Each year, over 60 companies submit projects for consideration in the ACEC New York Engineering Excellence Awards and are judged on a rigorous set of criteria that include innovation and value to society. OLA is a proud award recipient for its 2021 entry—the New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center, ‘See what they stood for, hear what they said’. OLA provided MEP engineering services on this 7,500 sq. ft. development consisting of four angled brick volumes. Through radiant floors, ductwork free ceilings in exhibit spaces, geothermal HVAC and more, we accomplished our goal of ensuring visitors wouldn’t be distracted by noisy, unsightly mechanical equipment.
The 44th edition of Building Design+Construction’s newly-renamed Giants 400 Report (formerly Giants 300) is released—ranking the nation’s largest architecture, engineering and construction firms. This year’s report features more than 130 rankings across 25 building sectors and specialty categories. OLA is proud to be among the top engineering firms in the country for non-residential buildings and multi-family buildings work, taking the 65th spot.
Completing an energy study of your building can help identify and evaluate opportunities to reduce energy costs, summarize operational issues and incorporate clean energy and energy efficiency measures into your capital planning. As part of this plan, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is offering clean heating and cooling screenings for customers affected by natural gas constraints. Eligible customers can access free screenings to assess the potential and benefits of installing clean, efficient alternatives to natural gas for heating and cooling their buildings. Read more here.
Hudson River Museum recently broke ground on its West Wing expansion and improvement project—with the goal of ‘bringing a world-class museum experience to all in Westchester and the metropolitan area’. In addition to expanding the museum from roughly 40,000 to 52,000 sq. ft., other improvements will include dedicated special exhibition galleries with exhilarating views, a sculpture court, and a 100 tiered-seat auditorium. OLA is providing MEP engineering services on this exciting cultural project in Yonkers, NY.
Westchester County is experiencing challenges due to the gas moratorium, which began in 2019; the decommissioning of Indian Point Energy Center nuclear power plant; and the challenges to building energy performance as a result of the global pandemic. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome these challenges and support programs are available to most utility customers, such as the NYSERDA FlexTech Program and the NYSERDA New Construction Program, both of which provide support for analyzing needs and goals. Read more here.
OLA is pleased to announce the recent promotion of Christine DiSisto, P.E. from Senior Engineer to Associate. Ms. DiSisto has been with the firm for almost nine years in the Mechanical Engineering Services Group where she specializes in fire protection system design. Ms. DiSisto has extensive experience in all facets of fire protection engineering: fire alarm, fire sprinkler, fire suppression, mass notification and smoke control systems. She is also a dedicated, active member of several professional organizations, including Professional Women in Construction and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.
For over 20 years, OLA has been fortunate to work on many improvement projects for Winged Foot Golf Club: a new pool facility, locker room renovations, staff housing and boiler replacements. OLA is so excited that the legendary club hosted this year’s U.S. Open. Over the four-day event, the course challenged golfers like winner Bryson DeChambeau. Winged Foot Golf Club has also played host for two U.S. Women’s Opens, the inaugural U.S. Senior Open and 2004 U.S. Amateur. Read more here.
Tammany Hall, rebranded 44 Union Square East, wins two Engineering News-Record (ENR) New York 2020 ‘Best Project’ awards: first place in both the Renovation/Restoration and Safety categories, selected from over 60 entries. OLA provided energy engineering and commissioning services on this complex 63,000+ sq. ft. renovation/restoration, and we’re glad to see that this very special project is receiving much due recognition. A huge congratulations to the entire project team, including BKSK Architects and CNY Group!
In preparation of students returning to school, custodial teams, the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) and the Division of School Facilities have been working since early June to make sure the city’s roughly 1,800 school buildings have adequate ventilation, among other safety measures. The OLA team has been working with school districts throughout New York City and the Hudson Valley to analyze HVAC system functionality, ventilation rates and air filtration systems. OLA Principal, James F. Dolan, also met with Mayor Bill de Blasio to discuss SCA’s program for reviewing ventilations systems in NYC public schools. Read more here.
