Building the Today Media Building Blog Phase 9
We’re loving our sleek, sophisticated new home! But, behind the scenes, final finishing touches are being completed. Under the continued coordination of Murphy Brothers Contracting, Inc., project manager Mike Grandetti, the final details included:
• Leiberts Royal Green completed the installation of all appliances in our chef’s demonstration kitchen and staff break areas
• Carpet Trends completed the remaining flooring by installing carpet tile in the photo studio dressing room, as well as vinyl tile in the basement level waiting room and IT office
• LBR Plumbing & Heating Corp. connected the plumbing in the Chef’s Kitchen
• Murphy Brothers is completing any items remaining in the pre-completion check list
Next on agenda
In the final step of retrofitting our building, California Closets will install custom cabinetry in our photo studio dressing room.
Focus on… landscape lighting
Q&A with Mark Mosello, owner, Design Lighting by Marks
Q. What approach did you use for the exterior lighting of our property?
Our lighting solution focused on enhancing after-hours safety with security lighting that was beautiful and bright, but without appearing harsh. We installed in-ground lights that are discrete but highly effective along the perimeter of the property to keep the property and parking lot area well lit at night.
Q. Where did you decide to install the lighting?
We used below-ground well lights properly placed along the side of the building, in front of the parking lot area, and in front of the building (uplighting the trees) to keep the lights concealed until after dark. The lights aren’t visible during the day—the only effect is at night when they light the trees and parking lot area. As a result, the lighting looks beautiful, but is still functional. Anyone would feel safe walking to their car at night.
Q. Are there different factors to consider when installing commercial landscape lighting compared to residential lighting?
Normally, we aim for exterior lighting that’s soft, understated, and elegant for residential property. But, lighting for a commercial property has a different purpose. The goal is to see clearly and to keep the property safe at night.
Q. Are there other benefits to the lighting you installed?
In addition to being highly effective, the landscape lighting we installed also happens to be energy efficient. The bulbs used in the well lights are low energy and long lasting. They are compact and powerful metal halide light bulbs that never burn out. An electric eye controls them to turn on at dusk and a timer automatically turns them off during the middle of the night, which also saves energy. After we install our lighting, it’s also possible to keep it on during a power failure by working with our generator division.
Focus on… custom art pieces
Q&A with Mitchell Siegel, owner, Green Earth Design
Q. How did you decide on the specific art pieces to recommend for our new office space?
Whenever we work with a client, we start by visiting the location with our interior designer and taking pictures of the space. We then return with several pieces that we recommend as options. After the client makes the selections, we take care of the installation at no extra charge. In this case, Westchester Magazine chose roughly 15 art pieces, including an end table, dramatic wall hangings, sculptures, and tabletop ceramic vases—all unique one-of-a-kind pieces.
Q. What makes your art pieces so stunning and unique?
The pieces speak for themselves. The striking works of art are all hand made from organic materials. Take for example some of the pieces we installed in Westchester Magazine’s new building, such as the Tree of Life Triptych made of dried banana leaves with intricately cut mother of pearl inlay, the dried rattan and abalone shell wall hanging, or the wall plate composed of thousands of hand-painted snail and mollusk shells, the dried bilon reeds framed in glass, or the sun-bleached Kamagong branch sculpture.
Q. How are the art pieces created?
All of the designs are made from byproducts I find in The Philippines, such as banana peel, coconut shells, rice, abaca, snail shells, abalone shells, and kabibi shells. I bring the design and byproducts to our artists in The Philippines. We work with experienced artisans with whom we’ve built a long-standing relationship over more than 10 years. We believe in regenerating what would normally be considered waste and making incredible art from it. No two pieces are alike—each is one of a kind. And all are made by hand. There is no energy consumption or automated manufacturing involved.
Q. Do you handle both commercial and residential installations?
Yes, we work with both commercial and residential clients, although the majority of our installations are residential. Our pieces are surprisingly affordable. We want them to be both beautiful and accessible. We’ve been in business for 15 years and continue to grow. In fact, in addition to our Mamaroneck and Westport stores, we will soon open a new location in Greenwich in early spring.
