Lance Jay Brown, a professor of architecture at the City University of New York (CUNY), says he was overwhelmed by architects’ response to last week’s superstorm. A group he co-founded, Design for Risk and Reconstruction (a standing committee of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects), put out a call for help “and within 24 hours, there were more than 200 responses” from architects willing to survey affected neighborhoods. Their job would be to help the city evaluate uninhabited buildings, a kind of architectural triage: green stickers are placed on buildings that can be inhabited immediately, yellow on buildings that can be inhabited after remediation, and red on buildings that cannot be made safe. Brown refers to it as “second-responder work.”
Now Brown and Illya Azaroff, also a CUNY professor (and, also like Brown, a practicing architect), with whom he runs the committee, are organizing training for the first 30 architects who answered their call. At sessions provided with the help of the national AIA, the architects will be taught how to safely perform the building assessments, as well as how to enter their findings into a city database so that progress on the yellow-stickered buildings can be tracked.