New York–Magnusson Architecture and Planning recently introduced MAP Green, a division specializing in green consulting services for building design, green retrofit and rehabilitation, and sustainable neighborhood planning.
MAP Green will work with clients to help them achieve sustainable projects at any scale, ranging from an entire neighborhood to an individual building to interior spaces and retrofits.
The firm decided that with so much of its staff having green building expertise, it could leverage that knowledge even if it wasn’t the architect of the project, says Magnus Magnusson, the firm’s managing principal.
MAP Green has been the principal planner for the community in the South Bronx, Melrose Commons, which was recently awarded LEED for Neighborhood Development Certification, the first New York City neighborhood to achieve that designation, Magnusson says. MAP Green is also currently working on two projects pursuing LEED Gold Certification and nearing construction completion: Atlantic Terrace and El Jardin Selene, both affordable apartment developments that are NYSERDA Energy Star certified and Enterprise Green Communities compliant.
Some of the services that MAP Green will offer include sustainable building design, Net Zero Energy building design, Green retrofit, LEED accredited professional consulting; and LEED for Neighborhood Development certification support.
While a LEED standard does not presently exist for multifamily properties, except for LEED for Homes, which covers properties up to four stories tall, Magnusson says he believes that a LEED for mid-rise multifamily buildings and a LEED standard for large scale apartment properties will be introduced.
Designing green workforce housing can be a significant challenge, he says, because developers have to work within a tight budget so the housing can remain affordable, he says, in contrast to high-end properties that “can have all the bells and whistles,” but can charge high rents.