Prepare your office, retail, medical or school building’s HVAC system to help prevent the spread of illnesses—by assessing systems and practices. OLA’s phased approach helps clients to ensure your current HVAC system is in good working condition; determine if additional outdoor air and/or increased MERV or HEPA filtration is the right choice for you; perform an engineering analysis of purification options; and develop a customized preventative maintenance plan to keep your system and occupants healthy. Read more here.
ArtsWestchester hosted “Reopening Cultural Spaces” with Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. The presentation included discussions on creating plans for reopening spaces and offered insight for building readiness. Janet Langsam, Director of ArtsWestchester, facilitated the conversation. James F. Dolan, P.E., OLA Principal in Charge of Energy Engineering, served as a featured panelists. Jim highlighted the value of filtration, ventilation, and other active systems to help mitigate the spread of the virus via HVAC systems. He also discussed the potential for ongoing benefits of energy savings and improved operations.
OLA partnered with AIA Westchester + Hudson Valley for a webinar regarding building systems considerations & COVID-19. Jill Walsh, P.E., OLA Principal in Charge of Mechanical Engineering, presented with Robert Gruffi, P.E., Associate. They discussed how to prepare dormant buildings for re-occupancy post NY Pause; system operation changes and improvements to consider in the short term; understanding of the limitations for modification of different HVAC system types; and long-term system planning for improved occupant health.
OLA is partnering with AIA Westchester + Hudson Valley for an Ask the Experts series related to engineering topics. On May 29th James F. Dolan, P.E., Principal in Charge of Energy Engineering, presented and answered questions on building energy use and energy conservation on a Zoom conference. On April 24th Jill Walsh, Principal in Charge of Mechanical Engineering, along with Associates Robert Gruffi and Richard Joyce presented and answer questions related to HVAC and plumbing topics. Future topics in this series will include Electrical Engineering, Fire Protection Engineering and Commissioning.
Engineering News-Record New York came out with its Top Design Firms of 2020. OLA is pleased to announce they ranked 77 this year. The list ranks the largest U.S.-based design firms, both publicly and privately held, based on design-specific revenue from the previous year.
OLA is pleased to announce the promotion of Ryan Lucia, P.E. from Senior Engineer to Associate Engineer. Mr. Lucia is an Electrical Engineer with over 13 years of experience in analysis, design, consulting, construction management and commissioning for electrical systems. Since joining in 2015, Ryan has been the project manager and lead electrical engineer for the Dobbs Ferry Senior Center, White Plains Hospital Inpatient Unit Renovations, and UJA Federation Long Island Camp Renovations. In addition to design projects, Ryan has led many of our insurance company claim investigations, providing onsite analyses, cost estimates for remediations, and cause and origin analysis. Mr. Lucia is currently on the Westchester/Putnam Chapter of New York State Society of Professional Engineers Board of Directors.
James F. Dolan, P.E., OLA Principal in Charge of Energy Engineering, was part of a panel discussion at the NYSERDA Multifamily summit in Tarrytown, NY. The discussion was on “Solutions for Buildings in Natural Gas Constrained Areas,” and included resources and solutions available to building developers and owners in Con Edison gas constrained areas.
Collaborating with KG+D Architects, OLA provided MEP engineering for the transformation of an underused gymnasium and auto shop into an innovative learning commons and design lab. The learning commons includes an auxiliary cafeteria, satellite library, technology lab, and collaborative group workspaces, and the design lab focuses on creating a flexible multi-use space for students. The project received an AIA Westchester + Hudson Valley Honor Award and was recognized at their 2019 Design Awards Ceremony held at Le Chateau Restaurant in South Salem, NY.
In collaboration with KG+D Architects and Rulewich & Fluery Golf, OLA provided MEP engineering for the conceptual design of a new 4,500 square foot Golf Learning Center at Yale University. The project design includes a new diving range, targets, tiered hitting decks, short game practice area and the learning center facility. The project design received an AIA Westchester + Hudson Valley High Citation Award for unbuilt projects.
Working with Ferguson Malone Architecture, OLA provided engineering design services for an addition to the Irvington Town Hall Theater and a new HVAC systems for the existing theater. The theater, located on the second floor of the historic Town Hall building, includes 430 seats. The Hall was built in 1902 and patterned after the historic Ford Theater in Washington, DC. The design provides a proper entry and other improvements that respects the historic nature. The project received an AIA WHV Honor Award for Unbuilt Projects.
