was one of 900 that set up shop in the Convention Center for the nation's annual paean to all things sustainable in the world of buildings.
June 5, 2013 |
When Lewis Green built a handsome little hotel at Cooper Street and Railroad Avenue in 1881, Woodbury was a destination. "There were 139 trains coming through the city," says professional librarian and amateur preservationist Brian Bonfiglio. He believes the vacant Green Hotel - a landmark on a gateway to downtown - could help Woodbury become a destination again. "Right now, there's an enormous push to get the train [service] back," says Jacqualynn Knight, who with Bonfiglio is a member and prime mover of the Village Green Preservation Society.
April 6, 2012 |
Philadelphia has thousands of houses that resemble the three-story twin at Greene and West Apsley Streets in Germantown. The house, abandoned for 28 years, was in horrible shape, with holes in the third floor so large "that we had to lay doors over them so we could walk," said Porche Faulkner, 19, one of about 20 students from the YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School on North Broad Street who are rehabbing it. Still, said Faulkner, who...
February 1, 2012 |
A 4.4-acre meadow wedged among elegant stone homes in tony Wynnewood is all that is left of the Toland family farm, which once sprawled across 300 acres from the Main Line railroad tracks almost to Montgomery Avenue. Over the last century, the farm was whittled away piece by piece to create a new residential development, though as recently as the 1970s, cows grazed in an open pasture, and chickens scurried around a barnyard just blocks from Wynnewood Shopping Center. Then last year, the matriarch of the family, Polly Toland, decided to sell her own home, adjacent to the meadow, and move to a retirement home.
November 6, 2011 |
As achievements go, it's nowhere close to landing the Olympics. For enhancing the reputation Philadelphia seeks as a leader in the green-building movement, though, the city's selection as 2013 host for the U.S. Green Building Council's 12th annual conference could be a significant event. Quite possibly a game-changer for the region's economy. But that hinges, its advocates acknowledge, on much work that needs to be done between now and then - in City Hall and the state Capitol, in hospitality and tourism circles, even at the zoo and museums.
July 3, 2011 |
In the mid-1990s, the World Wide Web was relatively new and just beginning to be appreciated by businesses for its e-commerce potential. To many, the Internet was still a great unknown and a source of anxiety. Thus, the name that Mia and Tracy Levesque chose at the time for their Web-design company: Yikes. It's a five-letter word the couple are uttering with regularity these days over their own anxiety. "This is the riskiest thing we've ever done," Tracy Levesque said, sitting cross-legged on the floor in the middle of a $1.1 million construction project in full sawdust-laden progress.
May 16, 2011
The devastating 2008 fire at the Riverwalk at Millennium apartments in Conshohocken required a massive rebuild that has led to a green-building distinction for the complex: LEED certification. About 50 percent of the 375-unit development, built by Maryland-based Bozzuto Group, has qualified for the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design designation. Among the features that made that possible were the use of low-volatile organic compound paints and carpets, water-efficient landscaping, recycled construction materials, energy-saving air sealing, and heat-reflecting roofing technology.