Building the Today Media Building Blog Phase 10

It’s a wrap!

Now that we’re settling into our sleek new home and Murphy Brothers Contracting has almost completed the odds and ends on its post-construction punch list—our work here is done, at least for posting project updates. Holding the complex project together from ambitious beginning to spectacular end has been Murphy Brothers Contracting, Inc.,. And no one could be happier about reaching the project’s successful end than project manager Mike Grandetti. “At the end of the day, the best part was being able to deliver the building to Westchester Magazine in the timeframe we promised. It feels good to have delivered on an ambitious, exciting, high-profile project.” From Grandetti’s perspective, “The project ran very smoothly.” His secret for running a smooth complex operation: “It boils down to understanding the scope of the job and anticipating what needs to be done next,” he explains. “It’s important to hire the right subcontractors, then to lay the groundwork and path that everyone on the project needs to follow. Staying on schedule, having the right materials arrive at the right time, and working with the right architect will get you the results you want.” And, if an unexpected issue comes to our attention down the road, Murphy Brothers has that covered, too. “We stand by our work on every project,” Grandetti says. “There’s a warranty on the work completed. If any issues develop outside of normal wear and tear or misuse, we would have the appropriate subcontractor return to make any necessary adjustments.”

Next on agenda

Top on our agenda: simply enjoying our beautiful building and celebrating our amazing accomplishment! Our blog documenting our progress may be ending, but since we dream BIG, improvements to our new home will continue. As in any major renovation, there’s always tweaks left to tackle. Our fine-tuning plans over the next several months include embarking on our energy management plan (see more about that in the Comverge Q&A below), sprucing up our building’s exterior, fulfilling our landscaping plans (learn more in the Greener by Design Q&A below), adding more decorative fencing, and expanding our parking capacity. Other possibilities we’re exploring for the future: solar panels, a green vegetative roof to absorb water and emit oxygen, and even our very own on-site vegetable garden to tend and consume (yum!).

Focus on… energy management

Q&A with John Tyler, channel sales manager, Comverge, Inc.

Q. What energy management solution have you recommended for our new location?

As an experienced leader in intelligent energy management and demand response solutions, Comverge will be enrolling Westchester Magazine’s new facility into the NY-ISO and Con Edison Demand Response Programs, starting in May 2012.     

Q. What is the purpose of the demand response programs?

These demand response programs are designed to help Westchester County and New York State manage peak energy demand through demand reduction, which is a much more environmentally friendly approach than using fossil fuel burning generation.

Q. Were there any preparation steps involved?

Comverge conducted energy profiling and engineering studies for Westchester Magazine and identified several non-critical electrical equipment in the new facility that can be adjusted during demand response tests and events. We then put together what is called an energy curtailment plan, which many businesses will implement when called upon by Comverge.  These curtailment plans typically include dimming lighting, reducing motors and pumps, increasing temperature set points on thermostats during the summer months, and turning on back-up generation.

Q. What benefits can we expect from this energy management solution?

These programs are great for businesses in Westchester County. They enable companies, who use large amounts of electricity, to help their local communities by reducing electricity before potential power outages occur. These programs can have a significant impact on the electrical grid and I hope more Westchester County businesses will join Westchester Magazine’s efforts toward energy conservation and social responsibility.

Focus on… security

Q&A with John Crowley, senior systems design consultant, All-Time Detection Security Group

Q. What was All-Time Detection’s role in developing a security system for our new building?

Based on our extensive experience for time-tested security systems and exceptional service that we’ve fine tuned over five decades, we designed a custom 24-hour security system solution specifically for Westchester Magazine’s new building.

Q. What safety features does the custom system include?

Our fully integrated state-of-the-art security system includes an access control and alarm monitoring system that incorporates key fob entry and data gathering; a continually monitored visual surveillance system that documents through closed circuit television all activity on or around the Rye property; and a reliant and locally compliant fire detection system.

Q. Are there other aspects of All-Time’s Detection’s security coverage?

All-Time Detection’s complete coverage for Westchester Magazine also includes live monitoring of critical functions and signals from the building’s security system through our company’s UL-certified alarm monitoring facilities in Port Chester and our back-up monitoring station in Milford, Connecticut.

Q.  Does this integrated system provide other advantages?

It’s a very user-friendly security system that integrates very well with the day-to-day use of the building. In addition, all of our technicians and managers live locally and we’re available at the drop of a hat to take care of any issues.