Building Design + Construction ranks the nation’s largest AEC firms in their Giants 300 Report. Data is based on self-reported information by the firms. OLA was ranked 71 in the Top Engineering Firms. See the full list of top engineering firms here. OLA also ranked in different building sectors including: 65th in office engineering firms, 46 in top multifamily engineering firms, 66 in top healthcare engineering firms, and 39th top k-12 engineering firms.
Engineering News-Record New York came out with its Top Design Firms of 2019. OLA is pleased to announce they ranked 73, up from 86 last year. The list ranks the largest U.S.-based design firms, both publicly and privately held, based on design-specific revenue from the previous year. See the whole list here.
NYSERDA selected OLA as one of four FlexTech Consultants to identify and engage commercial and multifamily customers in the Gas Constriction Region of southern Westchester County for energy studies and assistance to reduce dependence on natural gas via efficiency and/or electrification. For potential customers in the Region, OLA is approved to assist and help clients obtain benefits including: expedited application process, free screening tool for feasibility of heat pump technology, implementation assistance, and commercial and multifamily cost share for studies (up to 50%).
James F. Dolan, P.E., OLA Principal in Charge of Energy Engineering, presented at the New York Sustainable Energy Conference and Tradeshow in Tarrytown. There were multiple seminars at the conference with presentations on Ground Source Heat Pumps, The Future of Solar Energy, Air Source Heat Pumps, Approaching Net Zero, and Financing Your New or Existing Sustainable Building Project. Jim’s presentation was on integrating ground source heat pumps into the design and construction of large-scale commercial projects, distribution systems, and projecting financial impacts and lessons learned.
Electric school buses are already on New York’s roads and new state incentives make buying them increasingly affordable. CalStart and Con Edison hosted a symposium for bus operators to learn more about electric school buses. John Torre, P.E., OLA Principal in Charge of Electrical Engineering, was on the Charger Installation & Operation Panel. He discussed the vehicle-to-grid electric bus project in White Plains, which OLA designed. Buses are charged during off-peak hours and then send power back to the grid during peak hours. Con Edison uses electricity stored in batteries on the electric-powered school buses to support its grid during the hot summer months when the buses are not taking students to classes. It is the first project of its kind in the state.
Jill Walsh, P.E., OLA Principal in Charge of Mechanical Engineering, presented at the AIA WHV/AIA Bronx Design & Technology Expo at the Westchester Marriott, in Tarrytown. The presentation, “Project Planning After the Con Ed Gas Moratorium: What is the Best Fuel Choice for Your Project?” addressed the issues of Con Edison’s natural gas moratorium, and potential solutions. Jill also presented on this topic on two other occasions this spring.
Con Edison announced that it is not taking new natural gas customers in Westchester due to supply chain issues. In response, the Business Council of Westchester (BCW) took the lead in working towards solutions to mitigate the negative impact on economic development in Westchester. They named 16 community leaders to a task force seeking short and long-term solutions including OLA’s President, Patrick Lynch, P.E.,. “While there are no easy solutions, there are potential steps that can be taken to ease the immediate problem that we will be carefully evaluating with the goal of recommending a plan of action steps as quickly as possible,” said Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of BCW. Read more here.
Many development opportunities in Westchester County could be lost or at least delayed during Con Edison’s natural gas moratorium. Con Edison says demand has outpaced its capacity to deliver natural gas into its lower county service area, requiring the company to pause all new natural gas connections as of March 15. OLA’s President, Patrick Lynch, attended a public hearing hosted by the state’s utility regulator, where he spoke about OLA’s plans to explore gas alternatives such as all electric options and geothermal HVAC systems, but explains there can be challenges for each option and the best alternative will vary by project. Read the full article here.
OLA is pleased to announce the recent promotion of Brian Tyler, P.E. from Senior Engineer to Associate Engineer. Mr. Tyler has been a mechanical engineer with the firm since 2005, having spent his entire career with OLA since graduating from Cornell University. Well versed in HVAC, plumbing and fire protection system design, Brian has worked on a wide variety of project types, including government, retail, healthcare, and education facilities, as well as corporate interiors. Current clients include ArchCare, Rudin Management, Touro College, and Potamkin Development.
