$30 – $40

I Heart Brownstones: Understanding Excavation

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Arup

77 Water Street

New York, NY 10005

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Generously hosted at the offices of Arup.

Are your neighbors planning a ‘big dig’ of their foundation? What do you (and they) need to know about the structure of 19th-century rowhouses and what a modern excavation could unleash? Get the low-down on digging in the second of a LANDMARK WEST! series focused on keeping NYC's distinctive brownstone buildings safe, sound, and enduring features of our city's streetscape.

One of the most ubiquitous requests to brownstone engineers is to lower a cellar—to essentially create more space by digging down and/or expanding into the year yard. What do these projects encompass? How does a rear-yard expansion impact a historic building’s foundation, as well as the underpinning, walls, fences, trees, and more of neighboring buildings?

Calling all engineers, architects, homeowners, and other lovers of New York brownstones! On Wednesday, June 14th, structural engineer Don Friedman and geotechnical engineer Nidal AbiSaab will lead a slide-based discussion exploring the structural engineering of historic brownstone buildings, including:

  • Potential effects of digging—both on your own and neighboring buildings
  • What is structurally involved in lowering a cellar on brownstone buildings
  • What underpinning is and why it (seriously!) matters
  • What’s under there? Tales of rubble foundations and ancient stream beds
  • The Shared Wall Phenomenon
  • Clay, silt, and more—serious considerations around rear-yard expansions
  • How to protect your existing building
  • Building Code responsibilities of special note

Architects and others may self-report this 2-hour program for potential continuing education credits.
Eligible for PE continuing education credits for engineers.

About the Speakers

Donald Friedman, P.E. is president of Old Structures Engineering, a structural engi­neering consulting firm for historic and old buildings based in New York City. A professional engineer with over 25 years’ experience, Mr. Friedman focuses on in-depth investigation, analysis, and restoration of landmark buildings. Mr. Friedman’s design experience includes the integration of modern construction into existing buildings with archaic and obsolete structural systems; repair and restoration of steel, masonry, iron, wood, and concrete structures; and the investigation of historic buildings to determine structural type and condition. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Historic Preservation program at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning and Historic Preservation; has authored numerous articles for technical publications and professional societies; and has written five books related to construction, renovation and engineering.

Mr. Friedman holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an M.A. in Historical Studies from the New School for Social Research, and is a licensed engineer in NY, NJ, PA, CT, VT, RI, and MA. He is certified in the practice of structural engineer­ing by the Structural Engineering Certification Board.

Nidal M. AbiSaab, P.E. is a partner in the geotechnical engineering firm RA Consultants LLC. For more than a decade, Mr. AbiSaab has concentrated on excavation, foundation, and underpinning design as well as subsurface investigations of new and historic buildings. Mr. AbiSaab received his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the Lebanese American University and Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. He is currently chair-elect of the ASCE Metropolitan Section Geotechnical Group.

About Arup

Arup is a global firm of designers, engineers, planners, consultants and technical specialists providing a range of professional services to clients around the world. With over 12,000 staff in more than 30 countries, Arup brings together professionals from diverse disciplines and with complementary skills that share one core focus: to work together to shape a better world. Arup is the creative force behind many of the world’s most innovative and sustainable designs, including the Sydney Opera House, Beijing National Stadium and Water Cube, and Millennium Bridge. Arup was lead consultant for the redevelopment of New York's Fulton Center, which drew together six subway stations and 12 underground lines, and included the award-winning adaptive re-use of the historic Corbin Building.

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77 Water Street

New York, NY 10005

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