Focus on… landscaping

Q&A with Richard Heller, CEO, Greener by Design

Q. What landscaping services will you be providing for our property?           

Initially, we completed a basic clean-up—trimming the shrubs to keep them full and healthy, removing dead leaves for composting, cutting perennials, and testing the soil for future re-invigoration. Going forward, we will rebuild the local ecosystem to the best of our ability to make sure the soil has more living components.

Q. What distinguishes your green approach to landscaping?

We use no pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Beyond cosmetics, our focus is on restoring the health of the soil. Since Greener by Design is completely committed to sustainability, we will focus on eco-plantings and ongoing care. We'd like it to include more trees—the torch bearers of the ecosystem that are beneficial for insects and birds—and also native plants such as echinacea, yarrow, or rudbeckia.

Q. What elements are important in sustainable landscaping?

In sustainability, it's important to have balance between the native plants, decorative plants, and what will thrive. Our goal is to find a balance between the architecture of the building, the vision of the client, and the surrounding landscape while rebuilding the ecology of the property to the extent we are permitted.

Q. Do you have other green landscaping solutions you’re considering for our property?

Yes. Other eco-friendly solutions we have recommended include a low volume drip irrigation system, on-site composting, planting an evergreen ground cover in place of grass to reduce maintenance and cutting, and adding plantings around the parking lot. The parking lot has so much activity, it needs hearty plants that can endure the hot car exhaust, salts, and other conditions. At the same time, an increased density of plantings will bring a greater diversity of organisms. Bio diversity insures a stronger ecology and lower maintenance as more beneficial insects become present to feed on predatory insects. As the number of beneficial insects grows, there will be less damage to the landscape plants and, as a result, less need for human intervention and a lower cost to the consumer.

Focus on… plumbing

Q&A with Peter Miller, owner, LBR Plumbing & Heating Corp.

Q. What responsibilities did you have in the retrofitting of our new building?

We were responsible for all aspects of the building’s plumbing and piping.

Q. What did that involve?

First we had to pull out the building’s existing piping. Then we installed new gas piping, drains, vents, and water lines throughout. We had to do a little demolition, including drilling holes to route the piping and install the vent piping behind the walls and the drainage piping above the ceiling.

Q. Were you involved in completing other work?

We also removed piping from what had been the original bathrooms and rerouted the piping to the other side. Since the architectural plans called for an open ceiling design in the chef’s kitchen, we left the original cast-iron and copper tubing in the basement in place. After the building’s floor tile was completed, we installed all of the selected fixtures in the bathrooms, on the break area sinks, and in the chef’s kitchen.

Q. What most distinguishes LBR Plumbing & Heating from other plumbing and heating companies in the area?

Our mechanics who represent our company in the field are exceptional. They are the reason we have been able to build our long-standing reputation for quality workmanship. We’re known for always going the extra mile, keeping the work site neat and clean, and reliably doing whatever it takes to meet all of our schedule demands. 

Focus on… chef’s kitchen seating

Q & A with Tim Travis, owner, NBB Office Environments

Q. What type of seating did you provide for our new building?

We chose a Herman Miller “Caper” chair in Alpine White — 54 were needed for the audience seating area in the chef’s kitchen. We thought it was an ideal selection for its design, comfort, and price.

Q. Why did you choose this particular chair?

This is a popular designer chair that also offers good value. The chair is constructed from material that’s 100 percent recyclable. When it reaches the end of its life, it can be taken to any recycling facility, such as Brookfield in Elmsford.

Q. Does this chair have environmentally friendly benefits?

The chair is lightweight, flexible, has no sharp edges, and comes in vibrant colors. It’s a flexible plastic shell that confirms to your contour. It also uses less raw material than other comparable products, and is guaranteed for 12 years.

Q. Are there unique benefits clients can expect when doing business with NBB Office Environments?

We’re proud of our focus on helping customers recycle—it’s s a core company commitment and key service. When a client is ready to dispose of the chair, we’ll arrange to take it to a recycling facility. And we don’t have a company come to our site to pick up cardboard boxes. It’s our standard operating procedure to take back the cardboard boxes after delivery of a product to make sure the boxes end up in a recycling facility and not the town dump. If a client is ready for a change in style before the product’s life cycle, we’ll pick up the old product, so it, too, can be reused.



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