Focus on… custom framing
Q&A with Ken Ryan, owner, Somers Custom Framing
Q. What framing services did you provide for our new building?
We framed the magazine covers for each of the various titles within the Westchester Magazine family of publications. We also hung the framed covers throughout the new office space. The custom framed magazine covers create a very impressive and professional wall display. Not only is it a display that Westchester Magazine employees can enjoy, but more importantly, the framed covers provide a comprehensive review of all the great issues they have published. It is quite impressive when clients or guests visit the office. There’s a good bit of precision involved when hanging so many of the same sized frames in a row or some other pattern. We are very careful to make sure that everything hangs in line and level without banging a bunch of unnecessary holes in the wall. We have been providing these framing and hanging services to Westchester Magazine for several years.
Q. What framing style did you choose?
We used one-inch black wood frames with a white mat to create a simple consistent look. This design allows the magazine covers to stand out. The neutral black frames can then be placed anywhere throughout the office and not conflict with other decor. We also designed and built custom shelving that is used to display a select group of magazine covers that were enlarged and printed 30 inches by 40 inches.
Q. Why did you decide to create shelving for these covers instead of framing them?
The ‘floating mantles’ were originally designed for the Elmsford office, but we will install them in the new space. We wanted a way to display the enlarged covers so that the covers could be easily taken down and changed as needed without going through the effort and cost of having to re-frame them every time. This shelving system provides that versatility and is, frankly, a better way to display the enlarged covers.
Q. Did you also handle the enlarging and printing process?
Yes. We enlarged, printed, and mounted the select covers on a backing board, then designed, built, and installed the shelving required to display them. We were able to be a one-stop shop for Westchester Magazine regarding these covers. We do all of our printing in-house, including photos, giclee reproductions, and signage. Our customers often call on us to print the items being framed.
Focus on… cleaning and paper products
Q&A with Dominick Pizzarello, LEED green associate, Strauss Paper Company
Q. What products did you provide for our new building?
We partnered with Westchester Magazine to provide several solutions that we thought would work for the company as well as the environment, including strategically placed recycling stations to recycle everything possible from cans to papers; green products, including hand soap, toilet paper, and paper towels, all of which are made of recycled content, are FSC certified, and are EPA compliant; and environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals and products, such as hydrogen peroxide-based products (a natural chemical) and a wall-mounted dilution center that mixes the cleaning products on demand and uses 60 to 65 percent less chemicals than ready-to-use bottles.
Q. How did you determine the specific products we would need?
We submitted our recommendations of cleaning and paper products that we thought would be best for the building after we completed an initial walk through and comprehensive building audit.
Q. What makes your products and services distinctive?
We will do a complete building audit and recommend the appropriate products based on sustainability and cost.
Q. Did you provide other input or services?
Along with cleaning products, we supplied microfiber cleaning techniques to be used by the Good Deal Cleaning team, who will be providing ongoing daily cleaning services for Westchester Magazine. Using these techniques makes it possible to collect more debris than traditional cloths and mops and can be laundered and reused more than 500 times, eliminating the need to continually purchase cleaning cloths and mops.
Focus on… pest control
Q & A with Jim McHale, owner, JP McHale Pest Management
Q. What was your involvement in preparing our new building?
We were charged with providing a comprehensive custom pest control system for the new building. In addition to being effective, we wanted to make sure our recommended approach met Westchester Magazine’s requirements for a green environment.
Q. Can you describe your process for developing a custom pest control system?
When working with any client, we focus on results while using environmentally sound products. Our first step was conducting a needs analysis and examining the building’s high-risk areas, such as the staff break areas and the chef’s demonstration kitchen. Next, we installed tamper-resistant rodent monitors that detect pest pressures if rodents are present in the area, store product pest monitors to detect common pests related to food products left in an area or introduced to the area through deliveries, and insect monitors in break area cabinets.
Q. What makes your pest control system effective?
Our strategy is interception and early detection. The monitors we installed act as our cheat sheet so we can find problems before the client even becomes aware. We believe the best pest control guy is the one who goes undetected behind the scenes. Clients don’t pay us to kill bugs—they pay for peace of mind and a pest-free environment.
Q. If treatment is required, what approach do you use?
Maintaining healthy and pest-free trees is a good example. We inspect the trees and shrubs regularly to confirm they are healthy and free of disease or damage. If fungus or insect infestation is detected in the trees, we use an environmentally sound method to treat them. Similar to a vaccine, the treatment is targeted within the trees and the treatment products are injected into the tree—nothing is sprayed into the air that could affect the surrounding environment.