Structure & Site
Fall 2020
Project Spotlight: Catskill Watershed Corporation Headquarters
This new construction – located in Arkville, New York – captures the essence of the Catskill area with its design. It serves as the Catskill Watershed Corporation’s headquarters as well as an office for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. The building and its surroundings were designed to reflect the setting of the Catskill area as both New York City’s water source and an impressive landscape. KHH served as structural engineer and landscape architect for this project team lead by Keystone Associates.
Catskill Watershed Corporation headquarters during construction
The new building is two stories high with both an interior and exterior courtyard. The roof’s combination of flat, sloping, and barrel-vault shapes mimics the mountainous surroundings. The façade is made of insulated metal panel and brick, giving the structure a modern feel while maintaining earthen tones consistent with the area. The building is now open for use with office, conference, and auditorium spaces.

The site of the new headquarters is eye-catching, drawing in passers-by and visitors alike.
KHH was responsible for the design of the site’s plantings, hardscapes, and Water Discovery Center entry area. Native plantings were used in the vegetative design of the facility and grounds to integrate the site into the aesthetic of the Catskills and highlight the importance of supporting vegetation in its natural habitat. This theme is present in the interior and exterior courtyards as well as the Water Discovery Center entry area.

The site outside the Water Discovery Center is perhaps the most prominent feature of the grounds. It stands before the conference center entrance, inviting visitors in while depicting the water sources that the Catskill Watershed Corporation manages. Initially, this space was going to house a pond. However, in the interest of reducing necessary seasonal maintenance and increasing aesthetic longevity, the area was instead designed as an artistic impression of a waterscape. Recirculated water flows from the crafted rock face to the colored glass pebbles below, which in turn provides an artistic impression of a flowing stream. The area is completed with beautiful sculptures depicting an eagle and a bear battling for a fish.
Beyond the Discovery Center near the front of the building is another sculpted eagle perched on tree branches. This eagle’s foundation was structurally designed by KHH. Each of these magnificent sculptures was created by James Seamon Sculpture.

This location perfectly suits the Catskill Watershed Corporation and what they represent while allowing members of the community to see the corporation’s impact and learn about the water the Catskill Mountain Range provides. We are proud to have been a part of this project team and hope the Catskill Watershed Corporation continues to do great things in its new home!
Covid-19 Pandemic Update
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This has been a strange and challenging year. At KHH, we spent our spring fully remote and were lucky enough to begin a phased reopening of our office over the summer. Though we could not partake in our usual summer festivities, we got a bit of normalcy back with the onset of fall. We are happy to say that, with a few exceptions, our entire staff is back in the office. We are still wearing masks and keeping our distance, but it has been a nice change of pace nevertheless. As we head into the holiday season, this is one thing we can be thankful for. We hope you and yours are staying healthy, keeping your spirits up, and finding moments of peace amidst the chaos.
Envelope Corner graphic
Can You Do the NYStretch?
This year the Department of State finalized 2020 updates to the Uniform Code and the Energy Code based on the 2018 ICC code family. Fortunately, books of the NYS Codes were published, both in paperback and pdf format, and are available through the ICCSafe website – which was not the case in the previous code cycle. This is great news for practitioners! Furthermore, there is also a brand-new alternative to the Energy Code put forth by NYSERDA, which local code enforcement agencies may adopt if they so choose. It's called the NYStretch Energy Code 2020.

NYStretch is an overlay to both the Energy Conservation Construction Code of NYS (ECCNYS) and ASHRAE 90.1. Basically, the changes represent an improvement in energy performance by about 11% over the base code. Specific aspects include:
  • Tighter limits on blower door testing for residential projects than the base code
  • Reduced thermal conduction of the envelope elements (larger R-values, smaller U, C, F factors)
  • Continuous insulation or a thermal break of R-3 or more for balconies and parapets that interrupt thermal envelopes
  • Required blower door testing for all buildings between 10,000 and 50,000 square feet that are less than 75 feet tall
  • Air barrier commissioning, including field inspections and documentation
  • More energy recovery ventilators

NYStretch is a "more restrictive local ordinance" that can be directly adopted by a municipality or entity. As of this writing, several municipalities and New York code authorities are actively considering adoption. Currently Beacon, NY and the State University Construction Fund (SUCF) have committed to its use. It is likely that more and more projects will require NYStretch compliance over the next year. It ties in well with the goals of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which was adopted in 2019. Also, by way of comparison, more than half of municipalities in Massachusetts adopted their state's energy stretch code within a few years of its introduction.

A project that complies with NYStretch should use less energy and reduce the amount of operational CO2 emissions than if it simply complied with the base Energy Code. Construction costs will be incrementally higher and additional design and construction-phase services, such as blower door testing, will need to be planned for. However, overall the increase in focus on the thermal building envelope that NYStretch requires should result in better overall building performance, indoor comfort, and reduction of condensation problems, as well as reduction in operational energy costs.

Here is what we recommend so that you are prepared to comply with NYStretch :

- Written by James A. D'Aloisio, P.E., SECB, LEED AP
Who's New at KHH
Taylor Friant, Building Envelope Specialist
We are pleased to welcome Taylor Friant to our staff! Taylor is a building envelope specialist with an engineering degree from Clarkson University. He has 5 years of experience in façade engineering, investigation, and special inspections. In his free time, Taylor enjoys hunting, hiking, and craft beer.

Think you or someone you know might be a good fit for the KHH team? Take a look at our current openings:
What's New and What's Next
Several of our staff members have celebrated milestone anniversaries with the company this year! Congratulations to the following employees, and thank you for your dedication!

  • Cindy MacConnell, 25 years
  • James Palumbo, 25 years
  • Mark McIntyre, 20 years
  • Deb Lamont, 15 years
  • Julia Zimmer, 5 Years
  • Chris Baca, 5 years

The 2020 New York State Green Building Conference is still ongoing. Don't miss out on this year's final presentations! KHH is an event sponsor, and our very own Jim D'Aloisio presented "We're Still Green at Being Green! Lessons Learned on the Path" in mid October wtih Christina Dischiave and Jodi Smits Anderson.

KHH and NYSSPE are still teaming up to bring you a series of webinars including the following:

  • 2 December 2020
  • 10:00 am – 11:00 am: Engineers, Envelopes and the Energy Code (1 PDH)
  • 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Air Barriers: The Thermal Frontier (2 PDH)
  • 9 December 2020
  • 9:00 am – 10:00 am: Climate Change and Engineering Ethics (1 PDH)
  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Changing the Conventions of Conventional Construction (1 PDH)

1-3 December: NY Statewide Preservation Conference is going virtual! All sessions will be held over Zoom.