The Generator Is the Machine of the Moment


generatorIn the days that followed Hurricane Sandy, the developer of the luxury condominium 150 Charles Street hunkered down with his team of architects and engineers to rethink the building’s design.

Just steps from the Hudson River, the construction site was partially flooded. “Their mandate was to figure out how the building would have stayed open in a storm like this,” said Steven Witkoff, the developer. “They came back with a list of five things, and we implemented every single one.”

The efforts delayed the project by some six weeks and added as much as $3 million to its cost.

It was one of a number of projects that convened their engineers and construction teams to reconsider their plans after the rising waters rushed over the city’s embankments and into the basements of countless residential buildings across Lower Manhattan.

Now, more than two months after the storm caused millions of dollars in damage, novel and costly waterproofing techniques are being employed, including the addition of backup generators and floodgates, and the relocation of mechanical equipment. The owners of buildings that predate the flooding are also looking at these measures, although retroactive installation is so complex and costly that some may decide not to do anything.

Read more at THE NEW YORK TIMES.

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  1. Generators are great – but they can also be very dangerous. If you buy one, check up on the safety requirements and make sure you don’t get carbon monoxide poisoning or cause other problems. They’ve got a downside to go with the upside.

  2. Generators that might need to run over long periods of time need to be the natural gas type and have a reliable connection to the natural gas source. During a long power outage, gasoline runs out and resupply is chancy because gas stations etc. lack power to pump it.