Yonkers mayor Mike Spano attended the opening of the lighting at Fleming Field on November 28, announcing the public-private partnership between the City of Yonkers and Sarah Lawrence College. OLA designed the lighting for the upper field to match the lower field, which included six, 80 foot tall LED light towers. The project involved extending the primary electric service to the upper field to power the lights. The new lighting will not only benefit Sarah Lawrence College, but all of the Yonkers Community. Read more on the project and the opening here.
The Equal Rights Heritage Center is now officially open in Auburn, NY. Collaborating with nARCHITECTS, OLA provided the MEP system design for the $10 million project, including a geothermal heat pump HVAC system. The new 7,500 square foot building houses a permanent exhibition celebrating Auburn’s and New York State’s progressive history of promoting social and equal rights. The building is also a Welcome Center, local tourism promotion center for the region and there is a ‘Taste NY Market’ inside. Learn more about the Equal Rights Heritage Center here.
In collaboration with KG+D Architects, OLA provided MEP and fire protection engineering for the 32,000 square foot renovation to the Rippowam Cisqua School upper campus. Rippowam Cisqua is a private coeducational day school for grades Pre-K through 9. The project included new science classrooms, library/ media center, an innovation lab that opens to an interior tiered courtyard, a new dining hall, a general classroom addition, renovated art classrooms, a new main entrance lobby and administrative offices and improved vehicular and pedestrian circulation. The completed facility received an AIA Westchester + Hudson Valley High Honor Award.
Verco Properties broke ground for the Harrison Playhouse Lofts on October 4th. The development will take over the old Harrison Cinema, a 1920’s movie theater that has been closed for over a decade. The space will include 36 luxury apartments, retail, an underground parking garage and amenities including an outdoor deck, rooftop patio, gym, and movie screening room. During the ceremony, Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont praised the development stating, “the rebirth, the renaissance of downtown Harrison is happening today.” Collaborating with Stephen Tilly Architects, who also attended the groundbreaking ceremony, OLA is the MEP engineer for the project. Read more on the groundbreaking ceremony here.
A team of 23 OLA employees participated in a Tough Mudder Half this July in Bethpage, NY. The Tough Mudder Half consists of 5 miles of mud and epic obstacles specifically designed to test your teamwork and toughness. Everyone finished and with minor injuries! To see more photos of our team in action, click here.
Principal in Charge of Electrical Engineering, John Torre, P.E. has been selected to serve as a member of the Electrical Code Revision Committee for the NYC Department of Buildings 2018 Construction Codes Revision. John’s group is working on Chapter 4: Equipment for General Use Committee. As a committee member, John will attend meetings and actively participate in the discussion of potential changes to the Code through re-writing of specific sections of the current code within his areas of expertise. The committee works to improve the quality of life and safety of all New Yorkers.
Engineering News-Record New York came out with its Top Design Firms of 2018. OLA is pleased to announce they ranked 86. The list ranks the largest U.S.-based design firms, both publicly and privately held, based on design-specific revenue from the previous year. See the whole list here.
The Engineering and Science University Magnet School (ESUMS) is a 5-story, 123,000 square foot college-preparatory inter-district magnet school in West Haven, CT. Completed in 2017, the STEM education facility serves as a pipeline for middle and high school students into higher education and future careers in the state’s science and technology economy. OLA was the energy consultant for the state-of-the-art facility. The project was selected as the first-place winner in the 2018 Connecticut Building Congress Project Team Awards competition in the K-12 Schools category. The award will be given at the Connecticut Building Congress Annual Project Team and Scholarship Awards event held on June 12.
The Swiss Re Americas Headquarters Building is a 420,000 square foot office building. OLA was brought on board to perform an energy audit of the campus and look at replacement options for the aging absorption chiller plant. Energy measures included upgrades to the central chiller and boiler plant, domestic hot water system, airside systems, lighting, HVAC and lighting controls, and building envelope. OLA provided solar system consulting for a 2.7 MW ground-mounted photovoltaic solar array covering the 10 acres. It is the largest solar array in Westchester County and currently provides 60 percent of the power to the headquarters building. The energy reduction project received a Platinum Award for Energy Engineering from the New York Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).